Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Baseball's Greatest Quotes

A few weeks ago I rediscovered a wonderful book, Baseball’s Greatest Quotes, compiled by Kevin Nelson. Though still available on used book sites such as I thought from time to time I would share some selections with you.

In no particular order, here are a few samples:

It seems nearly every week one reads about another player having Tommy John surgery. These notices bring to mind a wonderful quote from the man himself:

When they operated on my arm, I asked them to put in a Koufax fastball. They did. But it was a Mrs. Koufax fastball.

* * * * * * *

As Barry Bonds approaches the 700 home run plateau, it is appropriate to recall how writers of another era saw Babe Ruth:

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. (Tommy Holmes)

* * * * * * *

Frank Howard, who spent most of his career with the Washington Senators and LA Dodgers, was one huge specimen of a guy at 6’7” and 255 pounds. Here is how one well-known LA columnist saw him:

Frank Howard is so big, he wasn’t born, he was founded. (Jim Murray)

* * * * * * *

He had larceny in his heart, but his feet were honest. (Bugs Baer, on plodding base runner Ping Bodie)

* * * * * * *

There’s nothing greater for a human being than to get his body to react to all the things one does on a ball field. It’s as good as sex; it’s as good as music; it fills you up. Waste no tears for me. I didn’t come along too early. I was right on time. (Buck O’Neil, recalling his days as an infielder for the Kansas City Monarchs.)

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