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BASEBALL QUOTES III

For most baseball fans, maybe oldest is always best. We love baseball because it seizes and retains the past, like the snowy village inside a glass paperweight.

DONALD HALL, Ford Times, April 1977

To be an American and unable to play baseball is comparable to being a Polynesian and unable to swim.

JOHN CHEEVER, The New Yorker, Sep. 28, 1953

College baseball is an imperfect game; that is its beauty and the key to its enjoyment. Place it in a major league setting and it becomes an awkward parody. In the major leagues, a ground ball to the shortstop is an out, but in college ball, even a pop-up carries an element of doubt. The appeal of college baseball is that the players have talent but not perfection. They are capable of outstanding accomplishment and unbelievable mistakes; they are, in short, just like ourselves. It is a game all of us can understand.

PAUL BURKA, Texas Monthly, Apr. 1974

Baseball is a lot more like life than life is. It's nine or more innings of struggle, against the game itself as much as the opponent. Take good swings at the right pitches and hits will come. Command the corners with quality pitches and you'll get hitters out. Good mechanics and good decisions, along with a little luck, produce victory. The obstacle is not the other team, not the problems in life, but how you approach the game.

RICHARD DAIGLE, Atlanta Magazine, July 2006

The world of baseball is fan-made. The fan's interest is sentimental in the sense that sentimentality is an emotion in excess of its cause. His interest is also coincidental, for baseball just happens to offer the best means to obtain a wishful end. The tensions of a changing world may reproduce new symptom formations. The neurotic compromise that the fan makes between his interest in Baseball and his inability to attain absolute pleasure from it could produce a regressive turn to other sports. Like football, that blood game.

JIM BROSNAN, The Atlantic, Apr. 1964

Baseball is a public trust. Players turn over, owners turn over and certain commissioners turn over. But baseball goes on.

PETER UEBERROTH, New York Times, May 12, 1985

Baseball is the most perfect of games, solid, true, pure and precious as diamonds. If only life were so simple.

W. P. KINSELLA, Shoeless Joe

Baseball is the most intellectual game because most of the action goes on in your head.

HENRY KISSINGER, attributed, Baseball's Greatest Quotations

Baseball is as close a liturgical enactment of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant myth as the nation has. It is a cerebral game, designed as geometrically as the city of Washington itself, born out of the Enlightenment and the philosophies so beloved of Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton. It is to games what the Federalist Papers are to books; orderly, reasoned, judiciously balanced, incorporating segments of violence and collision in a larger plan of rationality, absolutely dependent on an interiorization of public rules.

MICHAEL NOVAK, The Joy of Sports

The professional baseball fan is an American cultural phenomenon. His fund of quotable statistics, his trove of memorable traditions, his collections of valueless mementos comprise a mine of guilt-edged insecurity. Although he can neither do nor teach, he regards himself as a player-coach.

JIM BROSNAN, The Atlantic, Apr. 1964

The best words--most fun words--in our language are "play ball." Those words conjure up home runs and strikeouts, extra innings and double plays. "Play ball" is what baseball is all about--its call to arms--and there isn't a baseball fan in the USA or Canada who isn't a little excited over the beginning of a new season.

PETER UEBERROTH, USA Today, Apr. 4, 1986

Baseball is continuous, like nothing else among American things, an endless game of repeated summers, joining the long generations of all the fathers and all the sons.

DONALD HALL, Fathers Playing Catch with Sons

If you don’t think it’s the greatest game, leave, cause you’re missing it all. It’s the greatest game there ever was. It is the only game where nobody cares where you come from. And nobody cares who you are. They only care, can you play. That’s all this game is. It’s a game of having fun.

SPARKY ANDERSON, Hall of Fame induction speech

Baseball is something of a ballet, the trouble is that the music is substandard (they use pretty much the same score at the hockey rink) and the performers often spit tobacco juice all over the place.

DAVE SHIFLETT, Houston Chronicle, Apr. 29, 1990

To the fierce, ardent, leather-lunged Professional fan, baseball is life itself, a motive for breathing, the yeast that helps his spirit, as well as his gorge, rise.

JIM BROSNAN, The Atlantic, Apr. 1964

It is hard to imagine a democratic republic without baseball for the instruction of its citizens.

MICHAEL NOVAK, The Joy of Sports

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, Now Pitching, Bob Feller

Baseball is not life and death. But in life and death, we remember the game, and we remember those who shared the game with us.

JEFF ZILLGITT, Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan's Soul

Baseball is part of America's plot, part of America's mysterious, underlying design--the plot in which we all conspire and collude, the plot of the story of our national life.

A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI, attributed, The Faith of 50 Million

Baseball gives ... a growing boy self-poise and self-reliance. Baseball is a man maker.

AL SPALDING, attributed, American Through Baseball

Baseball is as urban as sparring gladiators in the Colosseum, fighting each other, fighting lions, the scent of terror and failure and blood sickly-sweet in the air. Baseball is as urban as bearbaiting on the south bank of the Thames, a spectacle that competed for shillings with the words of Shakespeare and Jonson.

GEORGE VECSEY, Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game

Baseball is the real game of the Nation, because it contains all the essentials of manhood, as manhood is understood in the United States, and the game has so many good qualities that it is spreading all over the earth. So long as the little sons of Uncle Sam ... play baseball, we are going to have a healthy, clean, industrious country, for as an exercise it is the best sport known.... It trains the mind as well as the body, and there is little element of danger. It can safely be played by boys of five and men of fifty. The heart, the lungs, the legs, the arms and the eye are called into play in every second the game is on; that is why baseball has been the favorite pastime of the American small boy; it is a developer par excellence.

CHIEF BENDER, Boy's Life, Aug. 1912

Baseball is a game of moments: exhilarating and excruciating, heartwarming and heartbreaking, dazzling and, yes, sometimes even dull. Red Barber, the greatest baseball announcer of all time, said that "baseball is dull only to dull minds," but I respectfully disagree.... Baseball is a lot like life: there are moments of excitement and joy with long stretches of monotony.

LIZ HARTMAN MUSIKER, The Smart Girl's Guide to Sports

Look! Look at the yellow neon running up the foul poles.... Watch the players, white against green like froth on waves of ocean. Look around at the fans, count their warts just as they count ours; look at them waddle and stuff their faces and cheer with their mouths full. We're not just ordinary people, we're a congregation. Baseball is a ceremony, a ritual, as surely as sacrificing a goat beneath a full moon is a ritual.

W. P. KINSELLA, Shoeless Joe

If basketball is checkers, baseball is chess--and the endless configurations of its statistics are quantum physics!

LIZ HARTMAN MUSIKER, The Smart Girl's Guide to Sports

Sliding headfirst is the safest way to get to the next base, I think. And the fastest. You don't lose your momentum.... And there is one more important reason that I slide headfirst. It gets my picture in the newspaper.

PETE ROSE, Pete Rose: My Life in Baseball

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