The Players Speak
Quotable Quotes

Joe Adcock: "Trying to sneak a fastball past Hank Aaron is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster."

Dale Alexander: " I couldn't run and I couldn't field, so when I got hurt, that was the end."

Hugh Alexander: "'I think they felt sorry for me, I was 20 years old and there were only about 20 scouts in the entire league. But all I knew was how to play baseball.''

''I never think about having one hand, I made up my mind to completely forget about it. Driving down the highway, I may reminisce to myself, but I'm not going to be sad about it. I said, 'I'm not going to let this kill me,' and I know that's what made me a successful scout.''

Gene Autry: "Grantland Rice, the great sportswriter once said, 'It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.' Well Grantland Rice can go to hell as far as I'm concerned."

Rex Barney: "I should have been up there with the greats, I should have gone right up the ladder in 1949, but too many rungs were missing."

Bo Belinsky: "How can a guy win a game if you don't give him any runs?"

"Philadelphia fans would boo funerals, an Easter egg hunt, a parade of armless war vets, and the Liberty Bell."

Yogi Berra:"It's like deja vu all over again."

"We made too many wrong mistakes."

"You can observe a lot just by watching."

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

"He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."

"If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."

"If you don't know where you're going, you might end up some place else."

Responding to a question about remarks attributed to him that he did not think were his:
"I really didn't say everything I said."

"The future ain't what it use to be."

"I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house."

On why he no longer went to Ruggeri's, a St. Louis restaurant:
"Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded."

"I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."

"We have deep depth."

14. "All pitchers are liars or crybabies."

When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home, which is accessible by two routes: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours."

"Never answer anonymous letters."

On being the guest of honor at an awards banquet: "Thank you for making this day necessary."

"The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase."

"Half the lies they tell about me aren't true."

As a general comment on baseball: "90% of the game is half mental."

"I don't know (if they were men or women running naked across the field),
they had bags over their heads."

"It gets late early out there."

Carmen Berra, Yogi's wife asked: "Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?" Yogi's answer: "Surprise me."

Moe Berg: "Good fielding and pitching, without hitting, or vice versa, is like Ben Franklin's half pair of scissors."

Bill Bergen:
"It was as if he was possessed. The ghosts got to him and never let him go."
-on his late brother Marty shortly after he killed his family and them himself.

Wally Berger:
"I never thought of records, I just liked to hit."

Bill Bevens: "I guess that's as close as you can get. I was just happy to be there in the World Series"

Vern Bickford: "that was the prettiest curve ball I ever threw."-commenting on the final pitch to duke Snyder that he threw to complete his no-hitter of August 11th, 1950

"That was the biggest disapointment of my life."-commenting on failing to win his 12th game in 1950

Frank Biscane:
"I get a sore arm every year but I always work it out."

Ping Bodie:
I didn't room with him. I roomed with his suitcase. (On Babe Ruth)

Bob Bowman:
I'm not a villan...every pitcher in the league has been thanking me for hitting that son-of-a-bitch." -after Bowman beaned Joe Medwick.

Tommy Bridges: "Why Mr. Summers (plate umpire Bill Summers), don't you know that the spitter has been outlawed for years? How would I ever learn to throw one?"

Ken Caminiti: "I owe my success to expansion pitching, a short right field fence, and my hollow bats."

"Look at all the money in the game. A kid got $252 million. So I can't say, 'Don't do it,' not when the guy next to you is as big as a house and he's going to take your job and make the money."

"I've made a ton of mistakes. I don't think using steroids is one of them."

"It's no secret what's going on in baseball. At least half the guys are using [steroids]. They talk about it. They joke about it with each other. ... I don't want to hurt fellow teammates or fellow friends. But I've got nothing to hide."

"I think it was more of an attitude. There is a mental edge that comes with the injections. And it's definitely something that gets you more intense. The thing is, I didn't do it to make me a better player. I did it because my body was broke down."

"I got really strong, really quick. I pulled a lot of muscles. I broke down a lot." I'm still paying for it. My tendons and ligaments got all torn up. My muscles got too strong for my tendons and ligaments. And now my body's not producing testosterone. You know what that's like? You get lethargic. You get depressed. It's terrible."

Joe Cantillion: "This boy throws so fast you can't see 'em and he knows where he is throwing, because if he didn't there would be dead bodies all over Idaho." (Commenting on Walter Johnson)

Norm Cash: "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."

Eddie Cicotte: "I did it for the wife and kids." (On why he participated in the 1919 Scandle)

Jim Curry: "Who did that? Did you do it?" (Jim Curry asking who in the Yankee Clubhouse had tied up his street clothes in knots)

Joe Dugan:
"It's always the same, Combs walks, Koening singles, Ruth hits one out of the park, Gehrig doubles, Lazzeri triples. Then Dugan goes in the dirt on his can."

"Born? Hell, Babe Ruth wasn't born. He fell from a tree."

Jimmie Dykes: "The manager's toughest job is not calling the right play with the bases full and the score tied in an extra inning game. It's telling a ballplayer that he's through, done, finished."

Art Fletcher: "Gomez, you must be crazy. It took you 133 years to get to third base and you want to ruin it."

Curt Flood: "Dear Mr. Kuhn, After twelve years in the major leagues, I do not feel that I am a piece of property to be bought and sold irrespective of my wishes"

"Everyobody thinks of baseball as a sacred cow. When you have the verve to challenge it, people look down thier noses at you. There are a lot of things wrong with a lot of is one of them."

Fred Haney: "He [Lew Burdette] would make coffee nervous."

Ralph Kiner: "Now coming to bat for the Mets, Gary Cooper."

"We'll be back after this word from Manufacturers Hangover."

"That's the great thing about baseball, you never know what's going on."

"Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water. The other third is covered by Garry Maddox."

"All his saves have come in relief appearances."

Ralph Kiner is married four times, including to 1950s tennis star Nancy Chaffee.

"On Father's Day, we again wish you all a Happy Birthday."

"The Mets have gotten their leadoff hitter on only once this inning."

"There's a lot of heredity in that family."

Ted Kluszewski: "I'm not sure what the hell charisma is, but I get the feeling it's Willie Mays."

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 through it without bumping into anything? Well, it's harder than that.

Mark Koenig: "He had such a beautiful swing, he even looked good striking out." - (On Babe Ruth)

Marty Krug: "It was the worst day of my life." (On witnessing the accidental death of his friend Gus Sandberg)

Frank Lane: "There are only two things that will prevent him from greatness: a knife and a fork."

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

"Of all the Yankee hitters, Thurman Munson was the one that scared me the most when he came up. He had that swing and that heart, he was just totally clutch."

Nemo Leibold: "I don't owe baseball anything and baseball doesn't owe me anything."

Dale Long:
"You can shake a dozen glove men out of a tree, but the bat separates the men from the boys."

Ron Luciano: "Throwing people out of a game is like learning to ride a bicycle--once you get the hang of it, it can be a lot of fun."

"No one ever grew up intending to be an umpire, except perhaps my friend Bill Haller. His brother Tom wanted to be a catcher, so an affinity for masks must run in that family."

"Umpire's Heaven is a place where he works third base every game. Home is where the heartache is."

"Thurman Munson was easy to umpire behind. He never held a grudge if I blew a call and was always a lot of fun to talk to, besides being a great catcher"

Roger Maris: "As a ballplayer, I would be delighted to do it again. As an individual, I doubt if I could possibly go through it again." (on breaking Ruth's 60 HR record)

Billy Martin: "It seems to me the official rule book should be called the funny pages. It obviously doesn't mean anything. The rule book is only good for you when you go deer hunting and run out of toilet paper."

"He should shut his goddamn mouth up before I shut it up for him" (on Boston Pitcher Bill Lee after Lee made comments about Martin's relationship with his daughter)

"He was ready for anything back there."
-on Thurman Munson

"Thurman was one of the things you could always count on."
-on Thurman Munson

Thurman Munson: "Look, I like hitting fourth, and I like the good batting average, but what I do every day behind the plate is a lot more important because it touches so many more people, and so many more aspects of the game."

"Go ask him who won the fight, he knows" (Thurman telling reporters after a fight with Carlton Fisk)

"I'm a little too belligerent. I cuss and swear at people. I yell at umpires and maybe I'm a little too tough at home sometimes. I don't sign as many autographs as I should and I haven't always been very good with writers."

"I guess Graig hit him with his purse."-after a brawl where Graig Nettles punched out Boston's Bill Lee

Danny Murtaugh: "Why certainly I'd like to have that fellow who hits a home run every time at bat, who strikes out every opposing batter when he's pitching, who throws strikes to any base or the plate when he's playing outfield and who's always thinking about two innings ahead just what he'll do to baffle the other team. Any manager would want a guy like that playing for him. The only trouble is to get him to put down his cup of beer and come down out of the stands and do those things."

Bobo Newsome: "He has a weakness for doubles" (Speaking About Joe DiMaggio during his 56 game hitting streak)

Wally Pipp: "I took the two most expensive aspirins in history." - After being replaced by Lou Gehrig in the lineup due to a headache.

Dan Quisenberry: "I became a better pitcher when I found a delivery in my flaw."

"Once I tried to drown myself with a shower nozzle after I gave up a homer in the ninth. I found out you can't."

"The batter still hits a grounder. But in this case the first bounce is 360 feet away." (On when his sinker stopped working)

"Natural grass is a wonderful thing for little bugs and sinkerball pitchers." - Dan Quisenberry (Kansas City Royals pitcher)

"It helps to be stupid if you're a relief pitcher. Relievers had to get into a zone of their own. I just hope I'm stupid enough."

"I've seen the future and it's much like the present, only longer."

On the best thing about baseball: "There's no homework."

"Most pitchers fear losing their fastball and, since I don't have one, the only thing I have to fear is fear itself."

Paul Richards: "Tell a ballplayer something a thousand times, then tell him again, because that may be the time he'll understand something."

Wilbert Robinson: "John McGraw was great as a ball player, great as a baseball manager and great as a man. He has had a wonderful career. Baseball suffers an irreparable loss with his death."

Chico Ruiz: "Bench me or trade me."

Eric Show: You can pitch a gem and lose, but you can't lose when you win.

Lou Sockalexis: "I have seen all the good outfielders of the League, and I am just as good as any of them." (Washington Post, May 20, 1897)

"If the small and big boys of Brooklyn find it a pleasure to shout at me, I have no objections. No matter where we play, I go through the same ordeal, and at the present time I am so used to it that at times I forget to smile at my tormentors, believing it to be part of the game. (Brooklyn Eagle, May 1897)

"Maybe someday I will be a great player, but not yet. I have a good deal to learn and watch every player, some of whom may do something of benefit to me to me another time."

"Will I succeed? Of course I will. You have no idea how anxious I am to learn every trick and point of the game. There are many little things that come up in nearly every game which are new to me, but the white players are good to me, and are always ready to advise me. (Sporting Life, June 19,1897)

Jim Spencer: "Our first trip into Boston after Thurman died, some assholes began chanting Munson sucks...totally classless."

Fresco Thompson:
"Willie Mays and his glove: where triples go to die."

Sammy Vick: "A rabbit didn't have to think to know what to do to dodge a dog...The same kind of instinct told Babe Ruth what to do and where to be."

Eddie Waitkus: “She had the coldest-looking face I ever saw.” (On Ruth Ann Steinhagen, the woman who shot him in 1949)

Ewart "Dixie" Walker: "I'd only been there (Zanesville, OH) a few days. and I woke up one morning and saw a big headline that said, 'Dixie walker Pitches Today'. It was jsut as simple as that. I don't know how the paper got the idea, but I was Dixie from then on."

Harry Walker: When you're winning, they say you have aggressive players when they spout off. When you're losing, they call it dissension.

One thing all managers hear that doesn't make any sense at all is for a pitcher to say, "I ought to have a right to stay in and win or lose my own game." He doesn't have that right. It isn't just his game. There are 24 other players who have a stake in it, plus the manager and the coaches, and everybody else in the organization. All have worked to field the team and are affected by what happens.

Bucky Walters: "There is no mystery to pitching."

"The object simply is to get the ball over."

"Each pitcher has to learn to make the most of what he has."

"Maybe it's time to revise pitching standards, and not expect a man to complete half or three-quarters of the games he starts."

"I don't think it's necessary to enlarge the strike zone or bring back a lot of mechanical pitches."

"If they want to do something for the pitchers, then let them raise the seams on the ball."

"Pitchers will learn or figure out some way to get even with the hitters and eventually stop them."

John M. Ward:
"There was a time when the National League stood for integrity and fair dealing. Today it stands for dollars and cents. Once it looked to the elevation of the game and an honest exhibition of the sport; today its eyes are on the turnstile... Players have been bought, sold and exchanged as though they were sheep instead of American citizens."

Jack Warhop: "I did and what are you going to do about it." (admitting to teammate Jim Curry that he had tied up his street clothes in knots, and moments before Curry knocked him out)

Smokey Joe Wood: "I slept a real sleep last night for the first time in many a night. When I wasn't lying awake thinking and planning and fighting over that furious pennant race, I was dreaming restless dreams about it."

Gene Woodling: "What can you say about Mickey after you say he was one of the greatest? He had talent he didn't realize he had. If he had [Joe] DiMaggio's serious bear-down attitude, there's no telling how great he could have been. With his one good leg, he could outrun everyone."