Pete's Baseball Quotes

The Greats

Ty Cobb:
The Great American Game should be an unrelenting war of nerves.

Dick Young, on Willie Mays not receiving a unanimous Hall of Fame vote:
If Jesus Christ were to show up with his old baseball glove, some guys wouldn't vote for him. He dropped the cross three times, didn't he?

Harvey Haddix, to his catcher with Willie Mays at bat:
Look at him. He knows he's going to hit me, and I know he's going to hit, so I'm going to walk him.

Gil Hodges, on Willie Mays:
I can't very well tell my batters don't hit it to him. Wherever they hit it, he's there anyway.

Willie Mays:
I remember the last season I played. I went home after a ballgame one day, lay down on my bed, and tears came to my eyes. How can you explain that? It's like crying for your mother after she's gone. You cry because you love her. I cried, I guess, because I loved baseball and I knew I had to leave it.

Joe McCarthy, asked if Joe Dimaggio could bunt:
I don't know -- nor have I any intention of ever finding out.

Joe Dimaggio, on when to retire:
You start chasing a ball and your brain immediately commands your body to "Run forward! Bend! Scoop up the ball! Peg it to the infield!" Then your body says, "Who, me?"

Ted Williams:
My name is Ted fucking Williams and I'm the greatest hitter in baseball.

Rocky Bridges:
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.

John Updike, on Ted Williams ("Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu"):
He radiated, from afar, the hard blue glow of high purpose.

Josh Gibson:
Cool Papa Bell was so fast he could get out of bed, turn out the lights across the room and be back in bed under the covers before the lights went out.

Satchel Paige|on Cool Papa Bell:
One hit he hit a line drive right past my ear. I turned around and saw the ball hit his ass sliding into second.

Walt Weiss, on teenage star Ken Griffey Jr.
He shouldn't have gone to high school. It took three years off his pension. (bm91)

Billy Crystal
Mickey Mantle just was everything. At my Bar Mitzvah I had an Oklahoma accent. (The Quotable ESPN / Seattle Times 6/16/98)

Dan Quisenberry:
Reggie Jackson hit one off me that's still burrowing its way to Los Angeles.

Catfish Hunter, on Reggie Jackson:
He'd give you the shirt off his back. Of course, he'd call a press conference to announce it.

Bob Marshall, on Reggie Jackson:
Just as nature fills a vacuum, Reggie fills a spotlight.

Gene Geiselmann, Cardinals Trainer, on a homerun hit by Juan Gonzales:
The ball went further than I ever went on vacation as a kid. (Seattle Times 3/28/94)

Casey Stengel, on Satchel Paige:
He threw the ball as far from the bat and as close to the plate as possible.

Dizzy Dean, on Satchel Paige:
If Satch and I was pitching on the same team, we'd clinch the pennant by July and go fishing until World Series time.

Pete Rose, to his airplane seatmate Hal King, during a rough flight:
We're going down. We're going down and I have a .300 lifetime average to take with me. Do you?

Sparky Anderson, on Pete Rose:
Pete doesn't run with celebrities. He can't stand phonies. His big buddy in L.A. ain't Sinatra, it's a funny old groundskeeper.

Mike Schmidt, on Pete Rose:
Pete Rose is the most likable arrogant person I've ever met.

Pete Rose, on his speed:
I'm not bad. I'm no Joe Morgan, but I'm pretty good for a white guy.

Pete Rose, on the day he become the 15th player suspended for life:
I love the fans not only of Cinncinnati, but baseball in general, and the only thing I can tell the fans is I did not bet on baseball. I've got too much respect for the game, i have too much love for the game, and I appreciate how they've treated me over the years.

Bill Virdon:
I don't believe it. Lou Brock could never make that play again -- even on instant replay.

Frank Graham on Babe Ruth:
He would not have known how to deal with an enemy for the simple reason that he never had one.

John Drebinger on Ruth:
He was the most uninhibited human being I have ever known. He just did things.

Ping Bodie, on an exhibition tour with Ruth:
I didn't room with him. I roomed with his suitcase.

Bob Broeg:
To try to capture Ruth with cold statistics would be like trying to keep up with him on a night out.

Babe Ruth was dying on April 27, 1948, when he went to Yankee Stadium a last time. He made a famous speech in a voice once full of joy but then a melancholy croak. 'The only real game in the world, I think, is baseball,' he said, and the Babe said the game was for the kids, 6 and 7 years old. It was for them to grow up with and dream on.

Babe Ruth, to Ty Cobb:
Hell, I could have hit .600 myself! But I'm paid to hit homers.

Waite Hoyte, to Robert Creamer:
All the lies about Ruth are true.
UTBW 8/12/98

Ted Lyons, on Stan Musial:
Musial's batting stance looks like a small boy looking around a corner to see if the cops are coming.

Carl Eskine, on Stan Musial:
I've had pretty good success with Stan, by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third.

Warren Spahn, on Stan Musial:
Once Musial timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy.

Frank Sullivan, asked how he pitched to Mickey Mantle:
With tears in my eyes.

Tim McCarver, on Bob Gibson:
Gibson's the luckiest pitcher I've ever seen. Because he always picks the night to pitch when the other team doesn't score any runs.

A. Bartlett Giamatti, on Tom Seaver's sale by the New York Mets:
Among all the men who play baseball there is, occasionally, a man of such qualities of heart and mind and body that he transcends even the great and glorious game, and that such a man is to be cherished, not sold.

Lindsey Nelson, on Tom Seaver's high-pitched laugh:
When Seaver laughs he makes dogs whine.

Chet Brewer, on Josh Gibson:
He could hit any pitch to any field. The only way to pitch to him was to throw the ball low and behind him.

Jim Murray:
Watching Rod Carew bat is like watching Bulova make a watch, DeBeers cut a diamond....Rod Carew doesn't make hits, he composes them.

Jerry McNertney, Seattle Pilots catcher, on Rod Carew:
He can't miss. If I were him I'd go looking for wallets.

Alan Bannister, on Rod Carew:
He's the only guy I know who can go four for three.

Rudy May, on George Brett:
The only way to pitch him is inside, so you force him to pull the ball. That way the line drive won't hit you.

Jim Frey, Royals manager, on his hitting advice to George Brett:
I tell him, "Attaway to hit, George."

Lefty Gomez:
Charlie Gehringer is in a rut. He hits .350 on openning day and stays there all season.

Lee Allen, on Rogers Hornsby:
He was frank to the point of cruelty and subtle as a belch.

Casey Stengel, on Harvey Kuenn:
If the guy was hurt, his team might be hurt, but the pitching all over the league would improve.

Images of Their Greatness:
When asked why, unlike so many other ballplayers, he did not play golf, Rogers Hornsby snapped, "When I hit a ball, I want somebody else to chase it."

Dan Quisenberry, on Ted Simmons:
He didn't sound like a baseball player. He said things like "Nevertheless" and "if, in fact."

Dizzy Dean, on Bill Terry:
Could be that he's a nice guy when you get to know him, but why bother?

Images of Their Greatness, on Eddie Collins:
Oppenents often complained that Collins had an unfair advantage that enabled him to steal so many bases; they claimed his jughandle ears acted like sails, catching the wind and propelling him with extra speed along the basepaths.

Stephanie Vardavas, (lawyer in the commissioner's office), on a letter she wrote as a young girl to Brooks Robinson:
I wrote to him: 'Dear Mr. Robinson: If your uniform isn't doing anything near the end of October would you consider letting me borrow it for Halloween? I'll take really good care of it and send it right back' -- you know, the whole thing. I got this letter from him, in his handwriting, a week or two later, saying he thought it was a great idea but the uniform belonged to the Orioles, and I should write to Jack Dunn and tell him Brooks said it was okay. I showed it to an Oakland A's fan and he said, 'Wow! That's like getting a letter from God!' I wrote the next letter and then I received this package with Brooks Robinson's home uniform...You could tell it was real because there was a button missing and the leg was worn from sliding...I was on cloud nine." (sabr90 101)

Lon Simmons, on Rollie Fingers:
Fingers has thirty-five saves. Rollie has a better record than John the Baptist.

Johnny Bench, on Graig Nettles winning the World Series MVP award:
If we'd known he wanted a car so bad, we'd have given it to him.

Rockies pitcher Brian Bohanonn, on pitching to Mark McGwire:
He hits my changeup. He hits my curveball. He hits my slider. I've run out of pitches to throw him. I just try to pick the spots where he's going to hit his homeruns. (The Seattle Times 5/2/99)

Reds first baseman Sean Casey, on facing Randy Johnson:
I fouled off one of his 2-and-2 sliders, and when I looked up, he was standing 10 feet away, giving me this frightening serial killer stare, and I said to myself, 'My God, what is he going to throw me now?' I ain't seen nothing that big on a pitching mound." (The Seattle Times 5/9/99)

Letter to Pongo Joe Cantillon, Washington Senators manager, on Walter Johnson, then with the Weiser Idaho Kids:
You better come out here and get this pitcher. He throws a ball so fast nobody can see it and he strikes out everybody. His control is so good that the catcher just holds up his glove and shuts his eyes, then picks the ball, which comes to him looking like a little white bullet, out of the pocket. He's a big, 19-year-old fellow like I told you before, and if you don't hurry up someone will sign him and he will be the best pitcher that ever lived. He throws faster than Addie Jones or Amos Rusie ever did, and his control is better than Christy Mathewson's. He knows where he's throwing because if he didn't there would be dead bodies strewn all over Idaho.
BOIB p.34

Pete's Baseball Quotes