Funny/Cool Baseball Catchphrases/Sayings

“You’re out and you’re ugly, too!” – title of a book by umpire Durwood Merrill. I don’t know if he ever said it in a game, but I love it.

Another from Berra: Yankee Stadium is (or was) oriented so that shadows from the stands started falling across the infield in the late innings of day games, prompting Berra to say, “It gets late early in Yankee Stadium”.

“I couldn’t see well enough to play when I was a boy, so they gave me a special job - they made me an umpire.”

– Harry S Truman

Whenever the Cubs were threatening to score but the next batter killed the rally by popping out, Harry Caray would say, “PAAAAAAHPPED it up!”

I’d attribute the Schulz quote to Lucy Van Pelt.

Dan Quisenberry was one of the most quotable people ever in sports:

“A manager uses a relief pitcher like a six shooter, he fires until it’s empty then takes the gun and throws it at the villain.”

About Ted Simmons: “He didn’t sound like a baseball player. He said things like ‘nevertheless’ and ‘if, in fact.’”

On how he broke out of a pitching slump: “I found a delivery in my flaw.”

About his contract: “It has options through the year 2020 or until the last Rocky movie is made.”

About having to bat in the World Series (he played in the AL, so normally didn’t have to bat): “I thought they were in a zone, but they were playing man to man.”

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

“Natural grass is a wonderful thing for little bugs and sinkerball pitchers.”

“Our fielders have to catch a lot of balls, or at least deflect them to someone who can.”

On home runs: “Reggie Jackson hit one off me that’s still burrowing its way to Los Angeles.”

On the 1981 work stoppage: “Strikes are real life. It took up seven weeks of real time. That’s a fifth of a pregnancy.”

On the California Angels: “They’re like the American League All-Star team, and that’s their problem, the American League All-Star team always loses.”

On winning the 1982 Rolaids reliever of the year award: “I want to thank all the pitchers who couldn’t go nine innings, and manager Dick Howser who wouldn’t let them go.”

“If we come back and win this thing, it will be like finding Amelia Earhart out on a date with Jimmy Hoffa.”

“George Steinbrenner has one simple ambition. He wants all the land next to his.”

About a comebacker hit by Wade Boggs that he kicked around before fielding it: “It played pinball wizard with my legs. It lit up all my bones and won a free game.”

Damn those are great!


One of my favorites is Buffslo Sabres hockey announcer Rick Generett, when, a player scored a goal…“top shelf where mother keeps the cookies”.

I can’t remember who the speaker was referring to when he said of a pitcher - ‘He’s got a million dollar arm and a ten cent head.’

Back in the late 80’s the Atlanta Braves were a truly awful team - losing 100 games a year for several straight years. At the end of one of those seasons, the first baseman, Gerald Perry, was asked about the season that just ended. He replied - “It would’ve been a good summer to paint the seats.”

Mike Shannon has a few he likes to bring out from time to time. Two I remember off the top of my head:

“A hit up the middle right now would be like a nice ham sandwich and a cold, frosty one.”

“Ol 'Abner has done it again!” for whenever a close game ends up with the best hitter at the plate in the ninth with runners on base.

I heard a Johnny Cueto hanging curve ball referred to as an “old fashioned, letter high cement mixer” last night on FS Ohio’s broadcast. I’m pretty sure that was Jeff Brantley.

No one’s mentioned Casey Stengel yet?

My favorite: “You take Kranepool. He’s 20 years old and a five-year veteran. In another five years, he’ll be a ten-year veteran. Then you take Goossen. He’s also 20 years old and there a good chance that in ten years he’ll be 30.”*

Or his testimony in front of congress (abridged):
"“I tell you what, I think baseball has spread, but if we are talking about anything spreading, we would be talking about soccer. You can go over in Italy, and I thought they would know DiMaggio every place. And my goodness, you mention soccer, you can draw fifty or a hundred thousand people. Over here you have a hard time to get soccer on the field, which is a great sport, no doubt.”
After he finished, Mickey Mantle was asked his opinion. He said, “My views are about the same as Casey’s.”

Stengel also said:
“The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.”
“Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It’s staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in.”
*Don’t add up the numbers. This is Casey.

Dizzy Dean:
“I know who’s the best pitcher I ever see and it’s old Satchel Paige, that big lanky colored boy. My fastball looks like a change of pace alongside that little pistol bullet ole Satchel shoots up to the plate.”

“If Satch and I were pitching on the same team, we would clinch the pennant by July Fourth and go fishing until World Series time.”

As for how “Dizzy” was bestowed upon Mr. Jay Hanna Dean, Ben Jones relates it here (1:57) with some help.

“He’s baseball’s exorcist, scares the devil out of you.” - Dick Sharon, speaking of Nolan Ryan.
“X-RAY OF DEAN’S HEAD REVEALS NOTHING” - Newspaper Headline about Dizzy Dean
“The best umpired game is the game in which the fans cannot recall the umpires who worked it.” - Bill Klem, one of the best umpires ever (speaking as an umpire myself, he is absolutely correct).
“Booze, broads, and bullshit. If you got all that, what else do you need?” - Famed annoucer Harry Caray.
“Just one (superstition). Whenever I hit a home run, I make certain I touch all four bases.” - Babe Ruth

I always liked the saying about the old Washington Senators:

First in War.
First in Peace.
Last in the American League.

Jeff Brantley is a pretty funny guy.

When catcher Tim McCarver would approach the mound to give advice to pitcher Bob Gibson, Gibson would always yell at him, “Go back behind the plate. The only thing YOU know about pitching is that you can’t hit it.”

Watching a Cubs game on TV about 20-25 years ago. A batter hits a blooper behind first base. The first baseman races back and lays out trying to catch the ball. He goes facefirst into the chalk line as the ball lands fair.

Steve Stone: “The batter reaches safely on a lime dive base hit.”

Jeff Lichtman’s post reminded me of another Quisenberry line. Referring to teammate Renie Martin, “Quiz” proclaimed: “Some pitchers throw to spots, some throw to zones. Renie throws to continents.”

In contrast to Martin, Satchel Paige was notable for his accuracy. Ken Harrelson once told a story about meeting Paige when “Hawk” was with the Kansas City A’s and Paige, then approximately 59 years old, was signed for a “stunt” appearance by owner Charlie Finley. Harrelson asked Paige, “Did you really put a gum wrapper on the plate when you were warming up and try to throw every pitch over that little piece of paper?” Paige replied, “Absolutely. And let me tell you, Hawk, I worked both sides of that wrapper.”

Incidentally, Paige allowed one hit in the three innings he pitched that September day in 1965.

I loved Quisenberry, even though he was murder on my Yankees.
But the Quisenberry quote I’ll always remember was a sad and profound one, not a funny one.

When he was dying from a brain tumor, he said,

People always want to know if I ever ask, “Why me?” And I never do, because… why NOT me?