This week I've been working my way through a famous 19 hour documentary on the history of American baseball by documentary film maker extraordinaire Ken Burns. It is a wonderful way of getting acquainted with a game I've only had a passing interest in. My favourite bits so far are these zany quotes from arguably the two greatest player/managers of the game.
Former player/Yankees manager Casey Stengel
"I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice."
"If this keeps up I'm about to manage until I'm a hundred."
- after a 4-game winning streak
"He'd fall in a sewer and come up with a gold watch."
- on Yogi Berra
"Mister, that boy couldn't hit the ground if he fell out of an airplane."
- on a player sent down to the minors
"Best thing wrong with Jack Fisher is nothing."
"It's wonderful to meet so many friends that I didn't used to like."
- after an old-timers game in 1971
"They brought me up to the Brooklyn Dodgers, which at that time was in Brooklyn."
Former New York Yankees Catcher/Manager Yogi Berra
"Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical."
"It's déjà vu all over again."
"It's so crowded nobody goes there anymore."
- on Toots Shor's restaurant
"So I'm ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face."
"I always thought the record would stand until it was broken."
- from a publicity stunt letter sent to Johnny Bench after he broke Berra's all-time home run record for catchers
"You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
"I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting."
"We have deep depth."
"If the fellow who lost it was poor, I'd return it."
- what he would do if he found a million dollars
"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
"If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be."
"The other teams could make trouble for us if they win."
"He is a big clog in their machine."
"If the people don't want to come out to the park, nobody's going to stop them."
"We made too many wrong mistakes."
- why the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pirates
"I wish I had an answer to that because I'm getting tired of answering that question."
"I usually take a two-hour nap, from one o'clock to four."
"He must have made that before he died."
- referring to a Steve McQueen movie