You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.
--Joe DiMaggio, on Opening Day
Slump ? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hittin.
We're supposed to be perfect our first day on the job and then show constant improvement.
--Ed Vargo, major league baseball umpire
Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical
If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base
You teach me baseball and I'll teach you relativity...No we must not You will learn about relativity faster than I learn baseball.
Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat.
--Joel, 10 Advice from Kids
Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright; The band is playing somewhere; and somewhere hearts are light; And somewhere men are laughing; and little children shout; But there is no joy in Mudville- great Casey has struck out.
--Ernest Lawrence Thayer Casey at the Bat
Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalised for too many players on the field
Hitting is 50% above the shoulders.
You owe it to yourself to be the best you can possible be - in baseball and in life.
I never thought home runs were all that exciting. I still think the triple is the most exciting thing in baseball. To me, a triple is like a guy taking the ball on his 1-yard line and running 99 yards for a touchdown.
I used to love to come to the ballpark. Now I hate it. Every day becomes a little tougher because of all this. Writers, tape recorders, microphones, cameras, questions and more questions. Roger Maris lost his hair the season he hit sixty-one. I still have all my hair, but when it's over, I'm going home to Mobile and fish for a long time.
--Hank Aaron as he closed in on Babe Ruth's career home run record
Mickey meant an awful lot to me. He was a tremendous athlete. People didn't understand him the way they should have. He played 10 years on one leg. But more than that, he was a tremendous person.
--Hank Aaron on Mickey Mantle
Looking at the ball going over the fence isn't going to help.
I had just turned 20, and Jackie told me the only way to be successful at anything was to go out and do it. He said baseball was a game you played every day, not once a week.
--Hank Aaron on Jackie Robinson
The pitcher has got only a ball. I've got a bat. So the percentage of weapons is in my favor and I let the fellow with the ball do the fretting.
He's been very talkative. But it is usually under oath.
--Sandy Alderson Oakland A's GM, on Albert Belle
Some plays just come out of me, just on instincts. I'll make a play and wonder, How did I do that?
--Roberto Alomar Baltimore
It can be life or death in the fire service and it definitely felt like life and death on the ballfield.
--Allen Anderson on training to become a firefighter
I was only halfway to the record and it seemed like it took me a long time. I feel like that one will never be broken. That record will never be touched.
--Garret Anderson (Anaheim Angels, OF), on Joe Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak, after Anderson's streak ended at 28 games.
You're only young once, but you can be immature forever
--Larry Andersen relief pitcher
Any baseball is beautiful. No other small package comes as close to the ideal in design and utility. It is a perfect object for a man's hand. Pick it up and it instantly suggests its purpose: it is meant to be thrown a considerable distance-thrown hard and with precision. Its feel and heft are the beginning of the sport's critical dimensions; if it were a fraction of an inch larger or smaller, a few centigrams heavier or lighter, the game of baseball would be utterly different.
Hold a baseball in your hand ... Feel the ball, turn it over in your hand; hold it across the seam or the other way, with the seam just to the side of your middle finger. Speculation stirs. You want to get outdoors and throw this spare and sensual object to somebody or, at the very least, watch somebody else throw it. The game has begun.
--Roger Angell in Five Seasons
The press box at Wrigley Field in Chicago is an extended narrow shed, two rows deep, that is precariously bolted to the iron rafters just underneath the park's second deck. To gain access, one must climb a steeply angled ramp and clamber down a little starboard companionway, guarded at its foot by a uniformed minion and then proceed giddily along a catwalk that hangs directly above the tiered, circling rows of seats and spectators behind home plate.
Seen from this vantage point, the preoccupied fans below sometimes suggest a huddled, uncomplaining horde of immigrants stuffed into steerage on some endless voyage toward better luck-not an inappropriate image if we remind ourselves that this famous rustbucket, the good ship Cubbie, last dropped anchor in the shining harbor of the World Series in 1945 .
--Roger Angell in Fortuity
This is a linear sport. Something happens and then something else happens, and then the next man comes up and digs in at the plate. Here's the pitch, and here, after a pause, is the next. There's time to write it down in your scorecard or notebook, and then perhaps to look about and reflect on what's starting to happen out there now. It's not much like the swirl and blur of hockey and basketball, or the highway crashes of the NFL.
Baseball is the writer's game, and its train of thought, we come to sense, is a shuttle, carrying us constantly forward to the next pitch or inning, or the sudden double into the left-field corner, but we keep hold of the other half of our ticket, for the return trip on the same line. We anticipate happily, and, coming home, reenter an old landscape brightened with fresh colors. Baseball games and plays and mannerisms-the angle of a cap-fade stubbornly and come to mind unbidden, putting us back in some particular park on that special October afternoon or June evening. The players are as young as ever, and we, perhaps not entirely old.
--Roger Angell in Once More Around the Park
Cub fans, by consensus, are the best in baseball. Year after year, in good times and (mostly) bad, they turn out in vociferous numbers, sustaining themselves with a heavenly ichor that combines loyalty, criticism, cheerfulness, durability, rage, beer and hope, in exquisite proportions.
--Roger Angell in Season Ticket
Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young.
Trying to sneak a fastball past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster.
When we played softball, I'd steal 2nd base, feel guilty and go back.
I'm beginning to see Brooks [Robinson] in my sleep. If I dropped a paper plate, he'd pick it up on one hop and throw me out at first.
He's such a big, strong guy he should love that porch. He's got power enough to hit home runs in any park, including Yellowstone.
--Sparky Anderson on Willie Stargell batting in Tiger Stadium in the 1971 All Star game.
That's why I don't talk. Because I talk too much.
There's one word that describes baseball -- 'You never know.'
He's like an amusement-park ride - Even for guys who play.
--Ruben Amaro on Mark McGwire
"Baseball is dull only to dull minds." Red Barber, announcer
"I remember one game I got five hits and stole five bases, but none of it was written down because they forgot to bring the scorebook to the game that day." - James "Cool Papa" Bell, Homestead Grays OF
"They say I was born too soon. I say the doors were opened too late."
James "Cool Papa" Bell
"Jimmy Connors plays two tennis matches and winds up with $850,000, and Muhammad Ali fights for one bout and winds up with five million bucks. Me, I play 190 games--if you count exhibitions -- and I'm overpaid!"
"I was thinking of making a comeback until I pulled a muscle - vacuuming."
-- Johnny Bench, on how he felt about Charlton Fisk breaking his record for career home runs by a catcher.
"An ardent supporter of the home town team should go to a game prepared to take offense, no matter what happens."
"In batting practice, I don't think I hit one ball hard. It was frustrating, that bat was no good."
--Dante Bichette, Colorado Rockies OF, after Bichette hit for the cycle after flinging into the stands the bat he was using for batting practice
"I didn't get over 1300 walks without knowing the strike zone."
--Wade Boggs, on being ejected for the first time in the 17th year of his career for arguing a called third strike
"That's the nicest thing a returning player could ever ask for. It shows how classy the New York Fans are. It gave me a warm feeling inside."
--Wade Boggs, on the standing ovation he received on his first return to Yankee Stadium (6-3-98)
"This is nothing. I've got nine writers standing here. McGwire had 200 writers when he had 30 home runs."
--Barry Bonds (SF Giants OF), on being the first player to hit 400 home runs and steal 400 bases.
"A lot of long relievers are ashamed to tell their parents what they do. The only nice thing about it is that you get to wear a uniform like everbody else." - Jim Bouton, NY Yankees pitcher
"The older they get, the better they were when they were younger."
--Jim Bouton, on Old Timers Days. Note: Jim Bouton was invited to return to Yankee Stadium on July 26, 1998 for his first Old Timers Game after 30 years. There were bad feelings for many years after Jim wrote a book revealing that ballplayers weren't the angels that everybody had expected.
"Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?"
A ballplayer spends a good piece of his life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time."
--Jim Bouton, NY Yankees
"If I stay healthy, I have a chance to collect three thousand hits and one thousand errors."
--George Brett, Kansas City Royals 3B
"Yeah, he's in pain except between the first and ninth innings."
--Dave Bristol (Reds' manager), on Sandy Koufax and his elbow pains that forced him into early retirement.
"Show me a guy who's afraid to look bad and I'll show you a guy you can beat every time."
--St. Louis' Lou Brock
"No one wants to hear about the labor pains, they just want to see the baby."
"In high school I took a little English, some science, some hubcaps and some wheel covers."
--William James Gates Brown (Detroit Tigers OF)
When asked if his curve was helped by the absence of an index finger, Mordecai Brown replied, "To know for sure, I'd have to throw with a normal hand, and I've never tried it."
--Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown
"I can't conceive of either team winning a single game."
--Warren Brown (Chicago writer), when asked for a prediction as to the outcome of the 1945 World Series between the Cubs and the Tigers and an obvious reference to the wartime look of both teams.
"I can sit in a ballpark after a game and love looking at the field. Everybody's gone, and the ballpark is empty, and I'll sit there. I sit there and think, 'Is this as close to heaven as I'm going to get?' Or, 'If I get to heaven, will there be baseball?"
--Kim Braatz-Voisard, Silver Bullets' center fielder, 1997
"Jackie was the greatest competitor I ever saw. He didn't win. He triumphed."
--Ralph Branca, Dodger pitcher, 1947
Don Baylor, New York Yankees DH, on Billy Martin and his predecessor Yogi Berra: "Playing for Yogi is like playing for your father; playing for Billy is like playing for your father-in-law."
Dale Berra, Pittsburgh Pirate shortstop and son of noted linguist Yogi Berra, "The only thing my father & I have in common is that our similarities are different."
"You mix two jiggers of scotch to one jigger of Metrecal. So far I've lost five pounds and my driver's license."
--Rocky Bridges, minor league manager, on his new diet drink
"The players are too serious. They don't have any fun any more. They come to camp with a financial adviser and they read the stock market page before the sports pages. They concern themselves with statistics rather than simply playing the game and enjoying it for what it is." - Rocky Bridges, from The Sporting News, December 12, 1970
"It's a good thing I stayed in Cincinnati for four years -- It took me that long to learn how to spell it."
"Coaching third with a pitcher on base is like being a member of a bomb disposal squad. The thing could blow up in your face at any moment."
"You know when you've got it made? When you get your name in the crossword puzzles."
"I prefer fast food."
--Rocky Bridges, on why he won't eat snails
"No little boy in the hospital asked me to hit one, I didn't promise it to my kid for his birthday, and my wife will be too shocked to appreciate it. I hit it for me."
--Rocky Bridges, after hitting his first home run in two seasons
"The more I played with them, the more I found that no one could take a joke - my batting average."
--Rocky Bridges, on his two seasons with the Dodgers and his .237 batting average
"Coaching third with a pitcher on base is like being a member of a bomb disposal squad. The thing could blow up in your face at any moment."
"The trouble with having a wired jaw is that you can never tell when you're sleepy. You can't yawn."
On Jose Gonzalez changing his name to Jose Uribe: "He was definitely the player to be named later."
"Kids today are looking for idols, but sometimes they look too far... They don't have to look any farther than their home because those are the people that love you. They are the real heroes."
"Every member of our baseball team at West Point became a general: this proves the value of team sports."
--Gen. Omar Bradley
"They can hollar at the uniform all they want, but when they hollar at the man wearing the uniform, they're in trouble."
-- Umpire Joe Brinkman
"Nobody's gone after Reds with this much vigor since Joe McCarthy."
--Jeff Blair of the Montreal Gazette, on the Expos' Shane Andrews, who hit .471 (16-for-34) with six homers and 21 RBI against Cincinnati in August 1996
"The best place to catch a baseball hit by (Mark) McGwire is definitely not within the confines of the playing field, or sometimes even the ballpark. Other players dial '1' for long distance. McGwire has to ask for an international operator."
--Thomas Boswell, writing in the Washington Post
"Last year , in 415 at bats, he had 27 homers and 80 steals. That's 40 home runs and 120 steals for a full year. [...] This year , in 93 at bats, he's hitting .409 with those 12 homers, 27 RBI, 28 runs and 13 steals. For a full year, that projects to ... well, it doesn't project to anything. It's nonsense. More than 70 home runs, 170 RBI, 180 runs, 80 steals. Wayne Gretzky stats for baseball."
--Thomas Boswell on Eric Davis
"Baseball is religion without the mischief."
-- Thomas Boswell
"This is a tough park for a hitter when the air conditioning is blowing in."
--Bob Boone on the Astrodome in Houston
"There have been only two geniuses in the world: Willie Mays and Willie Shakespeare."
--Tallulah Bankhead, Actress (1903-1968)
"Expansion's coming up (in 1998), pitching is thin and I'm left-handed."
-- Former pitcher Tom Browning, who is eyeing a comeback after retiring last spring when he was unable to make the Royals' pitching staff
"I was hoping we'd be opening at Joe Robbie Stadium against Elmer Milktoast and the Gigiville nine. But unfortunately, it's Bobby Cox and the world champion Atlanta Braves in Atlanta."
--Florida Marlins manager John Boles on his managerial debut
"This is the type of thing that as a kid you dream about. Something I've done in my backyard a hundred times. And you never know if you're going to get the opportunity to do it."
--Scott Brosius (NY Yankees 3B) on hitting the game winning home run in Game 3 of the 1998 World Series. Brosius went on to win the 1998 World Series MVP.
"There were only two Bash Brothers (Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco), and one's in Boston now. Maybe I can be a Bash Stepchild."
--Oakland's Scott Brosius, who has 10 homers, after suggestions he's ready to become a Bash Brother.
"It's hard to win when you can't keep the ball in the ballpark. I don't think they could hit more home runs if you told them what was coming. I don't think they could hit any more if it was batting practice."
--Dusty Baker (SF Giants manager), on the Giants giving up 24 home runs in one seven game stretch.
"The only people I ever felt intimidated by in my whole life were Bob Gibson and my Daddy."
"For five years in the minor leagues, I wore the same underwear and still hit .250, so no, I don't believe in that stuff." - Dusty Baker, on stuperstitions
"I'm tired of it. I don't want to hear about it anymore."
"I get tired of hearing my ballplayers bellyache all the time. They should sit in the press box sometime and watch themselves play."
--San Diego Padres president Buzzie Bavasi, 1973
"How can a guy win a game if you don't give him any runs?"
--Robert "Bo" Belinsky, after losing a game 15-0
"Everybody in the park knows he is going to run, and he makes it anyway."
-- Larry Bowa, on Lou Brock
"He seemed to have an obligation to hit."
--Lou Brock, on Pete Rose
"Why Mr. Summers, don't you know that the spitter has been outlawed for years? How would I ever learn to throw one?"
-- Thomas Jefferson Davis Bridges, to plate umpire Bill Summers, after being accused of throwing the spitter
"There'll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The two o'clock bus will be for those of you who need a little extra work. The empty bus will leave at five o'clock."
--David Bristol, Milwaukee Brewers manager
"I threw about 90% fastballs and sliders, 50% fastballs and 50 % sliders...I'm starting to sound like Mickey Rivers."
"I exploit the greed of all hitters."
"Let them think I throw it. That gives me an edge because it is another pitch they have to worry about."
--Lew Burdette, on throwing the spitball
"They were starting to hit the dry side of the ball."
--Lew Burdette, on when he knew it was time to retire
"It's designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything is new again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains comes, it stops, and leaves you to face the fall alone."
--A Bartlett Giamatti, Comissioner of Baseball, 1989.
"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." Rogers Hornsby, Hall of Famer
Hello again, everybody. It's a bee-yooo-tiful day for baseball.
That's the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on the ball. -Bill Veeck, 1976
"No game in the world is as tidy and dramatically neat as baseball, with cause and effect, crime and punishment, motive and result, so cleanly defined." - Paul Gallico
"Baseball to me is still the national pastime because it is a summer game. I feel that almost all Americans are summer people, that summer is what they think of when they think of their childhood. I think it stirs up an incredible emotion within people." - Steve Busby
"You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but you gotta have a lot of little boy in you." - Roy Campanella
"One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something." - Nolan Ryan
"If I were playing third base and my mother were rounding third with the run that was going to beat us, I'd trip her. Oh, I'd pick her up and brush her off and say, 'Sorry Mom, but nobody beats me." -- Leo Durocher
"The hardest thing to do in baseball is to hit a round baseball with a round bat, squarely." -- Ted Williams
"I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter; that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit."
--Tim McCarver (St. Louis Cardinals catcher)
"Trying to hit him (Phil Niekro) was like trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks."
--Bobby Murcer, Yankees outfielder
"Why certainly I'd like to have that fellow who hits a home run every time at bat, who strikes out every opposing batter when he's pitching, who throws strikes to any base or the plate when he's playing outfield and who's always thinking about two innings ahead just what he'll do to baffle the other team. Any manager would want a guy like that playing for him. The only trouble is to get him to put down his cup of beer and come down out of the stands and do those things."
--Danny Murtaugh, manager
"I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to keep playing baseball." - Pete Rose
"When you're in a slump, It's almost as if you look out at the field and it's one big glove." - Vance Law
"The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews." - Sandy Koufax
"Nothing flatters me more than to have it assumed that I could write prose-unless it be to have it assumed that I once pitched a baseball with distinction." - Robert Frost
"When we lost I couldn't sleep at night. When we win I can't sleep at night. But when you win, you wake up feeling better." - Joe Torre
"A baseball club is part of the chemistry of the city. A game isn't just an athletic contest. It's a picnic, a kind of town meeting." - Michael Burke
"Baseball reflected the language of America, and spiced it, too. Presidents, politicians, executives, generals and parents touched all the bases regularly so that nobody would be out in left field or caught off the base in the greater pursuits of life. If you did it right, you hit a grand slam home run; if not you struck out." - Joseph Durso
"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is." - Bob Feller
All I want out of life, is that when I walk down the street folks will say, "There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived."
A hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz.
The other sports are just sports. Baseball is a love.
Life is like a baseball game. When you think a fastball is coming, You gotta be ready to hit the curve. -
If a man can beat you, walk him.
--Leroy (Satchel) Paige