"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all."
"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."
"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
"There really is a Big Dodger in the Sky and I think he has come down and taken over Hersheiser's body."
Tommy Lasorda, after Hersheiser's eighth no-run job in ten starts 1988 [Baldham Boars]
"After the Series, the league above the major leagues will draft Orel Hersheiser as number one."
Mike Marshall, after Hersheiser shut Oakland out on three hits and got himself three hits in Game 2 of the 1988 World Series [Baldham Boars]
"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
"Trying to sneak a fastball past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster."
"Ideally, the umpire should combine the integrity of a Supreme Court judge, the physical agility of an acrobat, the endurance of Job and the imperturbability of Buddha."
Time Magazine, 8/25/61
"When you go through a game, make it every pitch like it was the last pitch that you'll ever call - you'll have a good game !"
Edwin D. Merrill, American League Umpire
"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
"Pro-rated at 500 at-bats per year, my 1,081 strike-outs would mean that for 2 years out of the 14 I played, I never touched the ball."
"I believe salaries are at their peak, not just in baseball, but all sports. It's quite possible some owners will trade away, or even drop entirely, players who expect $200,000 salaries. There's a superstar born every year... But still there is no way clubs can continue to increase salaries to the level some players are talking about."
Peter O'Malley, 1971.
"I believe in the Rip Van Winkle Theory: that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for seventy years, walk into a ballpark and understand baseball perfectly."
Bowie Kuhn, Commissioner of Baseball (1969-1984) [Baldham Boars]
"I think a baseball field must be the most beatiful thing in the world. It's so honest and precise. And we play on it. Every star gets humbled. Every mediocre player has a great moment."
Lowell Cohn in "The Temple of Baseball" (1981) [Baldham Boars]
"When we played softball, I'd steal 2nd base, feel guilty and go back."
"I'm not an athlete. I'm a professional baseball player."
"If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to safe the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base."
"When you think about it, a home run is a mistake. The idea is to hit the ball hard, on a line, so the defense can't react to it. Hit it high in the air, which is how most home runs are hit, and most of the time it will be caught. It's a mistake."
Matt Williams, Indians third baseman, always a threat to make a mistake. [Freising Grizzlies]
"One thing anyone can go through is a slump. Unless you're Greg Maddux, it's going to happen to everybody."
Mike Piazza, Dodgers Catcher [Freising Grizzlies]
"Errors are part of my image. One night in Pittsburgh, thirty thousand fans gave me a standing ovation when I caught a hot dog wrapper on the fly."
Dick "Stonefingers" Stuart, First Baseman for the Phillies, Pirates, Mets, Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox in the sixties, on himself [Baldham Boars]
"I owe my success to expansion pitching, a short right field fence, and my hollow bats."
Norm Cash, First Baseman for the White Sox and Tigers 1958-74 [Baldham Boars]
"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 [Baldham Boars]
"It was as though I had my own tool bench out there with me."
Whitey Ford Yankee Pitcher, on himself cheating [Baldham Boars]
"This is a tough park for a hitter when the air conditioning is blowing in."
Bob Boone on the Astrodome in Houston [Baldham Boars]
"I am the most loyal player money can buy."
Don Sutton, Pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics and California Angels [Baldham Boars]
Hello again, everybody. It's a bee-yooo-tiful day for baseball. - Harry Caray
It's an awesome feeling. How can you not get chills? - Mark McGwire, on hitting HR #1, 31Mar98
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
Bring me my bat of burning gold! Bring me my pine tar of desire! Bring me my glove! O clouds unfold! Bring me my fastball of fire! -Unknown r.s.b netter
Why do people sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" when they are already there? Neither songwriter Albert von Tilzer or Jack Norworth (who wrote the lyrics) had ever been to a baseball game when they penned "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in 1908. It was not until after the song was a hit that either attended an "old ballgame." - "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader"
I loved the game. I'd have played for food money. I'd have played for free and worked for food. It was the game, the parks, the smells, the sounds. Have you ever held a bat or a baseball to your face? The varnish, the leather. And it was the crowd, the excitement of them rising as one when the ball was hit deep. The sound was like a chorus. Then there was the chug-a-lug of the tin lizzies in the parking lots, and the hotels with their brass spittoons in the lobbies and brass beds in the rooms. It makes me tingle all over like a kid on his way to his first double-header, just to talk about it. - Joe Jackson, in W.P.Kinsella's Shoeless Joe Jackson
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come. - James Earl Jones as Terence Mann, in Field of Dreams
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones. And the only church that truly feeds the soul, day-in day-out, is the Church of Baseball. -Annie Savoy, in Bull Durham
If there is one thing that I can say about myself, it's that I was able to realize my potential in the game of baseball and hopefully also as a person. If through this scholarship, we can help even one young person realize his or her potential, then we have succeeded tremendously. It is a great honor to be associated with such a worthy and needy cause and I applaud this year's recipients for their achievements. -Willie Stargell, HOF'er, on awarding the first Willie Stargell Scholarship, 22Apr98
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
It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. -A. Bartlett Giamatti, "The Green Fields of the Mind"
A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. -Jackie Robinson
Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms... The game of ball is glorious. -Walt Whitman
- Jacques Barzun
"In the beginning there was no baseball. But ever since
then there have been few beginnings as good as the start of a new baseball
season. It is the most splendid time in sports."
"... The diamonds and the rituals of baseball create an
elegant trivial. Enchanted grid on which our suffering shapeless sinful
day leans for the momentary grace of order."
"I see great things in baseball, it's our game-the American game. It will take our people out of doors, fill them with oxygen, give
them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us."
"I think a baseball field must be the most beautiful thing
in the world. It's so honest and precise. And we play on it. Every star
gets humbled. Every mediocre player has a great moment."
"Ninety feet between the bases is the nearest thing to
perfection that man has yet achieved."
"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."
"Man may penetrate the outer reaches of the universe,
he may solve the very secret of eternity itself but for me, the ultimate
human experience is to witness the flawless execution of the hit-and-run."
"The clock doesn't matter in baseball. Time stands still
or moves backwards. Theoretically, one game could go on forever. Some seem
"I believe in the Rip Van Winkle theory - that a man from
1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for seventy years, walk
into a ballpark and understand baseball perfect."
"Baseball is the only thing beside the paper clip that
"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."
"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."
"Boys would be big leaguers, as everybody knows, but so
would big leaguers be boys."
"You gotta be a man to play baseball for a living, but
you gotta have a lot of little boy in you."
"When I was a small boy in Kansas, a friend of mine and
I went fishing.... I told him I wanted to be a real Major League Baseball
Player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd
like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish."
"Growing up is a ritual-more deadly than religion, more
complicated than baseball, for There seemed to be no rules. Everything
is experienced for the first time. But baseball can soothe even those pains,
for it is stable and permanent, steady as grandfather dozing in a wicker
chair on a verandah."
"... I feel an invisible bond between our three generations,
an anchor of loyalty linking my sons to the grandfather whose face they
never saw but whose person they have already come to know through this
most timeless of all sports, the game of baseball."
"The strongest thing baseball has going for it today is
"Baseball is really two sports-the summer game and the
autumn game. One is the leisurely pastimes of our national mythology. The
other one is not so gentle."
"Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what
is most truly is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely
pace, baseball is violence under wraps."
"The great American game should be an unrelenting war
"The great thing about baseball is that there's a crisis
"Love America and hate baseball? Hate America and love
baseball? Neither is possible, except in the abstract."
"It is the sport that a foreigner is least likely to take
to. You have to grow up playing it, you have to accept the lore of the
bubble gum card, and believe that if the answer to the Mays-Mantle-Snider
question is found, then the universe will be a simpler and more ordered
"There have been only two geniuses in the world, Willie
Mays and Willie Shakespeare."
"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."
"The best baseball people are cartesian. That is, they
apply Descartes' methods to their craft, breaking it down into bite-size
components, mastering them and then building the craft up, bit by bit...
Master enough little problems and you will have few big problems."
"Baseball is democracy in action: in it all men are "free
and equal," regardless of race, nationality, or creed. Every man is given
the rightful opportunity to rise to the top on his own merits.... It is
the fullest expression of freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom
of assembly in our national life."
"Humanity is the keystone that holds nations and men together.
When that collapses, the whole structure crumbles. This is as true of baseball
teams as any other pursuits in life."
"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."
"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."
"I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to keep playing
"Baseball gives you every chance to be great. Then it
puts pressure on you to prove that you haven't got what it takes. It never
takes away the chance and it never eases up on the pressure."
"I ain't ever has a job I just always played baseball."
"I loved the game, I loved the competition. But I never
had any fun. I never enjoyed it. All hard work all the time."
"It's tomorrow that counts. So you worry all the time.
It never ends. Lord, baseball is a worrying thing."
"No one can stop a home run. No one can understand what
it really is, unless you have felt it in your own hands and body.... As
the ball makes its high, long arc beyond the playing field, the diamond
and the stands suddenly belong to one man. In that brief, brief time, you
are free of all demands an complications."
"How hard is hitting? You ever walk into a pitch-black
room full of furniture that you've never been in before and try to walk
though it without bumping into anything? Well, it's harder than that."
"The greatest thrill in the world is to end the game with
a home run and watch everybody else walk off the field while you're running
the bases on air."
"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can
succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer."
"When you're in a slump, It's almost as if you look out
at the field and it's one big glove."
"Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion,
a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit
anywhere you like except in the umpire's eye or on the ball."
"Umpire's heaven is a place where he works third base
every game. Home is where the heartache is."
"Let's face it. Umpiring is not an easy or happy way to
make a living. In the abuse they suffer, and the pay they get for it, you
see an imbalance that can only be explained by their need to stay close
to a game they can't resist."
"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."
"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."
"The pitcher is happiest with his arm idle. He prefers
to dawdle in the present, knowing that as soon as he gets on the mound
and starts his windup, he delivers himself to the uncertainty of the future."
"You don't save pitchers for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may
"It's no fun throwing fastballs to guys who can't hit
them. The real challenge is getting them out on stuff they can hit."
"Oh, hell, if you win twenty games they want you to do
it every year."
"The two most important things in life are good friends
and a strong bullpen."
"There are only two places in this league, first place
and no place."
"If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like
kissing you grandmother with her teeth out."
"There should be a new way to record standings in this
league; one column for wins, one for losses and one for gifts."
"Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand."
"Baseball is like a poker game, nobody wants to quit when
he's losing: nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead."
"Baseball is a lot like life. The line drives are caught,
the squibbers go for base hits. It's an unfair game."
"Any time you think you have the game conquered the game
will turn around and punch you right in the nose."
"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."
"The only way to prove you're a good sport is to lose."
"I cannot get rid of the hurt from losing.... But after
the last out of every loss, I must accept that there'll be a tomorrow.
In fact, It's more than there'll be a tomorrow: it's that I want there
to be a tomorrow. That's the big difference. I want tomorrow to come."
"Baseball is the best sport for a writer to cover, because
it's daily. It's ongoing. You have to fill the need, write the daily soap
"If you've been around a group of actors, you've noticed,
no doubt, that they can talk of nothing else but acting... It's exactly
the same way with baseball players. Your heart must be in your work."
"It is the best of all games for me. It frequently escapes
from the pattern of sport and assumes the form of a virile ballet.... The
movement is natural and unrehearsed and controlled only by the unexpected
flight of the ball."
"Last year, more Americans went to symphonies than went
to baseball games. This may be viewed as an alarming statistic, but I think
that both baseball and the country will endure."
"There are two classes of people whose wealth is always
exaggerated by the great public. They are actors and ballplayers."
"A ballplayer has two reputations, one with the other
players and one with the fans. The first is based on ability. The second
the newspapers gives him."
"Fans don't boo nobodies."
"A guy who's played one game on the pros is like a former
state senator, a big man in most neighborhoods and in any saloon as long
as he lives."
"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."
"While you're playing ball, you're insulated. All the ballparks and big crowds have a certain mystique, you feel attached, permanently wedded to the sounds that ring out, to the fans chanting you name, even when there are only four or five thousand in the stands on a Wednesday afternoon."
- Mickey Mantle
"The guy with the biggest stomach will be the first to
take off his shirt at a baseball game."
"With those who don't give a damn about baseball I can
only sympathize. I do not resent them. I am even willing to concede that
many of them are physically clean, good to their mothers and in favor of
world peace. But while the game is on, I can't think of anything to say
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