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Baseball
Quotes


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"Nothing in our daily life offers more of the comfort of continuity, the generational connection of belonging to a vast and complicated American family, the powerful sense of home, the freedom from time's constraints, and the great gift of accumulated memory than does our National Pastime."
-- Ken Burns

"Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball."
-- Jacques Barzun

"Baseball, because of its continuity over the space of America and the time of America, is a place where memory gathers."
-- Donald Hall

"[I]t's our game; that's the chief fact in connection with it: America's game; it has the snap, go, fling of the American atmosphere; it belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly as our Constitution's laws; is just as important in the sum total of our historic life."
-- Walt Whitman

"A game of great charm, in the adoption of mathematical measurements to the timing of human movements, the exactitudes and adjustments of physical ability to hazardous chance. The speed of the legs, the dexterity of the body, the grace of the swing, the elusiveness of the slide -- these are the features that make Americans everywhere forget the last syllable of a man's last name or the pigmentation of his skin."
-- Branch Rickey

"Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona."
-- George F. Will

"Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it's beginning to seem that way. We're reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick."
-- Thomas Boswell

"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer."
-- Ted Williams

"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

"Wake up the echoes at the Hall of Fame and you will find that baseball's immortals were a rowdy and raucous group of men who would climb down off their plaques and go rampaging through Cooperstown, taking spoils .... Deplore it if you will, but Grover Cleveland Alexander drunk was a better pitcher than Grover Cleveland Alexander sober."
-- Bill Veeck

"A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz."
-- Humphrey Bogart

"Baseball has done more to move America in the right direction than all of the professional patriots with all their cheap words."
-- Monte Irvin

"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 is a lot like life. The line drives are caught, the squibbers go for base hits. It's an unfair game."
-- Ron Kanehl

"I don't care how long you've been around, you'll never see it all."
-- Bob Lemon

"I never feel more at home than at a ballgame."
-- Robert Frost

"I don't want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want someone else to go chase it."
-- Rogers Hornsby

"Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second and keep your foot on first."
-- Frederick B. Wilcox

"A ball player's got to be kept hungry to become a big-leaguer. That's why no boy from a rich family ever made the big leagues."
-- Joe DiMaggio

"Baseball is more than a game to me, it's a religion."
-- William J Klem (umpire)

"The good players feel the kind of love for the game that they did when they were Little Leaguers."
-- Tome Seaver

"Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off."
-- Bill Veeck

"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 reviews."
-- Sandy Koufax

"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

"Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words."
-- Ernie Harwell

"There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball. Unfortunately, neither of them works."
-- Charlie Lau

"Baseball statistics are like a girl in a bikini. They show a lot, but not everything."
-- Toby Harrah

"You should enter a ballpark the way you enter a church."
-- Bill Lee

"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are, you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference."
-- Tommy Lasorda

"The two most important things in life are good friends and a strong bullpen."
-- Bob Lemon
"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

"To a pitcher, a base hit is the perfect example of negative feedback."
-- Steve Hovley

"Y is for Young, the magnificent Cy. People batted against him, but I never knew why."
-- Ogden Nash

"I have observed that baseball is not unlike war, and when you get right down to it, we batters are the heavy artillery."
-- Ty Cobb

"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."
-- Graig Nettles

"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 and complications."
-- Sadaharu Oh

"I ain't ever had a job. I just always play baseball."
-- Satchel Paige

"Good pitching will always beat good hitting and vice versa."
-- Bob Veal

"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."
-- Earl Weaver

"I knew when my career was over. In 1965 my baseball card came out with no picture."
-- Bob Uecker

"Now there's three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain."
 -- Casey Stengel

"Baseball is dull only to dull minds."
-- Red Smith, columnist

"Baseball is the only game left for people. To play basketball, you have to be 7 feet 6 inches. To play football, you have to be the same width."
-- Bill Veeck

"Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection."
-- Red Smith, columnist

"If you put a baseball and other toys in front of a baby, he'll pick up a baseball in preference to the others. The American boy starts swinging a bat as soon as he can lift one."
-- Tris Speaker

"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork."
-- Willie Stargell about Sandy Koufax

"Sandy's fastball was so fast, some batters would start to swing as he was on his way to the mound."
-- Jim Murray about Sandy Koufax

"Baseball is drama with an endless run and an ever-changing cast."
-- Joe Garagiola

"Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem."
-- Saul Steinberg

"Baseball fans are junkies, and their heroin is the statistic."
-- Robert S. Wieder

"Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical."
-- Yogi Berra

"That's the true harbinger of sping, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball."
-- Bill Veeck

"The game isn't over until it's over."
-- Yogi Berra

"Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it's beginning to seem that way. We're reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life."
-- Thomas Boswell

"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."
-- Roger Angell

"There's one word that describes baseball -- 'You never know.'"
-- Joquin Andujar

"This is a game to be savored, not gulped. There's time to discuss everything between pitches or between innings."
-- Bill Veeck

"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."
-- Roger Angell

"Baseball is a game dominated by vital ghosts; it's a fraternity, like no other we have, of the active and the no-longer-so, the living and the dead."
-- Richard Gilman

"If you're not having fun in baseball, you miss the point of everything."
-- Chris Chambliss

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

"The other sports are just sports. Baseball is a love."
-- Bryant Gumbel

"It's our game; that's the chief fact in connection with it; it has the snap, go, fling of the American atmosphere; it belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly as our Constitution's laws; it is just as important in the sum total of our historic life."
-- Walt Whitman

"Baseball? It's just a game -- as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It's a sport, business -- and sometimes even religion."
-- Ernie Harwell

"I shall tell my doctors baseball has more curative powers than all their medicine."
-- Herbert Hoover

"Baseball is a harbor, a seclusion from failure that really matters, a playful utopia in which virtuosity can be savored to the third decimal place of a batting average."
-- Mark Kramer

"The more baseball the better. It is a healthful sport and develops team play and initiative, plus an independent attitude."
-- Dwight Eisenhower

"Baseball is reassuring. It makes me feel as if the world is not going to blow up."
-- Sharon Olds

"[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart."
-- Bart Giamatti.

"Baseball is a boy's game that makes grown men cry."
-- Bill Veeck

"Baseball is a peculiar profession, perhaps the only one which capitalizes on a boyhood pleasure, unfits the athlete for any other career, keeps him young in mind and spirit, and then rejects him as too old before he has yet attained the prime of life."
-- Gerald Beaumont

"The only thing Abner Doubleday ever started was the Civil War."
-- Branch Rickey

"Baseball's time is seamless and invisible, a bubble within which players move at exactly the same pace and rhythms as all their predecessors. This is the way the game was played in our youth and in our fathers' youth, and even back then ... there must have been the same feeling that time could be stopped."
-- Roger Angell

"It is a game which is peculiarly suited to the American temperament and disposition."
-- Charles A. Peverelly

"The pressure never lets up. Doesn't matter what you did yesterday. That's history. It's tomorrow that counts. So you worry all the time. It never ends. Lord, baseball is a worrying thing."
-- Stan Coveleski

"This game will throw a challenge in your face every day."
-- Jim DeShaies