The great American sport of baseball offers great entertainment on the field, but also continues to provide some nifty quips and quotes.
n Lefty Gomez, discussing the old days of baseball with the legendary Satchel Paige: "Say Satch, tell me, was Abraham Lincoln a crouch hitter?"
n Atlanta Braves radio engineer Dave Baker, on watching four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux running out a triple: "It replaced the Kentucky Derby as the most exciting two minutes in sports."
n Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell on Sparky Anderson's autobiography, "They Call Me Sparky," his third book: "Sparky's the only guy I know who has written more books than he has read."
n Buddy Baron, commenting on Pete Rose: "He'll probably get 40 years - one for failing to report his income tax and the other 39 for his haircut."
n Toronto Blue Jays catcher Bob Brenly, to rookie pitcher Alex Sanchez after he had walked his first major league hitter: "You got the first batter out of the way and still got your no-hitter going."
n New York Yankees third baseman Craig Nettles to reliever Goose Gossage, who threw eight straight balls after he came to the mound: "What's the matter? Didn't the bullpen have any home plates."
n Comedian Joey Adams on 5-foot-5 former major leaguer Fred Patek: "Fred Patek was so small when he was born that his father passed out cigar butts."
n Washington Times sportswriter Jon Siegal's opening sentence about a sloppy Orioles-Devil Rays 15-inning game: "It was definitely not one for the ages, even if it took several of them."
n Announcer Jack Buck, about his baseball career: "When my father saw me play baseball, he got waivers from the rest of the family and traded me for a dog to be named later."
n Claudell Washington, explaining why it took him four days to show up after being traded by Texas to the White Sox: "I overslept."
n Paul Splittorff, awed by a George Brett prodigious home run: "Anything that goes that far ought to have a stewardess on it."
n White Sox leadoff man, Ray Durham, after he struck out five times in six-at-bats in a 12-inning game against the Cubs: "My bat had a big hole in it. That's my story and I'm sticking with it."
n Yankee manager, Joe Torre, on a brushback pitch thrown at Glen Hoffman: "Is that called 'dustin' Hoffman?"
n Yogi Berra after his wife returned from seeing "Doctor Zhivago": "What, are you sick again?"
n Pittsburgh Pirates coach Rich Donnelly about his friend on the Soviet national baseball team: "He told me if you don't play well, they send you to Siberia. He said he didn't mind. He always wanted to play winter ball."
n Dizzy Dean, after a short hospital stay: "The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing."
n Barry Rochkind, announcer and former bat boy: "When I was a bat boy for the Astros the players used to rub my head for good luck. They still haven't won the pennant and I'm going bald."
n Tris Speaker, baseball great about another player in 1921: "Babe Ruth made a big mistake when he gave up pitching."
Mitch Tullai is a historian/humorist who lives in Lutherville, Md. He is a frequent contributor to Voice of the Fan.