Box scores and statistics can be fascinating, but it's the memorable personalities that make baseball such a richly textured sport. As I mentioned in my last post, a few of those personalities left behind a legacy of enduring quotes. Here are more of my favorites:
This legendary Yankee great played on fourteen pennant winners and ten championship squads. He was also named to fifteen straight All-Star teams. Lofty credentials aside, he is best known for his malapropisms, which are commonly referred to as "Yogi-isms." Over the course of his career, they included the following:
"If you don't know where you're going, chances are you'll end up somewhere else."
"If the people don't want to come to the ballpark, nobody's going to stop them."
"You can observe a lot by just watching."
"Never answer an anonymous letter."
"It's not the heat, it's the humility."
Uecker had an undistinguished major league career as a catcher for portions of six seasons. He later became a sportscaster, stand-up comedian and actor, appearing in several movies as well as the long-running TV sitcom Mr. Belvedere. He was given the title of "Mr. Baseball" by talk-show host Johnny Carson and received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame. Some of his best self-deprecating lines are as follows:
"I led the league in 'Go get-'em next time!'"
"I go to Old-Timer's games and I haven't lost a thing. I sit in the bullpen and let people throw things at me just like old times."
"People don't know this, but I helped the Cardinals win a pennant. I came down with hepatitis. The trainer injected me with it."
"I didn't get a lot of awards as a player, but they did have a 'Bob Uecker Day Off' once for me in Philly."
"I hit a grand slam off of Ron Herbel and when his manager Herman Franks came out to get him, he was bringing Herbel's suitcase."
Among the greatest infielders of all-time, Hornsby won seven batting titles and two triple crowns. He was named MVP twice--in 1925 and 1929. His lifetime .358 batting average is second only to Ty Cobb. Ornery and fiercely competitive, he spent many years as a player/manager, often alienating teammates with his disparaging remarks. He was almost always good for a quote. Here are a few of the most colorful:
"People ask me what I do when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
"I don't want to play golf. When I hit the ball, I want someone else to go chase it."
"I don't like to sound egotistical, but every time I stepped up to the plate with a bat in my hands, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the pitcher."
"I've cheated or someone on my team has cheated in almost every single game I've been in."
"I've always played hard. If that's rough and tough, I can't help it. I don't believe there's any such thing as a good loser."