Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 20 Greatest Baseball Quotes of All Time

By: C.G. Morelli

Everybody loves a good sports quote. Ranging from witty insults to deep, sometimes spiritual, insights into life, a legendary line from our favorite athlete can serve as the inspiration that keeps you going, or as something that simply makes you laugh.

To me, no sport has contributed more generously to our supply of sports quotes than the game of baseball. You can easily spend endless hours reading through quotes relating to our nation’s pastime and trying to decide on a small list of favorites. Trust me. How do you think I came up with my list of The 20 Greatest Baseball Quotes of All-Time? Well, you didn’t think I’d keep them all to myself, did you?

So, grab yourself an ice-cold beer, some ballpark franks, and a few bags of peanuts and have a look for yourself. And don’t worry, you can toss the shells on the floor…we don’t mind.

Baseball’s 20 Greatest Quotes

20. Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh Pirates

“There ain’t much to being a ballplayer, if you’re a ballplayer.”

19. Lou Piniella, Cubs Manager

“Statistics are like bikinis. They show a lot, but never everything.”

18. Leo Durocher, Dodgers Manager
“I have never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes.”

17. Al Stump, Ty Cobb Biographer

“Was Ty Cobb psychotic throughout his playing career? The answer is yes.”

16. Richie Ashburn, Philadelphia Phillies

“A good lead-off hitter is a pain in the ass to pitchers.”

15. Rocky Bridges, Minor League Manager

“There are three things the average man thinks he can do better than anyone else: build a fire, run a hotel, and manage a baseball team.”

14. Cy Young, Boston Red Sox

“A man who isn’t willing to work from dreary morn till weary eve shouldn’t think about becoming a pitcher.”

13. Hank Aaron, Atlanta Braves

“The pitcher has got only a ball. I’ve got a bat. So the percentage in weapons is in my favor and I let the fellow with the ball do the fretting.”

12. Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies

“Anytime you think you have the game conquered, the game will turn around and punch you right in the nose.”

11. Durwood Merrill, AL Umpire

“Baseball is the only sport that lets the managers and coaches go out onto the field and rant and rave”

10. Willie Mays, New York Giants

Interviewer: “Willie, how do you compare this catch with other catches you’ve made?”
Willie Mays: “I don’t compare ‘em, I catch ‘em.”

9. Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds

“Slumps are like a soft bed…they’re easy to get into and hard to get out of.”

8. Casey Stengel, Mets Manager

“Come out and see my Amazin’ Mets. I been in the game a hundred years but I see new ways to lose I never knew existed.”

7. Stan Coveleski, Washington Senators

“Lord, baseball is a worryin’ thing.”

6. Tug McGraw, Philadelphia Phillies

“Ninety percent of my salary I spent on booze and women…and the other ten percent I wasted.”

5. Yogi Berra, New York Yankees

“Slump? I ain’t in no slump. I just ain’t hittin’.”

4. Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox

“All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say, ‘There goes the greatest hitter that ever lived.’”

3. Jim Bouton, New York Yankees

“You see, 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.”

2. Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees

“Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth…”

1. W.P. Kinsella, Author of Shoeless Joe (adapted to the screen as Field of Dreams)

“The one constant through all the years has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is part of our past. It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.”

It goes without saying that subjectivity is not something you can really apply to a list such as this. Therefore, it’s inevitable that one or more of your favorite quotes went missing. Here’s your chance to tell us which ones would make your list:


  1. "I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball." - Pete Rose

  2. "It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops." - A. Bartlett Giamatti