Quotes About Baseball

There are quotes about baseball from outside the foul lines that are almost as memorable as those by the players themselves.

From managers to broadcasters, politicians to actors, fans of the game can be found everywhere.  Here are some of their best quotes about baseball.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XY&Z

Quotes About Baseball:  A

Jack Aker

Cleveland Indians pitching coach

“It’s the underground nuclear testing.  Because of that all gravity is leaving the earth, and so are the baseballs.”
– on the large number of home runs in 1973

Tim Alborn
historian, Lehman College professor
“Americans sometimes don’t recognize this, but for Britain to move away from the monarchy is like us moving away from baseball.”

Nelson Algren


“Benedict Arnold Betrayers of American Boyhood.  Not to mention American Girlhood and American Womanhood and American Hoodhood.”

Mel Allen


“How ’bout that, sports fans?”
– his signature line

“The Yankees have all the hits in the game.”
– during Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, avoiding the taboo of mentioning a no-hitter

Woody Allen

actor, director

“I love baseball, you know it doesn’t have to mean anything, it’s just very beautiful to watch.”

Sparky Anderson

Hall of Fame manager

Sparky Anderson

“My idea of managing is giving the ball to Tom Seaver and sitting down and watching him work.”

“If you’ve got a group that wants to win, you’ve got to let them.”

“I don’t want to embarrass any other catcher by comparing him with Johnny Bench.”

“He’s got power enough to hit home runs in any park, including Yellowstone.”
– on Willie Stargell

“A baseball manager is a necessary evil.”

“Baseball is a simple game.  If you have good players, and if you keep them in the right frame of mind, then the manager is a success.  The players make the manager.  It’s never the other way.”

“I’ve got my faults, but living in the past isn’t one of them.  There’s no future in it.”

“I’ve changed my mind about it.  Instead of being bad, it stinks.”
– on the designated hitter

Roger Angell


“Baseball’s time is seamless and invisible, a bubble within which players move at exactly the same pace and rhythms as all their predecessors.”

“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.”

“Front-office brilliance is rarer in baseball than the triple play.”

Chester A. Arthur

21st President of the United States

“Good ballplayers make good citizens.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  B

Arthur “Bugs” Baer

journalist, humorist

“McGraw wouldn’t pay that for a kid who could throw a lamb chop past a wolf.”

“He would climb a mountain to take a punch at an echo.”
– on Ty Cobb

“His head was full of larceny, but his feet were honest.”
– on a base-stealer who was thrown out

Russell Baker

journalist, writer

“Every day in every way, baseball gets fancier.  A few more years and they’ll be playing on oriental rugs.”

Red Barber


“Baseball is my favorite sport…because it is orderly.  Football is organized confusion.  Even the coaches don’t know anything about it until they get it on film.  And basketball is just fellows running up and down in their undershorts.”

“Why is baseball the best sport to broadcast?  The baseball announcer must know the game thoroughly because the game is so open and the fans so knowledgeable.  The slightest mistake is glaringly obvious.”

“This is Red Barber speaking.  Let me say hello to you all.”
– major league baseball’s debut TV broadcast in 1939

Dave Barry


“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there is a man on base.”
– one of the best funny quotes about baseball

Buzzie Bavasi

San Diego Padres president, baseball commissioner

“You keep defying major-league hitters to hit you and they will.”

“Players have lost all loyalty to a club, to their teammates, and perhaps even to themselves.”

Robert Benchley


“An ardent supporter of the home town team should go to a game prepared to take offense, no matter what happens.”

Chris Berman


“There are three things that a male cannot change in our society…They are: his date of birth, social security number, and baseball team.  Oh, you can change allegiances in football or basketball.  But not baseball.”

Dale Berra

son of Yogi Berra

“Our similarities are different.”
– comparing himself to his father

Lucy Jane Bledsoe


“The crack of the bat against a ball has been my mantra, a sound I hear in desperate moments, at times when I crave total satisfaction, a sound I hear over and over when I want something very badly but can’t express what it is.”

Roy Blount, Jr.

writer, humorist

“The DH is unnatural–like beer with fruit in it.”

Humphrey Bogart


“A hot dog at the game beats roast beef at the Ritz.”

Erma Bombeck

humorist, columnist

“Call me a traditionalist, but there’s something not right about going to a baseball game and eating crab soup and a Caesar salad.  A ballpark hot dog is America.  It goes with the crack of the bat, the organ music, and the guys in the dugout who are either spitting something brown and disgusting or blowing bubbles the size of the Hindenburg.”

“Nearly everyone’s son wants to be a baseball player.  Why not?  What other profession could he choose where he can slide around in the dirt, never work when it rains and spit whenever he wants?”

Fred Borsch


“On any given day…come out to the ballpark and you’ll see something different.”

Thomas Boswell


“More than any other American sport, baseball creates the magnetic, addictive illusion that it can almost be understood.”

“Any person claiming to be a baseball fan who does not also claim to have invented the quickest, simplest and most complete method of keeping score probably is a fraud.”

“All baseball fans can be divided into two groups:  those who come to batting practice and the others.  Only those in the first category have much chance of amounting to anything.”

Bobby Bragan

Milwaukee Braves manager

“Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be about perfectly comfortable.”
– on baseball statisticians

Jimmy Breslin

author, journalist

“Baseball isn’t statistics, it’s Joe DiMaggio rounding second base.”
– one of the best quotes about baseball

Charles Bricker


“Being named manager of the Seattle Mariners is like becoming the head chef at McDonald’s.”

Rocky Bridges

minor league manager

“If you don’t catch the ball, you catch the bus.”

“We may lose again tomorrow, but not with the same guys.”

“I got a charge out of seeing Ted Williams hit.  Once in a while they let me try and field some of them, which sort of dimmed my enthusiasm.”

Bob Broeg


“1941.  That was the season DiMaggio put together the incredible 56-game hitting streak, perhaps the most amazing feat of sustained excellence in baseball history.”

“I look back in amazement now that we ever tolerated a day without the blacks in the big leagues.”

Warren Buffett


“Investing is like batting in baseball, except that you get as many pitches as you want and you never have to swing.  Wait for the home run before investing.”

Michael Burke

New York Yankees president

“A baseball club is part of the chemistry of the city.  A game isn’t just an athletic contest.  It’s a picnic, a kind of town meeting.”

W.R. Burnett

screenwriter, novelist

“The true fan is not only violently partisan, but very noisy and an expert a offering advice to the home team–sometimes in not very polite terms.  I used to amuse myself with wondering what would happen if a group of fans of this order would turn up at a tennis match or a golf meet.”

Ken Burns

documentary filmmaker

“Baseball tells us who we are; it is a barometer of our country.”

George H.W. Bush

41st president of the United States

“Baseball is just the great American pastime…I think it’s the joy of feeling part of [the game] more than other sports–wondering whether the guy is going to walk the hitter on purpose, wondering if the steal sign is on, wonder if he’s going to bring in the relief pitcher.  The fan somehow feels more a part of the game sitting in the stands.  A lot of them are faster moving, but in baseball I get caught up in what I’d do if I were managing.”

George W. Bush

43rd president of the United States

“Yogi’s been an inspiration to me–not only because of his baseball skills, but of course for the enduring mark he left on the English language.  Some of the press corps even think he might be my speechwriter.”
– on Yogi Berra

“I got the dish at home now, and when I work, I like to keep a game on.”

Vannevar Bush

engineer, scientific researcher

“It is still a grand game because it exemplified strategy in the raw, and because it has about it an air of mystery.”
– on baseball

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  C

Abraham Cahan

Yiddish novelist

“Let your boy play baseball and become excellent in playing the game.”

Jimmy Cannon

sports journalist

“It is part of our national history that all boys dream of being Babe Ruth before they are anyone else.”

“Baseball survives because guys like Clemente still play it.”
– referring to Roberto Clemente

Mary Cantwell

journalist, novelist

“To me Williams was human only when he opened his mouth and confirmed, again and again, my conviction that idols should seldom, if ever, speak.”
– on Ted Williams

Truman Capote


“They’re going to win a pennant or something.  That’s nice.”
– on the 1969 Mets

Harry Caray

Chicago Cubs announcer

“It’s the fans that need spring training.  You gotta get ’em interested.  Wake ’em up.  Let ’em know that their season is coming, the good times are gonna roll.”

“Aw, how could he lose the ball in the sun?  He’s from Mexico.”
– on Jorge Orta

George Carlin


“In football the object is to march into enemy territory and cross his goal.  In baseball the object is to go home.”

Johnny Carson

Tonight Show host

“There are close to 11 million unemployed and half of them are New York Yankees managers.”

Frank Cashen

Baltimore Orioles general manager

“Never in the history of baseball have so many refused to play for so much.”
– on 1972 holdouts

Bruce Catton

journalist, Civil War historian

“Say this much for big league baseball–it is beyond any question the greatest conversation piece ever invented in America.”

Audrey Chambliss

wife of Chris Chambliss

“We have now way to release our pent-up emotions.  The men on the field can run and curse.  We have to sit here and grin.”
– on being a baseball wife

John Cheever


“The poet or storyteller who feels that he is competing with a superb double play in the World Series is a lost man.  One would not want as a reader a man who did not appreciate the finesse of a double play.”

“To be an American and unable to play baseball is comparable to being a Polynesian and unable to swim.”

Bill Clinton

42nd president of the United States

“I can identify with Babe Ruth.  He was a little overweight and he struck out a lot. But he hit a lot of home runs because he went to bat.”

Jerry Coleman

San Diego Padres announcer

Jerry Coleman

“McCovey swings and misses, and it’s fouled back.”

“They throw Winfield out at second, and he’s safe.”

“Turner turns into second with a sun-blown double.”

“Grubb goes back, back.  He’s under the warning track.”

“He slides into second with a stand-up double.”

“Rich Folkers is throwing up in the bullpen.”

“Montreal leads Atlanta by three, 5-1.”

“Those amateur umpires are certainly flexing their fangs tonight.”

“There’s two heads to every coin.”

Alistair Cooke

journalist, broadcaster

“I find baseball fascinating.  It strikes me as a native American ballet–a totally different dance form.  Neary every move in baseball–the wind-up, the pitch, the motion of the infielders–is different from other games.  Next to a triple play, baseball’s double play is the most exciting and graceful thing in sports.”

Calvin Coolidge

30th president of the United States

“Baseball is our national game.”

“It would be difficult to conceive a finer example of true sport.”

Alice Cooper

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician

“If somebody had told me that you have a choice of being a rock star or playing left field for the Tigers, there would not have been a choice at all.  I would have said, ‘Where’s my locker?'”

Bob Costas


“He was our guy.  When he was hot, we felt great.  When he slumped or got hurt, we sagged a bit, too.”
– on Mickey Mantle

John M. Culkin

media scholar, critic

“I don’t think baseball could survive without all the statistical appurtenances involved in calculating pitching, hitting and fielding percentages.  Some people could do without the games as long as they got the box scores.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  D

Steve Dahl

Chicago radio personality

“Hey, it was the Sox.  They would have lost anyway.”
– on the infamous Disco Demolition Night stunt in 1979 that led to a forfeit for the White Sox

Arthur Daley


“A baseball fan has the digestive apparatus of a Billy goat.  He can, and does, devour any set of diamond statistics with insatiable appetite and then nuzzles hungrily for more.”

“It rained that day.  Even the heavens wept at the passing of Babe Ruth.”

“Ottie had charisma long before that overworked word emerged from the dictionary for everyday use.”

Alvin Dark


“Friendships are forgotten when the game begins.”

“Slow thinkers are part of the game, too.  Some of these slow thinkers can hit a ball a long way.”

Chauncey Depew

attorney, US Senator

“All men who have ever lived and achieved success in this world had lived in vain if they knew not baseball.”

Glenn Dickey


“The guy with the biggest stomach will be the first to take off his shirt at a baseball game.”

Chuck Dressen


“The Giants is dead.”
– quoted in 1951 before the Giants made a late-season comeback to catch Dressen’s Dodgers, force a 3-game playoff, and win the pennant in the 9th inning of the third game

“Just hold them for a few more innings, fellas.  I’ll think of something.”

“It was a good play, but I gotta see him do it again.”
– after Willie Mays made a running catch, spun, and threw out a runner at home

Charles Dryden

baseball writer, humorist

“Washington–first in war, first in peace, last in the American League.”

“Of such pleasing incidents is the pastime made up.”

Leo Durocher


Leo Durocher

“I never questioned the integrity of an umpire.  Their eyesight, yes.”

“As long as I’ve got one chance to beat your I’m going to take it.”

“If I were playing third base and my mother were rounding third with the run that was going to beat us, I’d trip her.  Oh, I’d pick her up and brush her off and say, ‘Sorry, Mom, but nobody beats me.'”

“Nice guys finish last.”

“You don’t save a pitcher for tomorrow.  Tomorrow it may rain.”

“There are only five things you can do in baseball–run, throw, catch, hit, and hit with power.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  E

Charles Ebbets

Brooklyn Dodgers owner

“Baseball is still in its infancy.”

Thomas Edison

inventor, scientist

“Baseball is the greatest of American games.  Some say football, but it is my firm belief, and it shall always be, that baseball has no superior…I have not attended very many big games, but I don’t believe you can find a more ardent follower of baseball than myself, as a day seldom passes when I do not read the sporting pages of the newspaper.  In this way I keep a close tab on the two major leagues and there was one time when I could name the players of every club in both leagues.”

Albert Einstein

theoretical physicist

“Mr. Berg, you teach me baseball, and I’ll teach you mathematics.  But let’s forget it.  I’m sure you’d learn mathematics faster than I’d learn baseball.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

34th president of the United States

“You cannot hit a home run by bunting.  You have to step up there and take a cut at the ball.  Never be more scared of the enemy than you think he is of you.”

“Not making the baseball team at West Point was one of the greatest disappointments of my life–maybe the greatest.”

Chuck Estrada

Texas Rangers pitching coach

“We had a very scientific system of bringing in relief pitchers.  We used the first one who answered the phone.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  F

Ron Fairly


“Last night I neglected to mention something that bears repeating.”

“He fakes a bluff.”

“Bruce Sutter has been around for a while, and he’s pretty old.  He’s thirty-five years old.  That will give you some idea of how old he is.”

“The Giants are looking for a trade, but I don’t think Atlanta wants to depart with a quality player.”

Ed Farmer

Yankees publicist

“What did he lead the league in?  He led the league in manhood, that’s what.”
-on Mickey Mantle winning the 1962 MVP despite not leading the league in average, home runs or RBI

Chub Feeney
National League president

“We’ll continue to play by baseball rules.”
– on not adopting the designated hitter rule in 1973

Ron Fimrite


“The romance of baseball…is in its capacity for stirring fantasy.  We are never too old or too bothered to see ourselves wrapping up a World Series victory with a homer in the final inning of the seventh game.”

Charlie Finley

Oakland Athletics owner

“Prospects are a dime a dozen.”

“If a manager of mine ever said someone was indispensable, I’d fire him.”

“I always wanted to be a player, but I never had the talent to make the big leagues.  So I did the next best thing:  I bought a team.”

“He didn’t make the games exciting enough when nothing was going on.”
– on firing the team’s radio announcer

F. Scott Fitzgerald


“Baseball is a game played by idiots for morons.”
– character Raymond Mungo from Confessions from Left Field

Gerald Ford

38th president of the United States

“I watch a lot of baseball on radio.”

Charlie Fox

San Francisco Giants manager

“Our earned run average looks like the national debt.”

Ford Frick

Major League Baseball Commissioner

“Here stands baseball’s happy warrior.  Here stands baseball’s perfect knight.”
– on Stan Musial’s final game

“This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another.  The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences.”
– to the St. Louis Cardinals when rumored they would strike when scheduled to play the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson in 1947

Robert Frost


“Nothing flatters me more than to have it assumed that I could write prose–unless it be to have it assumed that I once pitched baseball with distinction.”

“As I say, I never feel more at home in America than at a ball game, be it in park or in sandlot.  Beyond this I know not.  And dare not.”

“Some baseball is the fate of all of us.”

Hugh Fullerton


“Baseball is the greatest single force working for Americanization.  No other game appeals so much to the foreign-born youngsters and nothing, not even the schools, teaches the American spirit so quickly, or inculcates the idea of sportsmanship or fair play as thoroughly.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  G

Neal Gabler

writer, political commentator

“It was always the game with the longest bloodlines, the one by which an individual could measure his life just as the country could measure its life:  by teams and dynasties and legendary plays.”
– on baseball

Paul Gallico

novelist, sportswriter

“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.”

Peter Gammons


“Baseball is the best sport to cover because it’s daily.  It’s ongoing.  You have to fill the need, write the daily soap opera.”

James Garner


“I felt like my bubble-gum card collection had come to life.”
– on attending a sports celebrity dinner

Gene Geiselman

St. Louis Cardinals trainer

“There are now three different major leagues–the AL, the NL, and the DL.”

A. Bartlett Giamatti

Major League Baseball Commissioner

“In no game of ours is failure so omnipresent as it is for the batter who would be the runner.”

“Baseball has the largest library of law and love and custom and ritual, and therefore, in a nation that fundamentally believes it is a nation under law, well, baseball is America’s most privileged version of the level field.”

Richard Gilman

drama/literary critic

“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.”

James Gleick

author, journalist

“A properly hurled knuckleball seems to make up its own rules on its way to the plate.  It floats, flutters, twitches, lurches, and dives.”

Warren Goldstein

writer, professor

“Baseball death is not like other death.  Ballplayers die at least twice:  once when they retire and then again, usually much later, when their bodies give out.  The second death always surprises baseball fans.  ‘Was he still alive?’ we muse, because for us, for all practical purposes–which is to say baseball purposes–he’d been dead for decades.”

Preston Gomez


“You never unpack your suitcases in this business.”

Lou Gorman

Boston Red Sox general manager

“Wade Boggs could fall out of bed and get a base hit.”

Clark Griffith

Washington Senators owner

“The fans like to see home runs, and we have assembled a pitching staff for their enjoyment.”

Bryant Gumbel


“The other sports are just sports.  Baseball is a love.”

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Quotes About Baseball:  H

Stan Hack

player, manager

“That Mays is fantastic.  Watch him.  Everything he does has the mark of the perfect ballplayer–even when he’s just catching balls thrown in from the field.”

David Halberstam

journalist, author

“Things as critical as this, the selection of a favored baseball team, are not, as some suspect, a matter of choice.  One does not choose a team as one does not select his own genes.  They are confirmed upon you, more than we know an act of heredity.”

“I think walking up to Fenway is thrilling.  The approach to it.  The smells.  You go to Fenway and you think, ‘Something wonderful is going to happen today.'”

Donald Hall


“Baseball is fathers and sons.  Football is brothers beating each other up in the backyard.”

“Baseball is continuous, like nothing else among American things, an endless game of repeated summers, joining the long generations of all the fathers and all the sons.”

Pete Hamill

journalist, novelist

“Don’t tell me about the world.  Not today.  It’s springtime and they’re knocking baseballs around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball.”

Ernie Harwell


“Baseball is continuity.  Pitch to pitch.  Inning to inning.  Game to game.  Series to series.  Season to season.”

“Baseball is a ballet without music.  Drama without words.  A carnival without kewpie dolls.”

“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.”

Elrod Hendricks

Baltimore Orioles bullpen coach

“You know Earl.  He’s not happy unless he’s not happy.”
– on Earl Weaver

Gerald Hern

Boston Post sports editor

“Spahn and Sain and two days of rain.”
– from 1948 poem referring to the “two-man pitching staff” of the Braves

Whitey Herzog


“You need two things to be a good one–a sense of humor and a bullpen.”
– on being a manager

“The only thing bad about winning the pennant is that you have to manage the All-Star Game the next year.  I’d rather go fishing for three days.”

Tommy Holmes

player, manager

“Some twenty years ago, I stopped talking about the Babe for the simple reason that I realized that those who had never seen him didn’t believe me.”

Herbert Hoover

31st president of the United States

“Next to religion, baseball has furnished a greater impact on American life than any other institution.”

Ralph Houk


“Get 30 games above .500 and you can break even the rest of the way.”

John K. Hutchens

author, book critic

“No baseball fan has to explain his mania to any other baseball fan.  They are a fraternity.”

Fred Hutchinson


“For five innings, it’s the pitcher’s game.  After that it’s mine.”

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Quotes About Baseball:  I

Eugene Istomin

concert pianist

“When Thomson hit the home run I jumped out of my chair and began to yell.  I was a Dodger fan but I knew it was the most dramatic moment in sports history. The teams involved, the personalities, the pennant race.  I was out of my mind. Everybody in the room was stunned by my behavior.  I tried to explain it, but they never understood.”

Jerry Izenberg


“Watching a spring training game is as exciting as watching a tree form its annual ring.”

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Quotes About Baseball:  J

Bill James


“An athlete can love basketball as much as he loves baseball–but can a poet?”

“Sabermetrics is to baseball as psychology is to human nature.”

“The common theory is that it is all right to study baseball as long as you don’t become intelligent about it.  Once you become serious about it, people think you are wasting your time.”

“I’ve become convinced that every player who plays the game at the major league level for any length of time leaves an image lingering behind him, that if you really understood the history of baseball, that if one could see baseball, so to speak, with the eyes of God, one could see in each and every baseball game the image of every good and great player who has ever played.”

Ban Johnson

first American League president

“A good umpire is the umpire you don’t even notice.  He’s there all afternoon, but when the game is over, you don’t remember his name.”

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Quotes About Baseball:  K

Roger Kahn


“The romance between intellectuals and the game of baseball is, for the most part, one-sided to the point of absurdity.  A large percentage of intelligent Americans evaluate the four hundred men who play major league baseball as awesomely gifted demigods.  A large percentage of the muscular four hundred rate intellectuals several notches below umpires.”

“You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat.”

John F. Kennedy

35th president of the United States

“A couple of years ago they told me I was too young to be president and you were too old to be playing baseball.  But we fooled them.”
– to Stan Musial at the 1962 All-Star Game

Kevin Kerrane


“Scouts don’t scout in order to get rich.  They scout because they know baseball–from direct experience, not tests–and because they’re opinionated men. You could fire them all tomorrow and hire scientists and buy machines, and you’d wind up with lots of numbers and not too many clear recommendations, where a guy is ready to put his own individual ass on the line.  It’s a unique job. Sometimes I think scouts are like the last real Americans.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

civil rights leader

“Jackie Robinson made it possible for me in the first place.  Without him, I would never have been able to do what I did.”

W.P. Kinsella


“For some reason, I recall the question at the bottom of the form sent by the Baseball Hall of Fame to everyone who has ever played organized baseball:  ‘If you had it to do over again, would you play professional baseball?’  The historian at Cooperstown, Clifford S. Kachline, said he couldn’t recall even one ex-player answering ‘no’ to the question.  I wonder if any other profession can say the same?”
– from Shoeless Joe

Henry Kissinger

Secretary of State

“Baseball is the most intellectual game because most of the action goes on in your head.”

Bowie Kuhn

Major League Baseball Commissioner

“I don’t think that baseball should be exceptionally proud of this day.  It’s been long overdue.”
– on Frank Robinson becoming the first black manager in 1975

“He had about him a touch of royalty.”
– on Roberto Clemente

“Baseball is beautiful…the supreme performing art.  It combines in perfect harmony the magnificent features of ballet, drama, art, and ingenuity.”

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Quotes About Baseball:  L

Fiorello H. LaGuardia

New York City mayor

“You must consider that the one great tie with home for men in Africa, Australia, the Pacific or Europe, aside from letters from family members, is baseball scores.”
– during World War II

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Major League Baseball Commissioner

“They can’t come back.  The doors are closed to them for good.  The most scandalous chapter in the game’s history is closed.”
– on the “Black Sox”

Ring Lardner

writer, columnist

“The only real happiness a ballplayer has is when he is playing a ball game and accomplishes something he didn’t think he could do.”

Tommy Lasorda

Hall of Fame manager

“About the only problem with success is that it does not teach you how to deal with failure.”

“I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand.  If you hold it too tightly, you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.”

Charlie Lau

Kansas City Royals hitting coach

“There are two theories on hitting the knuckleball.  Unfortunately, neither one of them works.”

David Letterman


“It was filled with cork, also Styrofoam and ground up bits of rubber balls.  It’s the same way they make their hot dogs in Chicago.”
– on Sammy Sosa’s corked bat

Jim Leyland


“I knew we were in for a long season when we lined up for the national anthem on opening day and one of my players said, ‘Every time I hear that song I have a bad game.'”

Fred Lieb


“I love baseball.  I could watch it every day, every year.  And to think I get paid for watching games.”

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Quotes About Baseball:  M

General Douglas MacArthur

United States Army

“It is wonderful to be here, to be able to hear the baseball against the bat, ball against glove, the call of the vendor, and be able to boo the umpire.”
– on returning from Europe in 1946

Connie Mack

Hall of Fame manager

“You can’t win them all.”
– after his Philadelphia Athletics lost 116 games in 1916

“Any minute, any day, some players may break a long-standing record.  That’s one of the fascinations about the game–the unexpected surprises.”

“No matter what I talk about, I always get back to baseball.”

Bernard Malamud


“The whole history of baseball has the quality of mythology.”

Billy Martin


“The only real way to know you’ve been fired is when you arrive at the ballpark and find your name has been scratched from the parking list.”

“When I get through managing, I’m going to open up a kindergarten.”

Gene Mauch


“I’m not the manager because I’m always right, but I’m always right because I’m the manager.”

“The worst thing is the day you realize you want to win more than the players do.”

“Most one-run games are lost, no won.”

“There should be a new way to record standings in this league:  one column for wins, one for losses and one for gifts.”

Joe McCarthy

Hall of Fame manager

“A manager who cannot get along with a .400 hitter ought to have his head examined.”
– on managing Ted Williams

Red Murff


“Has the best arm I’ve ever seen in my life.  Could be a real power pitcher some day.”
– scouting report on Nolan Ryan from 1965

Jim Murray


“The last time Willie Mays dropped a pop fly he had a rattle in one hand and a bonnet on his head.”

“Baseball is not precisely a team sport.  It is more a series of concerts by the artists.”

“He was a symbol of indestructibility–a Gibraltar in cleats.”
– on Lou Gehrig

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  N

Richard Nixon

37th president of the United States

“If I had my life to live all over again, I’d have ended up as a sportswriter.”

“Were you told how the All-Star Game came out?”
– one of the first questions he asked the Apollo 11 astronauts after their return

Michael Novak

writer, philosopher

“It is hard to imagine a democratic republic without baseball for the instruction of its citizens.”

“Baseball is unlike football or basketball in not being governed by a clock.  Until the last out has been registered, anything can happen.  Even in the last of the ninth, with two out, a team can suddenly, surprisingly, score 5 or 7 or 9 or 11 runs.  It is part of the brilliant fairness of the game.  You must, in the end, defeat yourself, use up in vain your own equal chances.”

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Quotes About Baseball:  O

Sharon Olds


“Baseball is reassuring.  It makes me feel as if the world is not going to blow up.”

Joel Oppenheimer


“It also makes it easy for the generations to talk to one another.”
– on baseball

Don Osborn

Pittsburgh Pirates pitching coach

“The one thing wrong with our pitchers is they all have to pitch the same night.”

Paul Owens


“The toughest thing about managing is standing up for nine innings.”

Danny Ozark


“Half this game is 90 percent mental.”

“Even Napolean had his Watergate.”
– after a 10-game losing streak reduced his Phillies’ lead from 15 1/2 games to 3 1/2 games.

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Quotes About Baseball:  P

Harold Parrott

Los Angeles Dodgers secretary

“Nobody could match his knack for putting a dollar sign on a muscle.”
– on Branch Rickey

Gabe Paul

general manager

“The great thing about baseball is that there’s a crisis every day.”

“You can’t outsmart ’em in baseball, but you can outwork ’em.”

Cy Peterman


“They sing of joy when long lost sons come home.  They prate of happiness when wars are done.  But did you ever see a homer in the ninth that tied the score?  There, ladies and gentlemen, is joy.”
– after Mule Haas tied the fifth game of the 1929 World Series with a home run in the ninth

Harold “Lefty” Phillips


“Our phenoms ain’t phenomenating.”

Lou Piniella

player, manager

“I cussed him out in Spanish, and he threw me out in English.”

“What Cal has done is incomprehensible to me.  I don’t think another player will come along and do what he has done.  We are seeing the last of a dinosaur.”
– on Cal Ripken

Elvis Presley

Rock and Roll legend

“I like playin’ softball…but watchin’ baseball?  I don’t want to knock the national pastime, but, mister, a lot of nothin’ happens.”

Harry Pulliam

National League president

“Take nothing for granted in baseball.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  Q

Martin Quigley


“Played halfheartedly, baseball is a waste of time and energy.  Baseball is not a halfway game.  Players and managers who take it easy on the field come to grief and failure.  To play baseball, you have to get wet all over.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  R

John W. Raper


“Hit the ball over the fence and you can take your time going around the bases.”

Ronald Reagan

40th president of the United States

“This is really more fun than being president.  I really do love baseball and I wish we could do this out on the lawn every day.  I wouldn’t even complain if a stray ball came through the Oval Office window now and then.”

Rick Reilly


“Rooting for the Yankees takes all the courage, imagination, conviction, and baseball intelligence of Spam.  It’s like rooting for…Bill Gates to hit Scratch ‘n’ Win.  Hating the Yankees is an American tradition that has been honored throughout this century.  Remember, nobody ever wrote a play called Damn Diamondbacks!

Pete Reiser

player, coach

“They’ve got a lot of names for pitches now, but there are only so many ways you can throw a baseball.”

“Good memories are the greatest thing in the world, and I’ve got a lot of those. And one of the sweetest is of the kid standing out on the green grass in center field, with the winning runs on base, saying to himself, ‘Hit it to me.  Hit it to me.'”

Grantland Rice


“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”

“The Big Guy’s left us with the night to face,
And there is no one who can take his place.”
– on the death of Babe Ruth

“Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in one year may be broken, although personally I hope it stands for eternity.  It has almost been equaled twice.  But it is a sure thing that Cobb’s mark of 4,191 base hits will never be approached.”

Paul Richards


“If you’re a good loser, you keep on losing.”

“When you have dumb people working for you, don’t have them work a whole day.  Let them work half days, and then they only screw up half as much.”

“This man hit 531 homers and did everything else he did on one leg.”
– on Mickey Mantle

Branch Rickey

Hall of Fame baseball executive

“Baseball is a game of inches.”

“Addition by subtraction.”

“Judas Priest.”
– his signature expletive

“Only in baseball can a team player be a pure individual first and a team player second, with the rules and the spirit of the game.”

“Problems are the price you pay for progress.”

“Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late.”

“There was never a man in the game who could put mind and muscle together quicker and with better judgment than Robinson.”
– on Jackie Robinson

“The man who has the infinite capacity to take a bad situation and make it immediately worse.”
– on Leo Durocher

“They finished last–on merit.”
– on his 1952 Pittsburgh Pirates team

“Luck is the residue of design.”

“What makes you or breaks you is the ability to choose from among the in-betweens those boys who will go on to make good.”

Lawrence Ritter


“Baseball is a team game, but it is played by individuals who do their job singly and alone, in the full glare of the spotlight.  They will be praised or blamed, become heroes or goats, depending on their performance under pressure.”

Will Rogers


“My idea of the height of conceit would be a political speaker that would go on the air when that World Series is on.”

“Baseball is a skilled game.  It’s America’s game–it, and high taxes.”

“Baseball teams go south every spring to cripple their players.  In the old days they only stayed a couple of weeks..nowadays, they stay till they get them all hurt.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

32nd president of the United States

“You know how I really feel?  I feel like a baseball team going into the ninth inning with only eight men left to play.”
– said to the president of the Washington Senators less than two weeks before his death

Roger Rosenblatt

author, playwright

“Taking life 90 feet at a time.”

Mike Royko


“This response should be made part of baseball’s official rules; ‘If a pitcher throws a ball that forces a batter to fall down to avoid being struck in the head, the batter may, during the course of the game, fling his bat at the pitcher’s head.'”

Damon Runyon


“Mathewson pitched against Cincinnati yesterday.  Another way of putting it is that Cincinnati lost a game of baseball.  The first statement means the same as the second.”

Jacob Ruppert

New York Yankees owner

“There is no charity in baseball.  I want to win the pennant every year.”

“When the Yankees score eight runs in the first inning and slowly pull away.”
– his idea of a perfect game

“Close games make me nervous.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  S

Johnny Sain

player, pitching coach

“You have no idea the pressure a young pitcher is under.  I’ve walked out to the mound in the middle of an inning and the pitcher couldn’t tell me his telephone number.”

Luke Salisbury


“Baseball is more like a novel than like a war.  It is like an ongoing hundred-year work of art, peopled with thousands of characters, full of improbable events, anecdotes, folklore, and numbers.”

Al Schacht

“The Clown Prince of Baseball”

“They have crooked arms.  They throw crooked, they walk crooked and they think crooked.  They even wear their clothes crooked.  You have to figure they’re a little crazy.”

Marge Schott

Cincinnati Reds owner

“Why do we need so many scouts?  All they do is sit around and watch baseball games.”

“I don’t believe it.  Snow this morning and now this.  I feel cheated.  This is not supposed to happen to us.  Not in Cincinnati.  This is our day.  Our history.  Our tradition.  Nobody feels more than me.”
– following the death of umpire John McSherry and postponement of the Reds’ opening day game of 1996

John Schuerholz

general manager

“George Brett could roll out of bed on Christmas morning and hit a line drive.”

John Schulian

television writer, producer

“A mouse studying to become a rat.”
– on Billy Martin

Vin Scully


“Robinson was by far the most exciting player I have ever seen.  There is only one guy in baseball who even comes close and that is Willie Mays.”
– on Jackie Robinson

“How good was Stan Musial?  He was good enough to take your breath away.”

“It’s easier to pick off a fast runner than to pick off a lazy runner.”

“He pitches as though he’s double-parked.”
– on quick-working Bob Gibson

Harold Seymour


“To ascertain who invented baseball would be the equivalent of trying to locate the discoverer of fire.”

Bill Shea

lawyer, Continental League co-founder

“Families go to ballparks and that is why baseball is still our national game.”

Wilfrid Sheed

novelist, essayist

“Baseball is not a set of isolated explosions like football, but a steady, timeless pleasure that builds as gracefully as it plays–and can only have one climax.  Do not mess with it, gentlemen.”

“Forget what you have seen on TV; nothing in life so far has prepared you for that first squint down the ramp–at the impossibly green grass and the golden patch of infield and the figures in white moving across it.  It is your first glimpse of perfection, and from then on even the rank smells of mustard and grad Z beef will be transubstantianted by it, and the hum of the crowd will sound like a choir of angels, every time you enter a ballpark.  And perfection only becomes more so as the home team explodes out of the dugout and the play begins.”

Bernard “Toots” Shor

legendary restaurant owner

“I have a son and I make him watch the Mets.  I want him to know life.  It’s a history lesson.  He’ll understand the Depression.”

Chuck Shriver

Chicago Cubs public relations

“The beauty and joy of baseball is not having to explain it.”

Roger Simon


“Putting lights in Wrigley Field is like putting aluminum siding on the Sistine Chapel.”

Red Smith


“Ninety feet between home plate and first base may be the closest man has ever come to perfection.”
– of the many quotes about baseball, this is possibly the greatest

“Now it is done.  Now the story ends.  And there is no way to tell it.  The art of fiction is dead.  Reality has strangled invention.  Only the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic, can ever be possible again.”
– on Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard ’round the world” that won the 1951 pennant for the Giants

Albert Spalding

player, manager, businessman

“Baseball is a man maker.”

“You cannot keep anything secret in baseball.”

George Steinbrenner

New York Yankees owner

“Owning the Yankees is like owning the Mona Lisa.  That’s something you never see.”
– on selling the Yankees

Casey Stengel

Hall of Fame manager

Casey Stengel

“Most ball games are lost, not won.”

“You got to get twenty-seven outs to win.”

“Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa.”

“He threw the ball as far from the bat and as close to the plate as possible.”
– on Satchel Paige

“Don’t cut my throat, I may want to do that later myself.”

“The Yankees don’t pay me to win every day–just two out of three.”

“I don’t like them fellas who drive in two runs and let in three.”

“Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits.”

“All I ask is that you bust your heiny on that field.”

“The way our luck has been lately, our fellows have been getting hurt on their days off.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  T

Bill Tammeus


“The worst part about moving the clocks back is that it delays the start of spring training by an hour.”

Chuck Tanner


“The greatest feeling in the world is to win a major league game.  The second-greatest feeling is to lose a major league game.”

“Having Willie Stargell on your ball club is like having a diamond ring on your finger.”

“If you don’t like the way the Atlanta Braves are playing, then you don’t like baseball.”
– as Braves manager following a four-game series in which his team hit into 15 double plays

Joe Torre


“When we lose I can’t sleep at night.  When we win I can’t sleep at night.  But when you win you wake up feeling better.”

Tom Trebelhorn


“Running a ball club is like raising kids who fall out of trees.”

Harry S. Truman

33rd president of the United States

“You don’t have to weight 250 pounds to make good in baseball, and you don’t have to be 6′ 7″, either.  I like that.  I was a little fellow myself.”

“And may the sun never set on American baseball.”

“I couldnt’ see well enough to play when I was a boy, so they gave me a special job–they made me the umpire.”

Kenneth Turan

movie critic

“Baseball endures at least in part because it is a contemplative sport that delights in nuances.  Not a brazen game, eager to sell its thrills cheaply, but rather an understated affair that must be courted if it’s to be loved.”

Ted Turner

media mogul, former Atlanta Braves owner

“If you ever get a chance to buy a baseball team, do so.  It’s very fun.”

Mark Twain


“Baseball is the very symbol, the outward and visible expression of the drive and push and rush and struggle of the raging, tearing, booming nineteenth century.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  U

Peter Ueberroth

Major League Baseball Commissioner

“Baseball is a public trust.  Players turn over, owners turn over and certain commissioners turn over.  But baseball goes on.”

“When Pee Wee Reese wrapped an arm around the shoulders of Jackie Robinson in a show of support a respect for a friend and teammate.  Robinson was being harassed by the opposing team.  That moment to me is a perfect illustration of what baseball is all about.”

John Updike

novelist, poet, writer

“Gods don’t answer letters.”
– on Ted Williams failing to acknowledge cheering fans after hitting home run in final at-bat

“All baseball fans believe in miracles.  The question is, how many do you believe in?”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  V

Bob Vanderberg


“I learned at an early age that no Sox lead–in a ballgame or in a pennant race–was safe.”
– on the White Sox

Bill Vaughn


“What it adds up to is that it is not baseball’s responsibility to fit itself into our frantic society.  It is, rather, society’s responsibility to make itself worthy of baseball.  That’s why I can never understand why anybody leaves the game early to beat the traffic.  The purpose of baseball is to keep you from caring if you beat the traffic.”

Bill Veeck


“Baseball is the only thing besides the paper clip that hasn’t changed.”

“An island of surety in a changing world.”
– on baseball

“In modern baseball the winning formula is:  Power + Pitching = Pennant.”

“It is a game to be savored rather than taken in gulps.”

“This is a game to be savored, not gulped.  There’s time to discuss everything between pitches or between innings.”

“The best trades are the ones you don’t make.”

“Now more than ever, we need a change of pace in baseball.  Ball parks should be happy places.  They should always smell like freshly cut grass.”

“When you’re out there in the big-league pressure-cooker, a pitcher’s attitude–his utter confidence that he has an advantage of will and luck and guts over the hitter–is almost as important as his stuff.”

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  W

Harry Walker


“The most exciting hit in baseball is the triple…You usually have two or three men handling the ball, and, if everything fits together, the runner is flagged down on a close play.  On doubles and triples, several men must contribute.  On a home run, one man does it all.”

Earl Weaver

Hall of Fame manager

“This ain’t a football game.  We do this every day.”

“Baseball is pitching, three-run homers, and fundamentals.”

“Good ballplayers make good managers, not the other way around.  All I can do is help them be as good as they are.”

“I think there should be bad blood between all clubs.”

Wes Westrum

player, coach, scout

“It’s like church.  Many attend but few understand.”
– on baseball

“I had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.”
– on resigning as Mets manager

Burt Whitman


“The more I see of Babe, the more he seems a figure out of mythology.”
– on Babe Ruth

Walt Whitman


“I see great things in baseball.  It’s our game–the American game.”

Robert S. Wieder


“Baseball fans are junkies, and their heroin is the statistic.”

George F. Will

journalist, author

“All I remember about my wedding day in 1967 is that the Cubs lost a double-header.”

“The game is a constantly humbling experience.”

“Correct thinkers think that ‘baseball trivia’ is an oxymoron.  Nothing about baseball is trivial.”

Earl Wilson


“For the parents of a Little Leaguer, a baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown into innings.”

John Wooden

Hall of Fame college basketball coach

“Baseball.  The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers could be playing for the championship, and I’d rather be here watching the Angels and Yankees.”
– on his favorite sport

Philip Wrigley

former Chicago Cubs owner

“Baseball is too much of a sport to be a business and too much of a business to be a sport.”

“The future of major league baseball is in the day time.”
– in 1953

Top of Quotes About Baseball

Quotes About Baseball:  X, Y, & Z

Eric Yaverbaum

founder of fan organization, Strike Back

“Owners get rich.  Players get rich.  We don’t take either side.  We don’t care.  All we want is baseball.”
– during 1990 baseball lockout

Chic Young


“Baseball, my son, is the cornerstone of civilization.”
– said by Dagwood Bumstead, Blondie cartoon

Dick Young


“Fans are the only ones who really care.  There are no free agent fans.  There are no fans who say, ‘Get me out of here.  I want to play for a winner.'”

“Hold a Met at third and the next thing you know, you’re taking his glove out to him.”

Don Zimmer


“The game has to be fun if you’re going to be any good at all.”

“The weather’s cold, my club stinks, we can’t win, my knees are killing me, I’m off my diet, I can’t putt anymore, my wife’s nagging me.  Other than that, life’s great.”

William Zinssler

writer, journalist

“Memory was the glue that held baseball together as the continuing American epic.”

Great quotes about baseball come from people as diverse and opinionated as the players who play the game.

This just shows how much baseball means to us–our culture, our families, our icons.

These aren’t just quotes about baseball.  They’re about us.


The Teams

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