Famous Baseball Quotes

The most famous baseball quotes have often become part of popular culture and have been applied to things other than baseball. No other sport has had as many quotable characters as baseball. Football may have surpassed baseball in popularity, but it will probably never produce as many famous quotes as baseball has. 

  1. “It ain't over till it's over.” This is easily the most famous baseball quote in history. In July of 1973, the NY Mets trailed badly in the division race. This famous baseball quote was manager Yogi Berra's response to a reporter's question about whether the season was already over for the Mets. Berra's words were prophetic as the Mets rallied late to win the division, and then the National League Pennant. Berra is famous for his humorous quotes referred to as “Yogiisms.”

  2. “You can't make chicken salad out of chicken feathers.” At the end of the 1949 season, the Washington Senators fired manager Joe Kuhel. This famous baseball quote was his response to a question from a reporter about his failure to win in Washington. Kuhel, of course, meant that he didn't have enough good players to win. Some who heard Kuhel's remarks contend that his actual quote was cleaned up for publication. They say that Kuhel did not say “chicken feathers,” but instead referred to another poultry byproduct.

  3. “Say it ain't so Joe!” In 1920, the infamous Black Sox scandal broke, and Shoeless Joe Jackson was called to testify before a grand jury about his alleged role in the plot. As Jackson, one of baseball's greatest heroes, was leaving the courthouse, a young boy ran up to Jackson and made this demand. In an interview decades later, Jackson denied that this incident ever occurred. Contemporary newspaper accounts report an encounter between Jackson and a boy, but there is disagreement about the words exchanged between them.

  4. “Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.” This famous baseball quote is another Yogiism. Yogi Berra made this statement in an interview and has given several variations of this famous baseball quote. This quote is a perfect example of a Yogiism as it reveals a subtle truth with an illogical statement.

  5. “The umpire said I did.” This is a famous baseball quote only among the most hardcore baseball fans. The Washington Senators and the Pittsburgh Pirates played in the 1925 World Series. In game three, the Senators were leading in the eight inning when Pirate's catcher Earl Smith connected on a pitch and lined it to right centerfield. Right fielder Sam Rice took off after the ball, leaped to make the catch, appeared to do so, and went over the outfield fence and out of the field of play where no one could see him. Many people who saw both the Rice catch and the famous Willie Mays catch of Vic Wertz's fly ball in the 1954 World Series contend that the Rice catch was the more spectacular play. But, did Rice make the catch? The Pirates argued that he did not. The umpires ruled the play a catch, but the decision was appealed to Judge Landis, the Commissioner of Baseball, who was in attendance. Landis asked Rice if he caught the ball and this quote was Rice's response. Landis liked Rice's answer told him he should forever after give the same answer to anyone who questioned him about the play. The umpire's ruling stood, and the Senators won the game. Rice followed the Judge's admonishment and never said anything more about the play than what he said to Landis. When Rice was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he agreed to write a letter in which he would reveal whether or not he actually caught the ball. The letter was sealed and placed in the care of the Hall of Fame. After Rice's death at the age of 84 in 1974, the letter was opened at a news conference. In the letter, Rice stated that he had indeed caught the ball and had maintained possession of it.

show comments

What Others Are Reading Right Now.