Wit and Wisdom of Baseball
Herewith, our collection of the 25 most famous, insightful or funny quotes about Our National Pastime -- in order (says us): "You spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time."
"I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball."
Bill "Spaceman" Lee
"Baseball's a very simple game. All you have to do is sit on your butt, spit tobacco, and nod at the stupid things your manager says."
"Throw him low smoke and we'll go pound some Budweiser." -- the Seattle Pilots manager's one-size-fits-all advice to his pitchers, often cited in Jim Bouton's classic book, Ball Four .
"The good Lord was good to me. He gave me a strong body, a good right arm and a weak mind."
"I went through baseball as a player to be named later."
"The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up." Honorable mention: "I signed with the Milwaukee Braves for three thousand dollars. That bothered my dad at the time because he didn't have that kind of dough. But he eventually scraped it up."
"Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day...Aren't we all?"
"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."
"My goals are to hit .300, score 100 runs, and stay injury-prone." Honorable mention: "We'll do all right if we can capitalize on our mistakes."
"Cadillacs are down at the end of the bat." -- The Pirates' slugger on why he didn't choke up. Honorable mention: "If Casey Stengel were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave."
"I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee."
"I won't be active in the day-to-day operations of the club at all." -- upon purchasing the Yankees in 1973. (He proceeded to become the most meddlesome owner in the history of sports.) Honorable mention: "Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa."
"There is nothing so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner."
"When I was a little boy I wanted to be a baseball player and join the circus. With the Yankees, I've accomplished both."
"The evil empire extends its tentacles even into Latin America." -- on the Yankees' signing of Cuban free agent pitcher Jose Contreras.
"I'm the straw that stirs the drink." Honorable mention: "The only reason I don't like playing in the World Series is I can't watch myself play."
"You gotta believe!"
"Don't look back, something might be gaining on you." Honorable mention: "My pitching philosophy is simple - keep the ball way from the bat."
"Can't anybody here play this game?" -- to his lovably awful 1962 Mets, who went 40-120. Honorable mention: "Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa"
Wee Willie Keeler
"I keep my eyes clear and I hit 'em where they ain't."
"Nice guys finish last."
Anonymous young fan
"Say it ain't so, Joe." -- to Chicago outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was accused of helping the "Black Sox" throw the 1919 World Series.
"It's a great day for a ballgame. Let's play two!"
"It ain't over `til it's over." The beloved Hall of Famer deserves his own gallery, but we'll also give honorable mention to: "Ninety percent of this game is half mental" and "If people don't want to come out the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?"