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I love baseball. You know, it doesn't have to mean anything. It's just very beautiful to watch.
This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of nine players popular in North America and parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean, East Asia and Europe.

See also:
Baseball (documentary)


Sorted alphabetically by author or source
  • I love baseball. You know, it doesn't have to mean anything. It's just very beautiful to watch.
  • Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.
    • Jacques Barzun, God's Country and Mine: A Declaration of Love Spiced with a Few Harsh Words (1954), p. 159
  • I've gotten so disgusted with baseball, I don't follow it anymore. I just see the headlines and turn my head away in shame from what we have done with our most interesting game and best, healthiest pastime. [...] It's a matter of contention perpetually, bad behavior by all sorts of people in authority in the game. And, of course, the commercialization is beyond anything that was ever thought of, the overvaluing, really, of the game itself. It's out of proportion to the place an entertainment ought to have. Other things are similarly commercialized and out of proportion. But for baseball, which is so intimately connected with the nation's spirit and tradition, it's a disaster.
    • Jacques Barzun, as quoted in "As Timeless as Tomorrow" by Steve Wilstein, in The Toronto Globe & Mail (March 26, 1993)
  • Nearly everyone's son wants to be a baseball player. Why not? What other profession could he choose where he can slide around in the dirt, never work when it rains and spit whenever he wants?
    • Erma Bombeck, "A Mouthful on Baseball's Spitting Image," The Baltimore Sun (July 15, 1993)
  • Baseball is just the great American pastime. I try to figure out what it is. I think it's the joy of feeling a part of, more than other sports -- wondering whether the guy's going to walk the hitter on purpose, wondering if the steal sign is on, wondering if he's going to bring in a relief pitcher . . . The fan somehow feels more a part of the game sitting in the stands . . . A lot of them are faster moving, but, in baseball, I get caught up in what I'd do if I were managing. The game seems to move along pretty good . . . but I don't even mind when it drags.
  • I carried this rubber ball with me all the time. I squeezed it to strengthen my fingers and wrists and my friend and I would walk to and from school throwing the rubber ball back and forth. Many times at night, I laid in the bed and threw the ball against the ceiling and caught it. Baseball was my whole life. I would forget to eat because of baseball and one time my mother wanted to punish me. She started to burn my bat, but I got it out of the fire and saved it. Many times today she tells me how wrong she was and how right I was to want to play baseball. I bought my parents their home in Puerto Rico and gave them possessions they never thought they’d ever see. All from baseball.
    • Roberto Clemente, as quoted in “Clouter Clemente: Popular Buc; Rifle-Armed Flyhawk Aims At Second Bat Crown” by Les Biederman, in The Sporting News (September 5, 1964)
  • Baseball is a human enterprise. Therefore, by definition, it’s imperfect, it’s flawed, it doesn’t embody perfectly everything that’s worthwhile about our country or about our culture. But it comes closer than most things in American life. And maybe this story, which is probably apocryphal, gets to the heart of it: An Englishman and an American having an argument about something that has nothing to do with baseball. It gets to the point where it’s irreconcilable, to the point of exasperation, and the American says to the Englishman, "Ah, screw the king!" And the Englishman is taken aback, thinks for a minute and says, "Well, screw Babe Ruth!" Now think about that. The American thinks he can insult the Englishman by casting aspersions upon a person who has his position by virtue of nothing except for birth; nothing to do with personal qualities, good, bad or otherwise. But who does the Englishman think embodies America? Some scruffy kid who came from the humblest of beginnings, hung out as a six-year-old behind his father’s bar; a big, badly flawed, swashbuckling palooka, who strides with great spirit — not just talent, but with a spirit of possibility and enjoyment of life across the American stage. That’s an American to the Englishman. You give me Babe Ruth over any king who’s ever sat on the throne and I’ll be happy with that trade.
  • The only form in which baseball is truly interesting is the typographical form. Rice, Lardner, Hanna, Fullerton and the other arch-deceivers seem to be in a gigantic conspiracy to keep the public well fooled. It is a successful conspiracy, too. They write such entertaining yarns about baseball that it makes you want to see a game; then, when you do see it, you are so anxious to read what they are going to say about it that you forget you've been bored. Thus you are caught in a vicious circle. To put it briefly, baseball is the dullest of all sports. I have never been able to understand why the clergymen want to prevent its being played on Sunday; there is so little about the game to distract one's attention that the grandstand is the ideal place for meditation and prayer.
  • Baseball is very big with my people. It figures. It's the only time we can get to shake a bat at a white man without starting a riot.
  • You know what baseball is? It's playing cards, sleeping, watching TV. Dress. Batting practice. Fool around with the fans. Joke with teammates. Football is a little different. Before the game, everybody sits on the floor, quietly, thinking whose head they're going to take off.
  • Baseball has an inner beauty. It is not governed by time. [...] Baseball, in crucial moments, is often a contact sport, with men on the bases. But if you sit back and just look, you're seeing the most orderly and the most classic game, I believe, in the world. This is why you cannot photograph it. You cannot put it on television and make it as exciting as the other sports. It's too big a range and you have the flattening out on the screen. You lose all the kinetic energy.
    • Gene Kelly, as quoted in "Dancing in the Ballpark"
  • Baseball is a slow, boring, complex, cerebral game that doesn't lend itself to histrionics. You "take in" a baseball game, something odd to say about a football or basketball game, with the clock running and the bodies flying.
  • I have never known a day when I didn't learn something new about this game.
  • Why, certainly I'd like to have a fellow who hits a home run every time at bat, who strikes out every opposing batter when he's pitching and who is always thinking about two innings ahead. The only trouble is to get him to put down his cup of beer, come down out of the stands, and do those things.
  • [B]aseball has to accept that it is now more like classical music than popular music, with football and basketball — and soccer? — being the Justin Biebers and Lady Gagas of sports. Baseball need not hang its head in shame. A lot of things that are good and worthy are not popular. And baseball is plenty popular, for heaven's sake.
  • 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 once was good and that could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
  • It was as a sociologist, not as a sportsman—I cannot endure the boredom of sport—that I seized the opportunity to witness for the first time a game of baseball. I found that it has the great advantage over cricket of being over sooner.
    • George Bernard Shaw, "An American Baseball Game," in A Freshman Miscellany (1930) by Karl J. Holzknecht, pp. 249
  • I said: "Baseball is the hurrah game of the republic!" He was hilarious: "That's beautiful: the hurrah game! well — it's our game: that's the chief fact in connection with it: America's game: has the snap, go fling, of the American atmosphere — belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life."
    • Horace Traubel, of a conversation with Walt Whitman (4 July 1889) in With Walt Whitman in Camden (1906), Vol. IV, p. 508
  • Good pitching always stops good hitting, and vice versa.
  • 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 (with Ed Linn), "Back Where I Belong" Sports Illustrated (March 14, 1976)
  • This is a game to be savored, not gulped. There's time to discuss everything between pitches or between innings..
    • Bill Veeck (with Linn), "Back Where I Belong"
  • [B]aseball is a game of idling, a game of stories. It's an informal game, unlike football, which is paramilitary in nature. As Fred Moody once commented, NFL football doesn't consider the press to be a necessary evil. It considers the press to be an unnecessary evil.
  • Baseball is like church. Many attend, but few understand.
    • Wes Westrum, as quoted in "Are You Bright Enough to be a Big Leaguer?" by John Devaney, in The Los Angeles Times (June 17, 1962)

External links[edit]

  • Encyclopedic article on Baseball at Wikipedia
  • Media related to Baseball at Wikimedia Commons