Best 2491 quotes in «baseball quotes» category

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    If there was magic in this world, it happened within sight of the three bases and home plate. All the gems in my world that decorated the walls and floors of dragons' lairs, the sword hilts of privileged princes, and crowns worn by emperors and kings, were nothing compared to the beauty and splendor of the diamond in Wrigley Stadium. It wasn't just a yard with dirt, chalk lines, bases, and a small hill in its center. Wrigley was a field of dreams. Dreams of eternal glory for the men who ran to the outfield, who took their respective bases, and prepared for battle against those who would dare enter their hallowed realm. Dreams for the kids in the stands, all wanting to don a uniform, kiss their moms goodbye, and wield their bats as enchanted weapons destined to knock the cover off the ball. And for the adults who had already selected their lot in life, Wrigley made the dreams of past innocence, lost wonder, and the promise that there was something inherently good still left in the world, come true. Yeah, corny as hell. But all true.

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    If T. S. Eliot had stayed in St Louis, he would never have held that April was the cruelest month. Well, unless he was a Browns fan. At this moment, in the ragged middle of February, it begins: beneath the snow, roots quicken. In the Deep South, already trees begin to bud. And all over the land – indeed, all over the world, in Japan, in the Caribbean, in Australia – a certain class of mammal, fubsy, amiable, sweet-natured, begins to twitch and wake from hibernation: the baseball fan. Is it the lengthening of the days? Is it some subtle signal that causes them to begin to emerge from a stupor only lightly disturbed by meetings of the Hot Stove League? Naw. It is the magic phrase, ‘pitchers and catchers to report….

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    I guess somethings turned out too sad even to be explained with a bases-loaded strikeout.

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    I have to absorb the new season like sunlight, letting it turn my winter skin pink and then brown. I must stuff myself with lore and statistics until my fingers ooze balm.

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

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    I have explained many times that I am, by Profession, a Gambler -- not some jock-sniffing nerd or a hired human squawk-box with the brain of a one-cell animal. No. That would be your average career sportswriter -- and, more specifically, a full-time Baseball writer.

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    I like that name, that game too, though utterly valueless, the animal in us just sufficiently domesticated, our venomous American aggressiveness confined to balls and bats.

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    I’m frozen in place as his eyes rake over me.

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    In any game, the game itself is the prize, no matter who wins, ultimately both lose the game.

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    I’m glad there are organizations like Dale Murphy’s I Won’t Cheat Foundation. I’m glad there are athletes with standards and morals who kids can look up to and learn from. I’m glad that for every bad example my nephew sees today on ESPN that I can share with him stories about truly heroic ballplayers like Cal Ripken, Jr. or Dale Murphy or Kirby Puckett.

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    In spring training prior to his 1995 rookie season, Chipper was already so confident in who he was as a player that he famously deadpanned to veteran slugger Fred McGriff, after the Crime Dog grounded into an inning-ending double play, these two words: “Rally killer.” His confidence carried over to the field, just as it had since he began playing as a kid—he batted .265, and he led all rookies with 23 home runs, 87 runs, and 86 RBIs. Hideo Nomo was Rookie of the Year for the Dodgers, but Chipper and the Braves were World Champions.

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    I mean, we’re talking about chocolate, for chrissake! Chocolate’s wonderful! Everyone loves it! Look at me, I’m part German! That makes me a kraut! Do you know what kraut is? It’s sauerkraut, men! Which means pickled cabbage! And no one likes that! And I’m okay with it! You can call me Kraut, for all that I care! I don’t give a god damn! Do you read me, men? Do you? ~ Roman Meister, manager of the San Carlos Coyotes, to three black ballplayers whom he has, cleverly he thinks, nicknamed "Dark Chocolate," "Milk Chocolate," and "Bitter Chocolate." From The Mighty Roman.

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    In a proud fatherly sadomasicisticly way, I am thrilled when I get hit. As every deep purple bruise on my body represented a perfect swing. If I were to lift my shirt at any time there would be 4-5 bruises on my body. ... As soon as I was able to, I would throw batting practice again from the short distance, and take another shot if necessary to keep the boys in the zone.

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    In the sixties, dear Bill, we did not say 'top' and 'bottom' - we said 'pitcher' and 'catcher'...

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    I stopped right in front of him, personal space be damned, and asked, “Can we do this again?” He flashed me his gorgeous smile, dimples and all. “Yeah... I’d like that.” I smiled right back. I turned and pulled open the door, holding it for him. We stepped outside, stopping on the sidewalk. I pulled out my cell and handed it to him. Darren took it, punched in his number and when his cell rang, he pulled his phone out. “Now I’ve got your number, too,” he said. “You’ll have to save mine to your contacts.” He handed my phone back, and I gave him one of the bags. “Will do. Can I call you tomorrow?” “Tomorrow’s Opening Day,” Darren said. “Wanna catch the game together?” I think my heart skipped a beat. “Yeah… I’d like that.

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    I shall be obliged if you will send Nora and the girls to church every Sunday for the next month to pray for the continued health and strength of the messrs. gilliam, reese, snider, campanella, robinson, hodges, furillo, podres, necombe and labine, collectively known as the The Brooklyn Dodgers. If they lose this World Series I shall Do Myself In and then where will you be?

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    Infielder Craig Counsell played parts of sixteen years in the major leagues despite looking like a librarian,

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    Italian-Americans in New York had not been in much of a flag-waving mood prior to DiMaggio's arrival. By the All-Star break, the rookie had established himself as a wonderful player (.358, 10HR, 60 RBIs), fully justifying the acclaim. But Gehrig was even better (.399, 20 HR, 61 RBIs). He was leading the league in nearly every category, including invisibility.

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    It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look - I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring - caring deeply and passionately, really caring - which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naïveté - the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball - seems a small price to pay for such a gift.

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    It’s funny, Matt, everyone thinks Roman’s a nickname--but it’s not, it's just my name. We've got military names way back in our clan. I've got Great-Granddad Grant and Great Uncle Sherman and Uncle MacArthur and Cousin Audie and Cousin Achilles. No," he mused, "Roman's not a nickname. A nickname would be–oh, I don’t know, something like ... Caesar or something! The mighty Roman! ~ Roman Meister, nickname-loving manager of the San Carlos Coyotes in The Mighty Roman, broadly hinting for a nickname of his own.

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    It’s Curt Schilling and his bloody sock staring down the Yankees in the Bronx. It’s Derek Lowe taking the mound the very next night to complete the most improbable comeback in baseball history—and then seven days later clinching the World Series. It’s Pedro Martinez and his six hitless innings of postseason relief against the Indians. Yes, it is also Cy Young and Roger Clemens, and the 192 wins in a Red Sox uniform that they share—the perfect game for Young, the 20 strikeout games for Clemens—but it is also Bill Dinneen clinching the 1903 World Series with a busted, bloody hand, and Jose Santiago shutting down Minnesota with two games left in the season to keep the 1967 Impossible Dream alive, and Jim Lonborg clinching the Impossible Dream the very next day, and Jim Lonborg again, tossing a one-hitter and a three-hitter in the 1967 World Series, and Luis Tiant in the 1975 postseason, shutting out Oakland and Cincinnati in back-to-back starts. They are all winners.

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    It's hard to bet a person who never gives up.

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    It’s widely noted that among players currently eligible for the Hall of Fame, Maris and Murphy are the only two-time MVP recipients not enshrined at Cooperstown. In a previous book I argued Maris should be in the Hall of Fame—here I’d simply point out that during his prime, Murphy was the best player in the game. You can argue that his prime didn’t last long enough or that his career numbers aren’t strong enough, but then he didn’t cheat either.

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    I've got a Don Baylor," J.T. said. "California sucks this year." Ralph snickered. "I wouldn't use a Baylor card to scrape dog shit off the street.

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    It is unlikely that we will hit a home run anytime soon but if we are unable to get rid of offensive sports team nicknames, we will strike out.

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    It’s much easier to remember the World Series heroics of Tony Pérez, Pete Rose, and Joe Morgan than it is to recall who set the table for Rose during Game 7 of the 1975 World Series vs. Boston. The Red Sox led 3-2 in the seventh when [Ken] Griffey drew a free pass. Not nearly as memorable as the home run Pérez hit against Bill Lee that made it a 3-2 ballgame, not nearly as memorable as the hit Rose got to tie the game, and for sure not as memorable as the hit Morgan got to win it in the ninth, but … it’s a shame people forget Griffey stole second base with two outs to get into scoring position.

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    It took only three years for Jonathan Papelbon to surpass Bill Campbell, Lee Smith, Tom Gordon, Sparky Lyle, Derek Lowe, Jeff Reardon, Ellis Kinder, and Dick Radatz as he climbed the franchise leader board into second place all-time for saves. Papelbon closed out 2008 with 113 career saves—and on July 1, 2009, with his 20th save of the season he surpassed Bob Stanley to become the all-time franchise leader in saves.

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    It took exactly one month of regular season play for fans to accept Sparky [Anderson]—posting a 16-6 record out of the gate has that kind of effect.

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    I've never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes.

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    I was never good at sports. For a while I played Little League baseball, but I had very little interaction with the actual ball. I heard a lot of yelling about the ball, and I occasionally sensed that something--which I assumed was the ball--had just whizzed past me. But I almost never had any direct personal contact with the ball, which turns out to be crucial to succeeding in many athletic endeavors.

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    Molly wondered if these boys really loved baseball, the sound and smell of it, the rhythm of it, the leather and wood, the grass and dirt, the story and surprise in a good game.

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    Most people, ordinary citizens, regard Major League Baseball with a reverence bordering on foolishness. They believe an institution so old and storied must be honest at its core. Even after the '94 strike, even after steroids, they continue to believe. Baseball is the drunken uncle America keeps inviting back to Thanksgiving, even though we know he's going to puke and pass out on the floor.

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    Most of us would give anything for the chance to play just one day of MLB baseball—especially for our favorite team. Well, there once was a pitcher named Bock Baker who actually got two opportunities to pitch in the big leagues. He took the mound for Cleveland against the Chicago White Sox in his big league debut. How did he fare? Well, he pitched a complete game. Pretty spectacular, right? Well, sure—but it depends on your perspective. He gave up 23 hits and 13 runs. Baker never pitched for Cleveland again, but the Philadelphia Athletics gave him a second big league start that same year (1901). He lasted juts six innings, and lost again after giving up 11 runs—and then his career was over.

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    My buddies and I wrote letters to hundreds of pofessional players, asking for autographed photos. Occasionally one responded, and to get a photo in th email was a reason to strut.

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    my favorite urban flower, the baseball box score

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    My instinct is a winning coach, and when it said "Batter up,"I didn't argue that I wasn't ready for the game. I gripped the bat in both hands, assumed the stance, and said a prayer to Mickey Mantle.

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    My heart starts to pound as he gets closer and closer to the stands, never taking his eyes off me.

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    Neukom, the Giants' buttoned-down owner, finally found Ross and vigorously rubbed his bald head while screaming jibberish nobody could understand

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    No, I would not say that assault with a baseball bat constitutes "justice being done.

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    On days like this, baseball would make Michael as happy as it ever did. No umpires. No coaches. No rules except the ones you made up.

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    Only one person can own any plate at a time. It belongs to the pitcher, or it belongs to the batter, Aiken, but not to both. You understand.

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    On the surface, there is something peculiar about turning a portion of one's happiness over to a collection of ballplayers, and perhaps more peculiar still is concerning oneself about ball games played decades before one's birth.

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    [On writing:] "There's a great quote by Julius Irving that went, 'Being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don't feel like doing them.'" (One On 1, interview with Budd Mishkin; NY1, March 25, 2007.)

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    Ortiz is now synonymous with walk-off homers. After all, he hit a total of nine game-ending blasts from 2002-07. And that was just in the regular season. It was his blasts in the 2004 postseason that cemented his legacy in Boston.

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    Or there, in the clay-baked piedmont of the South, that lean and tan-faced boy who sprawls there in the creaking chair among admiring cronies before the open doorways of the fire department, and tells them how he pitched the team to shut-out victory to-day. What visions burn, what dreams possess him, seeker of the night? The packed stands of the stadium, the bleachers sweltering with their unshaded hordes, the faultless velvet of the diamond, unlike the clay-balked outfields down in Georgia. The mounting roar of eighty thousand voices and Gehrig coming up to bat, the boy himself upon the pitching mound, the lean face steady as a hound’s; then the nod, the signal, and the wind-up, the rawhide arm that snaps and crackles like a whip, the small white bullet of the blazing ball, its loud report in the oiled pocket of the catcher’s mitt, the umpire’s thumb jerked upwards, the clean strike.

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    Owen," Henry said excitedly, "I think Coach wants you to hit for Meccini." Owen closed The Voyage of the Beagle, on which he had recently embarked. "Really?" "Runners on first and second," Rick said. "I bet he wants you to bunt." "What's the bunt sign?" "Two tugs on the left earlobe," Henry told him. "But first he has to give the indicator, which is squeeze the belt. But if he goes to his cap with either hand or says your first name, that's the wipe-off, and then you have to wait and see whether--" "Forget it," Owen said. "I'll just bunt.

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    Putting Henry at shortstop - it was like taking a painting that had been shoved in a closet and hanging it in the ideal spot. You instantly forgot what the room had looked like before.

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    Rose worked and played so hard that kids all across the country—not just in Cincinnati—were emulating him on sandlots everywhere, proud to dirty their jerseys doing a headfirst “Pete Rose” dive into cardboard boxes used for bases … whether they needed to slide or not.

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    Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear -- and doubt.

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    She had fouled off of the curves that life had thrown at her.