Baseball Quotes

There are other sports (well one other… hockey) that I enjoy more than baseball, but the one area where baseball enjoys a clear superiority in is excellent quotes. Here are some of my favorites:

“Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”
Phillies manager Danny Ozark.

“He ain’t no rocket surgeon.”
Unnamed Montreal Expo, evaluating a teammate.

“Pain don’t hurt.”
Manager Sparky Anderson.

“There’s one word that describes baseball – 'You never know.”
Joquin Andujar

“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, on his new diet drink

“I’ve seen the future and it’s much like the present only longer.”
Dan Quisenberry

“How can a guy hit and think at the same time?”
Yogi Berra

“Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded man. It’s no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It’s a struggle for supremacy, survival of the fittest.”
Ty Cobb

“(Van) Mungo and I get along fine. I just tell him I won’t stand for no nonsense, and then I duck.”
Casey Stengel

Yogi is a treasure trove. So was Casey Stengel.

One of my favorites (and really appropriate considering the person it was asked to) was asked of Bill “Spaceman” Lee. When asked how much pressure he felt on the mound, he replied “thirty-two pounds per square inch at sea level.”

“Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical” – Yogi

“Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?” – Jim Bouton

“The only thing my father & I have in common is that our similarities are different.” – Dale Berra, Yogi’s son

"“Trying to hit him (Phil Niekro) was like trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks.” – Bobby Mercer
Zev Steinhardt

A few of my favorites:
“Philadelphia is the only city, where you can experience the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day.” - Mike Schmidt
“The only way I’m going to win a Gold Glove is with a can of spray paint.” - Reggie Jackson
“The secret of my success was clean living and a fast outfield.” - Lefty Gomez

and the immortal
“Winfield goes back to the wall, he hits his head on the wall and it rolls off! It’s rolling all the way back to second base. This is a terrible thing for the Padres.” - Jerry Coleman

<quote>If the people don’t want to come out to the park, nobody’s gonna stop them. </quote>
– -- Yogi Berra

<quote>The ballparks have gotten too crowded. That’s why nobody goes to see the game anymore. </quote>
– -- Yogi Berra

<quote>I won’t play for a penny less than fifteen hundred dollars.</quote>
– --Honus Wagner, turning down an offer of $2,000.

“Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean.”
Pedro Guerrero, on sportswriters

“I’m not an athlete. I’m a professional baseball player.”
John Kruk

“Always root for the winner. That way you won’t be disappointed.”
Tug McGraw

“I’m a four-wheel-drive pickup type of guy. So is my wife.”
Mike Greenwell

“I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me.”
Andre Dawson

Al Clark: I refuse to call a 52 year old man Sparky.

Jose Canseco: I thought I had it. I was twisting around like this. It grazed my glove, hit me on the head, and bounced over. I’ll be on ESPN for about a month.

Ron Darling: [on the 1990 lockout] Let me get this straight. The owners are about to shut down baseball when it’s more prosperous than it’s even been, and the players are the ones who have to get their urine tested?

Whitey Ford: Nellie [Fox] was the toughest out for me. In twelve years I struck him out once, and I think the umpire blew the call.

Hank Greenwald: Three more saves and he ties John the Baptist.

Rick Monday: [on Phil Niekro’s knuckleball] It actually giggles at you as it goes by.

Craig Nettles: It’s a good thing Babe Ruth isn’t here. If he was, George Steinbrenner would have him bat seventh and say he’s overweight.

As he died so young, that quotation is now both very true and very sad, in his personal case.

One more before I forget…
when they asked Tug McGraw which he preferred grass or artifical turf, he replied, “I don’t know, I’ve never smoked artifical turf.”

“If he raced his pregnant wife he’d finish third.”
Tommy Lasorda talking about Mike Scioscia

“When Charlie Finley had his heart operation it took eight hours. Seven just to find his heart.”
Steve McCatty (Oakland A’s pitcher)

“Being with a woman never hurt no professional baseball player. It’s staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in.”
Casey Stengel.

"Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise they won’t come to yours. "
Yogi Berra

Oh, and I couldn’t find a single Van Lingle Mungo quote, even though that would have really been great considering who made the OP. Oh well, at least he was famous for being chased off of Cuba by the machete weilding husband of a nightclub dancer.

If I could mine the old broadcasts of Jack Brickhouse, there would be dozens because he was so senile. I’ll never forget the game where I heard him announce with Kingman at bat, “Strike three. Kingman’s now on 1st with a walk.” They obviously put announcers in the Hall of Fame only for sentimental reasons.
At least with Harry Caray you knew it was the effect of the Budweisers.

I’ve used an Earl Weaver quote as a sig (“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”)

But probably my favorite is often sent to friends as a birthday quote. It’s Satchel Paige on ‘How to Stay Young’:

“Ya Gotta Believe.” – Tug McGraw

There was also a great quote that showed up in a reference book. The writer who heard it said, “That’s the greatest baseball quote I’ve ever heard, and I can’t even print it!” I’ll do it in a spoiler box to save tender eyes.

A scout was taking a look at Lefty Gomez when he was in the minors and decided not to sign him. The scout’s explanation: “No one with a cock that big can make it in the majors.”

My favorite, though (don’t know the source):

“The California Angels are like Kleenex. They pop up one at a time.”

I forget the player he was discussing, but in 1962, Casey Stengel was talking about one of the Mets’ young prospects, and said “He’s 21 years old, and in a couple of years, he’s got the potential to be 23.”

Reggie Jackson, on Nolan Ryan: “He’s the only pitcher to ever put fear in me. Not because he could get me out, but because he could kill me… You just hoped to mix in a walk so you could have a good night and go 0-for-3.”

Tony Gwynn, after 1998 NLCS, on whether an injury was causing him to slump in the post-season: “No, I just suck right now.”

Crash Davis: “If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid or because you’re not getting laid or because you wear women’s underwear, then you are.”

Jim Rome, this past Wednesday, on Minute Maid Park in Houston: “It’s so small you can hit wiffle balls out with a rolled-up newspaper.”

I’ve used an Earl Weaver quote as my sig on a PC baseball game board.

“God bless the three-run homer.”

I had used a paraphrased a Satchel Paige quote as my sig here for a while.

“Age is mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”

Fred Patek, then of the KC Royals, on being asked what it’s like to be the shortest player in the Majors:

“It’s a helluva lot better than being the shortest player in the Minors.”
Unknown plate umpire to catcher, after a particularly hard collision at home plate, “If you’ve got the ball, that man is out!”

Catcher, “Got the ball? I don’t even have my shinguards!”

Johnny Carson on the Dodgers’ fielding woes:
“What do Michael Jackson and the Dodgers have in common? They both wear gloves on their left hands and nobody knows why.”

The actual quote (one of my favorites):

“You take [Ed] Kranepool. He’s 20 and been in the majors for five years*. In another five years, he’ll be 25 and a ten-year veteran. Now you take [Greg] Goossen. He’s also 20 and in another ten years he’s got a good chance to be 30.”

*An exaggeration; Kranepool broke in at age 17.

My mother, at her first baseball game, remarking to my dad after seeing Ralph Kiner tagged out sliding head-first into second base: “He would have made it if he didn’t fall down”.

“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 are men on base.” – Dave Barry

"Why does everybody stand up and sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ when they’re already there? " – Larry Andersen

“During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.” – Mickey Mantle

“Putting lights in Wrigley Field is like putting aluminum siding on the Sistine Chapel.” – Roger Simon

“What are we at the park for except to win? I’d trip my mother. I’d help her up, brusher her off, tell her I’m sorry. But mother don’t make it to third.” – Leo Durocher

“I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks in batting practice.” – Casey Stengel

"Sandy’s [Koufax] fastball was so fast, some batters would start to swing as he was on his way to the mound. " – Jim Murray

When asked how to diaper a baby, Jimmy Peirsall responded:
"Spread the diaper in the position of the diamond with you at bat. Then fold second base down to home and set the baby on the pitcher’s mound. Put first base and third together, bring up home plate and pin the three together. Of course, in case of rain, you gotta call the game and start all over again. "

"When Steve [Carlton] and I die, we are going to be buried in the same cemetery, 60-feet 6-inches apart. " – Tim McCarver

And one of my personal favorites:

“You know it’s summertime at Candlestick when the fog rolls in, the wind kicks up, and you see the center fielder slicing open a caribou to survive the ninth inning.” – Bob Sarlette

Zev Steinhardt

A fellow board member gave me this one not too long ago:

“You spend a good part of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.”
– Jim Bouton