Spring is Near. Baseball is Here.

baseballdiamondnight1

A guy I used to play high school ball with had a great quote on his Facebook status today, and it made me smile because it is almost baseball season.  During the year, to be sure, I will do my very best to extol to you the virtues of falling madly in love with such a brutal and civil sport, but for now, perhaps some quotes from the arch of history will warm your palette.

  • Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem. ~Saul Steinberg
  • 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.  ~Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970
  • It breaks your heart.  It is designed to break your heart.  The game begins in 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.  ~A. Bartlett Giamatti, “The Green Fields of the Mind,” Yale Alumni Magazine, November 1977
  • Say this much for big league baseball – it is beyond question the greatest conversation piece ever invented in America.  ~Bruce Catton
  • Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world.  If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can’t get you off.  ~Bill Veeck
  • Baseball is the only place in life where a sacrifice is really appreciated.  ~Author Unknown
  • Ideally, the umpire should combine the integrity of a Supreme Court judge, the physical agility of an acrobat, the endurance of Job and the imperturbability of Buddha.  ~“The Villains in Blue,” Time magazine, 25 August 1961
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that the two most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen.  ~Bob Lemon, 1981
  • No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games.  No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games.  It’s the other third that makes the difference.  ~Tommy Lasorda
  • You don’t save a pitcher for tomorrow.  Tomorrow it may rain.  ~Leo Durocher, in New York Times, 16 May 1965
  • You can’t sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock.  You’ve got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance.  That’s why baseball is the greatest game of them all.  ~Earl Weaver
  • The strongest thing that baseball has going for it today are its yesterdays.  ~Lawrence Ritter
  • It ain’t like football.  You can’t make up no trick plays.  ~Yogi Berra
  • Baseball, to me, is still the national pastime because it is a summer game.  I feel that almost all Americans are summer people, that summer is what they think of when they think of their childhood.  I think it stirs up an incredible emotion within people.  ~Steve Busby, in Washington Post, 8 July 1974
  • That’s the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball.  ~Bill Veeck, 1976
  • A baseball park is the one place where a man’s wife doesn’t mind his getting excited over somebody else’s curves.  ~Brendan Francis
  • The other sports are just sports.  Baseball is a love.  ~Bryant Gumbel, 1981
  • Don’t tell me about the world.  Not today.  It’s springtime and they’re knocking baseball around fields where the grass is damp and green in the morning and the kids are trying to hit the curve ball.  ~Pete Hamill
  • 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.  ~Ernie Harwell, “The Game for All America,” 1955
  • Basketball, hockey and track meets are action heaped upon action, climax upon climax, until the onlooker’s responses become deadened.  Baseball is for the leisurely afternoons of summer and for the unchanging dreams.  ~Roger Kahn
  • Though I like the various forms of football in the world, I don’t think they begin to compare with these two great Anglo-Saxon ball games for sophisticated elegance and symbolism.  Baseball and cricket are beautiful and highly stylized medieval war substitutes, chess made flesh, a mixture of proud chivalry and base – in both senses – greed.  With football we are back to the monotonous clashing armor of the brontosaurus.  ~John Fowles
  • A game of great charm in the adoption of mathematical measurements to the timing of human movements, the exactitudes and adjustments of physical ability to hazardous chance.  The speed of the legs, the dexterity of the body, the grace of the swing, the elusiveness of the slide – these are the features that make Americans everywhere forget the last syllable of a man’s last name or the pigmentation of his skin.  ~Branch Rickey, May 1960
  • Baseball, it is said, is only a game.  True.  And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.  ~George F. Will, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball, 1990
  • People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball.  I’ll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring.  ~Rogers Hornsby
  • A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.  ~Humphrey Bogart
  • A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings.  ~Earl Wilson
  • What is both surprising and delightful is that spectators are allowed, and even expected, to join in the vocal part of the game…. There is no reason why the field should not try to put the batsman off his stroke at the critical moment by neatly timed disparagements of his wife’s fidelity and his mother’s respectability.  ~George Bernard Shaw
  • I see great things in baseball.  It’s our game – the American game.  It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism.  Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set.  Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.  ~Walt Whitman

1 Comment

Filed under Rants and Musings

One response to “Spring is Near. Baseball is Here.

  1. mattyshack

    Downside of having such a big dick is when you go to take a shit and you gotta keep your dick from hitting the fucking toilet water. ~Kenny Powers

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