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Quotes / Baseball

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You got nine guys on each side, yeah... You got a pitcher and a catcher. And they throw this ball back and forth. And that's all there is to it?... Oh, all right. A guy from the other side stands between them. With a bat. I see. And he just watches them?... Oh, I see. He swings at it?... He may or he may not swing at it. Depending on what?... "If it looked like it were a ball." Uh, what's a ball, Mr. Doubleday?... You've got this plate. Uh-huh... And as long as it's above the knees, but below the shoulders, it... No, no, go ahead, I'm listening... it's a strike. Three strikes and you're out, and three balls... Not three balls, four balls. Why four balls, Mr. Doubleday?... Nobody's ever asked you before... Or he may hit it? If he hits it, what happens?... He runs as far as he can, before somebody catches it. As long as it stays what?... As long as it stays fair. And what's fair, Mr. Doubleday?... You've got these two white lines?... Is this a rib? Is this one of the guys in the office? Who is this?

Baseball gets its name from the type of field on which it is played: a baseball field. There are twenty-seven players on each team; however, no more than thirteen are allowed on the field at one time—nine from one team, and from one to four on the other. To make it a fair match, the team with the smaller number of players is allowed to carry clubs. [...] Naturally, both teams occasionally use their fists, but this is usually unnecessary. You see, all players have ingeniously attached sharply-pointed, metal cleats to their shoes. With these, the more experienced players can, with grace and skill, badly lacerate an opponent, yet make it look quite accidental. As you can see, the game is an excellent means for building character and teaching young men good sportsmanship, fair play, and first aid.

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

Every player in every game is subjected to a cold and ceaseless accounting; no ball is thrown and no base is gained without an instant responding judgment—ball or strike, hit or error, yea or nay—and an ensuing statistic. This encompassing neatness permits the baseball fan, aided by experience and memory, to extract from a box score the same joy, the same hallucinatory reality, that prickles the scalp of a musician when he glances at a page of his score of Don Giovanni and actually hears bassos and sopranos, woodwinds and violins.
Roger Angell

Baseball's time is seamless and invisible, a bubble within which players move at exactly the same pace and rhythms as all their predecessors. This is the way the game was played in our youth and in our fathers' youth, and even back then—back in the country days—there must have been the same feeling that time could be stopped. Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young.
Roger Angell

Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.
Yogi Berra

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

More than any other American sport, baseball creates the magnetic, addictive illusion that it can almost be understood.
Thomas Boswell

Over the years people have said to me, "Isn't it dull covering baseball every day?" My answer used to be "It becomes dull only to dull minds." Today's game is always different from yesterday's game.
Red Smith

Baseball, like life, revolves around anticlimax. That in many ways is the beauty of it. I realize that’s a hard thing to explain to someone who doesn’t love baseball, no, more than hard, it’s an impossible thing to explain because many people want sports to be more than life, they follow sports to jolt them out of the steady rhythms of the shriek of alarm clocks, the monotony of morning meetings, the rush to get our kids to soccer practice by 4 p.m. They want sports to be bigger than life. What’s the point, otherwise? There is nothing in baseball as jarring as a blind-side hit, as jaw-dropping as a perfect alley-oop, as tense and heart-pounding as a breakaway. And the hard thing to explain, the impossible thing, is that many of us love baseball not in spite of these failings but because of them.
Joe Posnanski

It breaks your heart. 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. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.
A. Bartlett Giamatti

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

In football, the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball, the object is to go home! And to be safe! "I hope I'll be safe at home!"
George Carlin, comparing the two sports


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