In a game that can change in a blink of an eye, you’ve gotta stay on your toes somehow. Which is why field chatter is paramount to keeping all the players on the diamond engaged. Hey, Batta Batta Batta… And while the chatter doesn’t always have much subsistence, when you finally get the players off the field and in front of a mic you never know what they’re gonna say. They can bring fun quips, shocking stories, or even the most bizarre soundbites you’ll ever hear. We’re looking at you, Yogi!
As we continue well into the 2020 season, we wanted to take a moment to add another edition to our Top 9 series. This time we’re going to deliver the best quotes in baseball history along with some historical context for your reading pleasure.
(Note: We have excluded the Hall of Fame Yankee catcher, Yogi Berra, from the list because his legendary soundbites deserve a list of their own. You can enjoy a few of his top quotes we have listed at the end of the article.)
"People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
- Rogers Hornsby
Given the happenings of 2020, Rogers would’ve been staring out the window for the first six months of the year. But what he says rings so true to any diehard baseball fan. There’s something that sits right about the world each day you’re able to find your way onto a diamond.
"There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all."
- Lou Gehrig
In a candid response to segregated baseball, Hall of Fame first baseman, Lou Gehrig, did not mince his words. His powerful message was an early display that baseball would play a major role in creating social equality.
"A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings."
- Robert Earl Wilson
Robert Earl Wilson is known best for his time as a Red Sox’s starting pitcher, so it’s no surprise that a pitcher who played a majority of his home games in the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park would constantly be amidst a nervous breakdown. However, we would probably contend, Mr. Wilson, that it’s actually more stressful to watch a game than play it.
"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is."
- Bob Feller
“Bullet” Bob Feller delivers the message that we all need to hear. Build on the positives in life and don’t dwell on your failures. Keep pushing forward because there is always another game on the schedule. And that’s coming from a first-ballot Hall of Fame pitcher.
"Never allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."
- Babe Ruth
Similar in vein to the quote from Feller, “The Sultan of Swat, the King of Crash, the Colossus of Clout! The Colossus of Clout” took on the element of failure with this famous line. Baseball will find a way to knock you down. We’ve all worn a Golden Sombrero before. But that’s no reason to not take your next at-bat.
"Well, it took me 17 years to get 3,000 hits in baseball, and I did it in one afternoon on the golf course."
- Hank Aaron
In honor of the first PGA Major of 2020 this weekend, we pulled one of Henry Aaron’s most iconic one-liners of all-time. Plain and simple... Golf is hard.
"I never had a job. I just always played baseball."
- Satchel Paige
It can be frustrating to hear MLB stars complain about various hardships, but knowing all of the struggles through the Negro Leagues that Satchel Paige faced, it’s wildly inspirational to read such a simple quote filled with this much passion. Stay grounded and follow your passion, folks. The rest will take care of itself.
"They give you a round bat, and they throw you a round ball, and then they tell you to hit it square."
- Willie Stargell
Willie shoots it straight with this brilliant quote describing the difficulties in hitting a baseball. If you’re ever mired in a slump, come back to this one and find a way to simplify the game.
"I think I was the best baseball player I ever saw."
- Willie Mays
Given Hall of Fame legend, Willie Mays’ illustrious career, he may just be telling the truth here. He did things that we had never seen before. And man, you’ve gotta love that confidence!
- "I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat, and if it keeps up, I change bats."
- "Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.”
- "Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too."
- "The game of baseball isn't over until it's over."
- "This is like Deja vu all over again."
- "Slump? I'm not in a slump. I'm just not hitting."
- "If the people don't wanna come out to the ballpark, nobody's gonna stop 'em."
- "Baseball ain't like football. You can't make up no trick plays."
- "I'm ugly. So what? I've never seen anyone hit with his face."
- "Think?! How are you supposed to think and hit at the same time?"
- "Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets."