The great game of baseball has provided fans with the excitement of timely hits, scintillating pitching and dramatic managerial strategy.
As another season heads into May, here are some interesting quips and quotes baseball has produced over the years:
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 Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddox running out a triple: "It replaced the Kentucky Derby as the most exciting two minutes in sports."
n Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell of Sparky Anderson's autobiography, "They Call Me Sparky," his third book: "Sparky's the only guy I know that has written more books than he has read."
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 Graig 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 Canadian 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 Dan Quisenberry, Kansas City Royals pitcher, about fear: "Most pitchers fear losing their fastball and, since I don't have one, the only thing I have to fear is fear itself."
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 Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated making a comparison: "Rooting for the Yankees to win is like rooting for Brad Pitt to get the girl or for Bill Gates to hit Scratch 'n win."
n George Will, author and political commentator, on why parents shouldn't let their children become Chicago Cubs fans: "Rooting for the Cubs in the late 1940s and early 1950s, I became gloomy, pessimistic, morose, dyspeptic and conservative."
n Buffalo Bisons manager Rocky Bridges, turning down a waiter's suggestion of snails for an appetizer: "I prefer fast food."
n Casey Stengel to Phil Rizzuto after a tryout: "Kid, you're too small. You ought to go out and shine shoes."
n Doug Harvey, umpire: "When I'm right, no one remembers. When I'm wrong, no one forgets."
n Jim Kern, Texas Ranger pitcher, on being removed from the game: "I told the manager I wasn't tired. He told me, 'No, but the outfielders are.'"
Tullai is a sports historian/humorist who resides in Luthersville, Md. He is an occasional contributor to Voice of the Fan.