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the_greatest_baseball_quotes | February | 2009 Articles

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The Greatest Baseball Quotes

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I love quotes.  A good one makes you realize that there's someone else out there who feels exactly the same way you do.  I came across a good one about baseball today and decided to give you my top 20, in no particular order.  And by all means, please share your favorites.

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball.  America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers.  It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again.  But baseball has marked the time.  This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray.  It reminds us of all that was once good and could be again." - Terence Mann, "Field of Dreams"

"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer." - Ted Williams

"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

"It is designed to break your heart.  The game begins in the 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 game of baseball has always been linked in my mind with the mystic texture of childhood, with the sounds and smells of summer nights and with the memories of my father." - Doris Kearns Goodwin 

"Baseball, it is said, is only a game.  True.  And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona." - George Will

"We are very possessive of our ballparks. Our own homes are just four walls with a mortgage, a shell we'll gladly sell to move to a place with extra storage and a better school district. But a ballpark? That's sacred land. Not only because of a stadium's place in our personal memories but also because of its importance to our collective memory. Ballparks are one of the last remaining places -- and perhaps the only place -- where we truly come together as a community for a shared experience. We won't exchange words with the passengers next to us during an entire cross-country flight other than to ask if they're going to eat all their pretzels. But put us in a stadium and soon we'll be hugging, slapping high-fives and orchestrating the wave with everyone in the section as if they were fraternity brothers." - Jim Caple

"Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical." - Yogi Berra

"It is by baseball, and not by other American sports, that our memories bronze themselves.  Other sports change too fast, rise with the high-rise, mutate for mutability, modify to modernize.  By baseball we join hands with the long line of forefathers and with the dead." - Donald Hall

"The sport to which I owe so much has undergone profound changes...but it's still baseball.  Kids still imitate their heroes on playgrounds.  Fans still ruin expensive suits going after foul balls that cost five dollars.  Hitting streaks still make the network news.  And the hotdogs still taste better at the ballpark than at home." - Duke Snider

"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 made up of very few big and dramatic moments, but rather it's a beautifully put together pattern of countless little subtleties that finally add up ot the big moment, and you have to be well-bersed in the game to truly appreciate them." - Paul Richards

"Baseball was, is, and always will be the best game in the world." - Babe Ruth

"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." - Pete Hamill

"Baseball is like church.  Many attend, but few understand." - Wes Westrum

"I like to look down on a field of green and white, a summertime land of Oz, a place to dream.  I've never been unhappy in a ballpark." - Jim Murray

"Gehrig never learned that a ballplayer couldn't be good everyday." - Hank Gowdy

"Baseball fosters illusions.  Baseball fosters hopes.  Baseball inflates us.  Baseball lies to us seductively and we know we're being seduce dand we don't complain." - John Thorn

Some of you know by now that I'm also a Red Sox fan (except when they play the Braves, of course).  They've always been my American League team, and this quote exemplifies the way I felt the first time I went to Fenway:

"I'm helplessly and permanently a Red Sox fan.  It was like first love...you never forget.  It's special.  It's the first time I saw a ballpark.  I'd thought nothing would ever replace cricket.  Wow!  Fenway Park at 7 o'clock in the evening.  Oh, just, magic beyond magic: never got over that." - Simon Schama (art historian)

I know I said these were in no particular order, but this one has always been my favorite:

"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 the whole time." - Jim Bouton

 

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