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The 100 Best Baseball Anecdotes

Posted by ptheibert on June 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Having been a professional speechwriter for over 20 years, here, taken from my files, are the 100 best baseball anecdotes, perfect for any speech,

1. A bad day for Billy Martin: Phil Rizzuto will never forget when. "I got a letter threatening me which said if I showed up in uniform against the Red Sox I'd be shot. I turned the letter over to the FBI and told my manager Casey Stengel about it. You know what Casey did? He gave me a different uniform and gave mine to Billy Martin. "

2. Time Flies: A rookie sat next to his manager and watched Roger Maris gun down a runner going from first to third. "Kid, you won't see a throw like that again in a million years." Three innings later, Maris did it again. The rookie said, "Time sure flies up here in the majors."

3. Well, be that way about it: Once Yankee catcher Yogi Berra noticed that Aaron held the bat the wrong way. "Turn it around," he said, "so you can see the trademark." Hank said; "Didn't come up here to read. Came up here to hit..."

4. They was wrong: Leo Durocher denied saying: "Nice guys finish last." , He stated, " I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the winning run, I'd trip her up."

5. My number's 42: Jackie Robinson was the first black player in major league baseball. On the morning of his first appearance with the Dodgers, he kissed his wife goodbye . "If you come down to Ebbets Field today you won't have any trouble recognizing me," he playfully remarked. "My number's 42."

6. No respect for Jimmy Piersall: When playing against the Yankees, the first two batters were hit by the Yankee pitcher. Piersall came to bat, and said to catcher Yogi Berra,: "Yogi, if your pitcher hits me, I am going to charge the mound and brain him with my bat. Everyone knows that I am crazy, and I will be let off the hook." Yogi said: "I wouldn't worry about it. We never try to bean .250 hitters."

7. The advantages of staying healthy: Wally Pipp believed in staying healthy - he told the press - "I have some advice for people: Don't get a headache or catch a cold. I had a headache once and took a day off. A guy named Lou Gehrig took my place and I never started again, so stay healthy."

8. How humbling can this game be? : Mickey Mantle knew baseball could be humbling. He said, "During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball."

9. Koufax - By Any Other Name: Sandy Koufax attended a pig roast party at the home of fellow Dodger Duke Snider. Snider's wife, worried that that Koufax (being Jewish) might feel out of place at a pig roast.. "What," she asked, "would you like to eat?" Koufax, pointed at the roasting pig and said, "I'll have some of that turkey!"

10. The Fear of Feller: Lefty Gomez came to bat when it was foggy. Bob Feller was on the mound and Gomez lit a match before stepping into the batter's box. "The umpire asked,"Do you think that match will help you see Feller's fast one?" Lefty said., "I just want to make sure he can see me!"

11. Blow me a kiss Joe: Joe Pepitone told manager Leo Durocher he was fast enough to steal. So the first time Pepitone reached first, first base coach Peanuts Lowery flashed the sign to Pepitone -- a wink. Pepitone didn't budge. So Lowery winked again. Still, Pepitone stood pat. Again, Lowery winked. This time, Pepitone blew Lowery a kiss

12. Cobb's Ego: When Ty Cobb had been retired from baseball for more than 30 years a writer asked Cobb how he would hit against modern-day pitching. Cobb replied that he'd only hit .300. The writer asked ,"Are today's pitchers that much better ?" Cobb said "You've got to remember -- I'm 73."

13. That two fingered pitch: Paul Dean was pitching with the Cardinals for the first time in spring training Mike Ryba, a Cardinals catcher said , "We used basically simple signs, one finger for the fastball, two fingers for the curve, and three fingers for the changeup.. The first inning was long, but we got out of it all right. . In the middle of the second, Paul called me out to the mound.. 'Mike," he said, "call for that two-finger ball more. I can get more on it.' Then I realized that Paul had been gripping the ball with the number of fingers I put down," Ryba said. "On the one-finger grip, which called for a fastball, he had been throwing a one-finger pitch."

14. Now don't get a big head:: Neftali Feliz, often takes grief from close friends Alexi Ogando and Pedro Strop about the size of his head. Ogando once told MLB.com, "We are triplets, like the Three Musketeers -- three and a half, if you count Feliz's head."

15. Something to fall back on? A millionaire and an All Star at 19, Bryce Harper showed a little insecurity when blogging. Harper wrote "Ever since I was growing up, I wanted to be a firefighter or baseball player. Going into the offseason, I'm going to get my EMT and do the firefighting thing so I have something to fall back on."

16. Seeing the future: Burt Blyleven explained that in his first game, after giving up a home run to his first major league batter, his manager, Bill Rigney, consoled him with sage advice: "That's not the last home run you're going to give up." Blyleven eventually gave up over 400 homeruns in the majors.

17. Just another Hurdle:: Baseball manager Clint Hurdle says, he has discovered a a basic truth, "Your chances of winning, I've got to believe are really, really small when you score one run in 18 innings.

18. By George: In 1985, the Missouri Driver License Bureau issued George Brett his license without requiring him to take the vision test. According to a Missouri official, "If he can hit .350, we figured he could see."

19. That's why they call Cleveland The Mistake by the Lake : One April, a four-game series between Seattle and Cleveland had been snowed out and the games were made up as the season went along. On June 11, the Mariners used a scheduled off day to visit Cleveland for the second of four games. When Ichiro Suzukiwas asked how he felt about the trip, he said, :"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to," Ichiro said. "If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."

20. Kangaroo Court: : Many ball teams have "Kangaroo Courts" where they fine players for silly things. Brad Ziegler talks about one of his fines in Kangaroo Court. " I was fined for having eleven toes-I have six on my right foot. Then Lou Merioni said, 'We're going to keep your fine small if you, get that foot up on the table for everybody to see.' Then Lou whacks his gavel and says, 'Two dollar fine for putting your foot on the table in the middle of the clubhouse!' "

21. Fat Chance: An overweight Jason Giambi was struck out three times in a row by Freddy Garcia . A fan yells "You couldn't hit your weight, Giambi !." Then another fan yelled: "Hey, that's no fair! No one has hit .400 since Ted Williams!"

22. Oh Manny, many, many: According to lore, Ramirez has two Social Security numbers and five active driver's licenses-none of which he managed to present to the officer who pulled him over for driving with illegally tinted windows and the stereo blasting at earsplitting volume. "The cop says said, 'Manny, I'm going to give you a ticket.' Manny says, 'I don't need any tickets, I can give you tickets,' and reaches for the glove compartment. Then he leaves the scene by making an illegal U-turn and he gets another ticket."

23. Just buggy about Bugs: Norman Garciaparra,, the former shortstop for the Red Sox says his favorites baseball player was Bugs Bunny. " Back then, my idol was Bugs Bunny, because I saw a cartoon of him playing ball - you know, the one where he plays every position himself with nobody else on the field but him? Now that I think of it, Bugs is still my idol. You have to love a ballplayer like that."

24. That kid is backwards: How did Norman Garciaparra get such a strange name. His first name is his father's first name backwards and his last name is his father's last name and his mother's last name together.

25. Advice from the coach: When Bobby Valentine replaced Terry Francona as Red Sox manager, he found three envelopes left by Francona for the new manager. The first envelope says if the team is struggling early, blame Tito.The second envelope says if the team is still struggling midseason, blame the minor leagues. The third envelope, says, at the end of the season if the team is still losing, "Make out three envelopes."

26. What happened to the basics? Carl Yastrzemski's grandson. Mike, was being evaluated by major league scouts. The Royals sent a scout to Mike Yastrzemski's Andover home to give him eye tests and psychological tests ..Yaz asked, "Whatever happened to, 'Can he hit? Can he field?"

27. Not Bonding with the fans: Dan Peltier, the former Giants backup, brought his young son to the team's Family Day. When Barry Bonds asked the kid to name his favorite ballplayer, he said, "My dad!" Bonds replied, "Why? He never plays."

28. Oh how the game has changed: , National league umpire Doug Harvey, who spent over 31 years umpiring, had his doubts about modern day pitchers. , when he said, ""Barry Bonds? I'll tell you what, if he hit a home run off Gibson or Drysdale and stood and admired it, they'd knock that earring out of his ear the next time up."

29. That's the ticket! In 1989, rookie San Francisco Giants pitcher John Burkett set a dubious Major League record. The record? Most free tickets left for friends and family at a single baseball game:

30. Oh Mickey,. Mickey: When Pete Rose broke baseball great Ty Cobb's 4,191-hit record on Sept. 11, 1985, there might have been a bit of jealousy, but Mickey Mantle said, said, "If I'd a hit that many singles, I'd a wore a dress"

31. Oh Reggie: Reggie Jackson was known for being cocky yet, he knew he was a so-so fielder. As he said, "The only way I'm going to win a Gold Glove is with a can of spray paint."

32. Something to crow about: Baseball has made many players instant millionaires. including Fernando Valenzuela, who came from a poor family in Mexico. Tommy Lasorda said,, "Fernando Valenzuela now makes one million dollars a year. Three years ago, Valenzuela's alarm clock was a rooster."

33. I've been framed: In the early 1980s, the Oakland A's accounting department noticed the books were off $1 million. The GM asked Rickey Henderson about a $1 million bonus he had received and Rickey said instead of cashing it, he framed it and hung it on a wall at his house.

34. That much for a broken bat??? Sammy Sosa's bat shattered and umpires found cork among the wood. Sosa received a seven-game suspension, . Meanwhile Chicago Cubs reliever Mike Remlinger, auctioned the bat barrel for over $14,000 toHarry Caray's Restaurant .

35. How low can you go? Umpire Marty Springstead, said his first assignment behind the plate occured when Frank Howard was playing for the Senators,. Springstead called a knee-high fast ball a strike. Howard turned around and yelled, "Get something straight, buster! I don't know where you came from or how you got to the major leagues ,but they don't call that pitch on me a strike. Understand?" The next pitch was in the same spot, and Springstead yelled, "Two!" "Two what?" Howard roared. "Too low," Springstead said, "Much too low."

36. Palmer just agreed: After being snubbed from the All-Star game by Boston manager Darrell Johnson, Baltimore's Jim Palmer said, "'I did not call Johnson an idiot. Someone else did and I just agreed."

37. Their last Supper: Asked the age of his two elderly pinch hitters Vie Davalillo and Manny Mota, Tommy Lasorda said. "I don't know, but they were waiters at the last supper."

38. I get no respect: When Memorial Stadium closed down in 1991 all the players went to positions they had played for the Orioles. Two dozen pitchers were on the mound when former Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey put down a sign. Dempsey never was a good game-caller. "All 25 pitchers shook him off,'' said Mike Flanagan.3 39. Nuclear Salad: Mike Smith, baseball pitcher, could match Yogi Berra for misquotes. Once he said about his new coat: "It got lots of installation in it." Mike Smith also asked for a salad with "lots of neutrons".

40. So , Mr. Lee, what do you really think?: Bill Lee, was blunt when discussing teams.. Cincinnati's Big Red machine , he said, "was about the third-best team in fundamentals I've ever seen-behind the Taiwan Little-Leaguers and the USC NCAA champions of 1968. Lee also said the California Angels "couldn't break a chandelier if they held batting practice in a hotel lobby." He called the Yankees "a bunch of vagabonds with bad wheels."

41. Where's Eddie? Once when the Phillies played the Pirates, the Phils' Bill Nicholson hit a high pop-up in the middle of the diamond. Pittsburgh pitcher Bill Werle yelled "Eddie's got it! Eddie's got it!" Then, the ball landed in the grass. No one believed what they just saw… especially first baseman Eddie Stevens, catcher Eddie Fitzgerald, and third baseman Eddie Bockman.

42. Blindsided: During a minor league game, the umpire expelled Wilbur Snapp, an organist. Snapp had ,after what he thought was a bad call , played "Three Blind Mice."

43. Thurman assists himself: Thurman Munson did not like being compared with Boston's Carlton Fisk. One day Munson read AL ASSIST LEADERS, CATCHERS: FISK, Boston 27; MUNSON, New York 25. So, during the game, Munson dropped a third strike and threw to first base to get the batter. He did the same thing in the next inning, and a short time later, he dropped another third strike, passing Fisk as the league's leader in assists by catchers.

44. Hey, is that a hint? An instant after the Herzog Foundation presented him a gift watch, umpire Don Denkinger noticed something different about the watch. The numbers were inscribed in Braille.

45. Catch some advice; The knuckle ball is a catcher's nightmare. and. Bob Uecker offers this advice about catching the knuckle ball, "The way to catch a knuckle ball is to wait until the ball stops rolling and then to pick it up."

46. BoBo's cause and effect::The Athletics pounded pitcher Bobo Newsom with an 8-0 lead in the fifth inning. Newsom entered the dugout, slammed his glove against the wall. And said, "How the hell can a guy win when you don't give him any run."

47. Rocky Bridges discusses life as a minor league manager: The bus isn't air conditioned," says Rocky. "It is if you open the window. Every so often we have to tell the driver to throw another log on the air conditioner. "

48. You can always play soccer: Once, Jose Canseco tried to catch a routine fly ball . In true soccer fashion, the ball bounced off his head and. over the fence for a home run.. Two days later the Harrisburg (PA) Heat of the National Professional Soccer League offered Canseco a contract.

49. The President outpitches a King: Cardinals pitcher Ray King, after seeing President Bush throw out the first ball,, ran 3-and-0 counts on the first two hitters he faced: "The president threw one more strike than I did."

50. You mean you want to see results? Tony Gwynn once said when the Padres were going through a losing streak, "We know we are better than this, but we can't prove it."

51. Of Biblical proportions: Danny Murtaugh, Pirates manager, went to the mound to talk to Vernon Law. He wanted Law, a devout Mormon, to hit the batter because he had hit a homerun the previous time up. Vernon quoted from the Bible "Thou shalt forgive" Murtaugh said , " If you don't knock this guy down, it's going to cost you a hundred bucks." Law said, "Well, those who live by the sword shall die by the sword."

52. Hey, you blaming me? : Even as a player, Joe Torres knew how to put the right spin on things. One game, after tying a major league record by hitting into four double plays, each time after Felix Millan had singled just before, Torres said, "What's everyone blaming me for? Blame Felix. I wouldn't have hit into the double-plays if he hadn't hit singles."

53. A moon shot: Famed pitcher Lefty Gomez admitted he had some bad days on the mound. He said, ""When Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, he and all of the space scientists were puzzled by an unidentifiable white object. I knew that was a home run ball hit off me in 1937 by Jimmie Fox."

54. So what is he is? A dummy? : After the 1919 World Series eight members of the Chicago White Sox were banned from baseball for intentionally losing games, Black Sox manager "Kid Gleason" was unaware of the "fix" and when a dummy was thrown from the stands , he said " Ask him if he could pitch. "

55. Streaky Evidence: When Yogi Berra was managing, a streaker ran across the outfield, Yogi said, ""I couldn't tell if the streaker was a man or a woman because it had a bag on its head."

56. How fast was Rapid Robert? : Bob Feller, was nicknamed "Rapid Robert, for his 100 miles plus fastball. Lefty Gomez took three called strike fastballs he claimed he never saw, but on the third strike, he turned to the umpire and said, "That sounded a bit low to me."

57. Are you Shor you're not kidding? One day at his restaurant, Toots Shor was talking with Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. Then Mel Ott, the manager of the New York Giants, walked in . "Excuse me, but I gotta leave you," Shor told Fleming, "Somebody important just came in."

58. Shoeless Joe gets the last word : A heckler knew Shoeless Joe Jackson could neither read nor write, and so he kept shouting "Hey, How do you spell 'cat'?" Later Shoeless came to bat and hit a screaming line drive, clearing the bases. As he pulled into third base, Jackson shouted back at the heckler, "Hey, big mouth, how do you spell 'triple'?"

59. When baseball players were real men: From the 1880 Boston Daily Globe: KNOCKED SENSELESS BUT WILL PLAY AGAIN- In the second inning of the Troy-Boston game, John O'Rourke (Jim's brother), in trying to capture Connors' long hit to centre, ran against the fence and was knocked insensible. The sharp edge of the timber cut his throat 4 inches and he was badly injured about the breast. He was carried from the field. Internal injuries were probably received. O'Rourke thinks he will be able to play again in a few days.

60. A real card, that one: One of the game's original jokers was back-up catcher Ray Murray, who played from 1948 through 1954. "There was a rule in 1953 that said if you turn around and argue with the ump, you were automatically out of the game," recalled Murray. "So I had a card that I made up for umpires. It read, 'My manager and I would like to know where the last damn pitch was.' "

61. Marvelous Marv: "Playing for the 120-loss 1962 Mets, Marvelous Marv Throneberry once hit a triple, but was called out after missing both first and second base while on his way to third. Writer Jimmy Breslin said "Having Marv Throneberry play for your team is like having Willie Sutton work for your bank."

62. Better than being under the bus: The 1972 Milwaukee Brewers, after the first month, had a record of 10-20. .Manager Dave Bristol said to his players, "There'll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The two o'clock bus will be for those who need a little extra work. The empty bus will leave at five o'clock."

63. Who needs you guys? : Phenomenal Smith, a Brooklyn pitcher in 1885, was so cocky that he bragged he didn't even need his teammates to win. His teammates, purposely committed 14 errors during Smith's lone major league outing and got him released.

64. For sale - one brain cheap: Rube Waddell showed his delight in striking out the side by doing cartwheels on the field. He sometimes disappeared when he was scheduled to pitch; he was found playing marbles with the kids outside the park at the saloon; or his favorite fishing hole. One time, he disappeared for several days during a tight pennant race, and returned offering manager Connie Mack several catfish he had caught. When a fire truck passed by mid-game, he often ran after it. Connie Mack once said, "The Rube has a two million dollar body and a two cent head."

65. This train needs more steam: Choo-Choo Coleman, was a New York Mets catcher during their early bad years, Casey Stengel, frustrated by the ineptitude of the Mets, decided to return to basics. He held up a baseball during a locker-room meeting and said, "This is a baseball." Coleman interrupted, "Wait, you're going too fast."

66. A Barry strange perspective: Dave Barry, humorist, showed how men and women have different thought processes. ""If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base."

67. Reagan makes it up: When Ronald Reagan was announcing a baseball game on the radio he read the wire telling him about the game. One day the wire went dead and Reagan said, "I had a ball on the way to the plate and there was no way to call it back. So, I had Augie foul this pitch down the left field line. He fouled for six minutes and forty-five seconds. My voice was riding in pitch and threatening to crack - and then, bless him, Curly started typing. I clutched at the slip. It said: 'Galan popped out on the first ball pitched."

68. I'll take that hot dog to go: One day Gates Brown wasn't in the starting lineup, so he grabbed two hot dogs from the clubhouse. Manager Mayo Smith told him to pinch hit. He stuffed the hot dogs in his jersey to hide them from his manager ."This was one time I didn't want to get a hit. I'll be damned if I didn't smack one in the gap and I had to slide into second-head first, no less. I was safe with a double. But when I stoop up, I had mustard and ketchup and smashed hot dogs and buns all over me."The fielders took one look at me, turned their backs and damned near busted a gut laughing at me. My teammates in the dugout went crazy."

69. Say that again: Announcer Jerry Coleman was known for his misquotes with included: "We started with 53,000 people. Half are gone, but surprisingly, most are still here!" McCovey swings and misses, and it's fouled back." At Royals Stadium: "The sky is so clear today you can see all the way to Missouri" "Johnny Grubb slides into second with a standup double." "That's the fourth extra base hit for the Padres - two doubles and a triple."

70. Say it ain't so George: George Steinbrenner was very demanding. Craig Nettles said "It's a good thing Babe Ruth isn't here. If he was, George Steinbrenner would have him bat seventh and say he's overweight."

71. What? You didn't do research? Many former players complain that today's' managers have a staff of statisticians to help make decisions. Chuck Estrada, a former manager, explained how he chose a relief pitcher. "We had a very scientific system of bringing in relief pitchers. We used the first one who answered the phone."

72. Well, that is one way of looking at it: Cindy Crawford, super model, had this to say about baseball players and models, 'Models are like baseball players. We make a lot of money quickly, but all of a sudden we're 30 years old, we don't have a college education, we're qualified for nothing, and we're used to a very nice lifestyle. The best thing is to marry a movie star." 73. Moore no Moore: Famed documentary maker Michael Moore was stopped from becoming a priest by the Detroit Tigers. Though he dreamed of being a priest, the Detroit Tigers had made it to the World Series for the first time in his life and the seminary would not allow him to watch the games!

74. Oh, I understand? Pulitzer Prize winning sports writer Jim Murray once explained how easy baseballs was to understand. He said, Baseball is a game where a curve is an optical illusion, a screwball can be a pitch or a person, stealing is legal and you can spit anywhere you like except in the umpire's eye or on the ball.

75. Kennedy describes the perfect player: President John Kennedy said that was once a legendary baseball player . He never failed to hit when at bat and never dropped a ball. Grounders never dribbled between his legs. He threw with unerring accuracy. In the field and on the bases he had the speed and grace of a leopard. He never tired or missed a signal. In fact, he would have been one of the all-time greats except for one thing - no one was ever able to get him to put down his beer and hot dog and come out of the press box to play."

76. A Wilted Comment: In 1974, The American League began using designated hitters for pitchers. This new rule eliminated an automatic out and made pitchers face a good hitter. Red Sox pitcher Rick Wise, said " The designated hitter rule is like letting someone else take Wilt Chamberlain's free throws. "

77. It's all about winning: Ralph Kiner said about his wife, the former tennis star Nancy Chaffee. 'When I married Nancy, I vowed I'd beat her at tennis someday. After six months, she beat me 6-2. After a year, she beat me 6-4. After we were married a year and a half, I pushed her to 7-5. Then it happened - she had a bad day and I had a good one, and I beat her 17-15.''Good for you, Ralph,' exclaimed Lindsey. 'Was she sick?''Of course not!' Kiner snapped 'Well, she was eight months pregnant."

78. It makes sense! Comedian Stephen Wright had a short baseball career, but as he explains it, "I was in Little League. I was on first base-I stole third base. I ran straight across the diamond. Earlier in the week, I learned the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. I argue with the umpire that second base was out of my way."

79. Isn't that something? Joe Torre recalled a day when it didn't seem to pay to argue with the umpire. "Dutch (Rennert) misses a play at first and I go running out. I say. 'Dutch, why are you such a good umpire behind the plate and so awful on the bases?' Dutch looks at me and says, 'Isn't that something? 'I just turned around and went back to the dugout."

80. Please don't sing that song: Jim Leyland recalls managing the down and out Pittsburg Pirates. I knew we were in for a long season when we lined up for the National Anthem on opening day and one of my players said, "Every time I hear that song I have a bad game. 81. Just like me!: Bob Eucker told this story about his son, who was playing in Little League . "He struck out three times and lost the game for the team when a ball went through his legs at third base. Parents were throwing things at our car and swearing at us as we left the parking lot. Gosh, I was proud. A chip off the old block."

82. Wishes Don't come True: President Dwight Eisenhower said, "When I was a small boy growing up in Kansas, a friend of mine and I went fishing, and as we sat there in the warmth of a summer afternoon on a riverbank, we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up. I told him that I wanted to be a real major-league baseball player, a genuine professional like Honus Wagner. My friend said that he'd like to be President of the United States. Neither of us got our wish."

83. I can die happy: In 2004, the Red Sox were on the verge of winning their first World Series in 86 years. Red Sox Star Johnny Damon put it this way, ""You know, a lot of people say they didn't want to die until the Red Sox won the World Series. Well, there could be a lot of busy ambulances tomorrow."

84. A matter of perspective: Former major league commissioner Bart Giamatti knew architecture and said, "As I grew up, I knew that Fenway Park was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation's capitol, the czar's Winter Palace, and the Louvre - except, of course, that is better than all those inconsequential places"

85. Just a bit outside: Jim Kern. Former major league pitcher, threw 100 miles per hour, but went through times where he could not throw a strike.. He said, " For a while, I was so wild I'd say that a no-hitter for me was when I got through the game without hitting anybody." And "I am working on a new pitch. It's called a a strike."

86. Turn it around: Harry Kalas, famous baseball announcer, was convinced that he never saw Braves pitcher announcer Garry Maddox in a good mood. As Harry said, "He's turned his life around. He used to be depressed and miserable. Now he's miserable and depressed."

87. Whoops! ! Many Negro league players set records we may never know about. Cool Papa Bell described the relaxed atmosphere of the Negro Leagues, "I remember one game I got five hits and stole five bases, but none of it was written down because they forgot to bring the scorebook to the game that day.

88. That bugs me: Okay, he is not famous as a baseball player, but rather as a cartoon character, but everyone has to love Bugs Bunny's classic baseball line, "Watch me paste this pathetic palooka with a powerful, paralyzing, perfect, pachydermous percussion pitch."

89. These are not the Knickerbockers?: Hiring Casey Stengel was a stroke of promotional genius for the fledging New York Mets. He had won 10 pennants and 7 World Series with the Yankees. He had been fired after the 1960 season for having grown old. Upon taking the Mets job, in a nod to his age, 71, and a Civil War-era baseball team, he said, "It's a great honor to be joining the Knickerbockers."

90. Be kind , be kind, be kind: Once a middle-aged man approached Casey Stengel dragging a sullen teenager. This was clearly a troubled son and dad. The man claimed to have played for Stengel years ago in the minors. Stengel regaled them with tales of the father's prowess and promised the kid a Mets contract if he got as good as his old man. As they left with arms around each other, Stengel rolled his eyes and shrugged. He had no memory of the man.

92 Twain Big Baseball fan: Mark Twain was a big baseball fan. After watching a game, Twain placed this ad in The Hartford Courant." TWO HUNDRED AND FIVE DOLLARS REWARD: At the great baseball match on Tuesday, while I was engaged in hurrahing, a small boy walked off with an English-made brown silk UMBRELLA belonging to me, and forgot to bring it back. I will pay $5 for the return of that umbrella in good condition to my home on Farmington Avenue. I do not want the boy (in an active state) but will pay two hundred dollars for his remains." SAMUEL L. CLEMENS

92. Say that one more time?: Yogi Berra is famous for his misquotes and President George Bush once said, "Yogi's been an inspiration to me--not only because of his baseball skills, but of course for the enduring mark he left on the English language. Some of the press corps even think he might be my speechwriter."

93. Me and the Babe: President Bill Clinton endured his share of criticism while in the White House, But he explained his attitude this way, "I can identify with Babe Ruth. He was a little overweight and he struck out a lot. But he hit a lot of home runs because he went to bat."

94. Clowning around: Al Schacht was known "Clown Prince of Baseball". and performed at minor league parks as well as at all the major league parks. He once said, "There is talk that I am Jewish - just because my father was Jewish, my mother was Jewish, I speak Yiddish and once studied to be a rabbi and a cantor. Well, that's how rumors get started."

95. Not today! Jim Bouton's favorite umpire story involves the 1956 World Series: "Babe Pinelli is umpiring his last game behind the plate, which happens to be Don Larsen's perfect game. Two outs in the ninth, 1 and 2 on the hitter, Dale Mitchell, and Larsen throws one high and outside. But Pinelli calls it strike three and the game's over. Mitchell slams his bat down and says, 'The damn pitch was a foot outside.' To which Pinelli reportedly said, 'Not today it wasn't.' "

96. Mom's all right: Like most umpires, Bill Klem took a lot of abuse from angry players. "I just thought you might like to know," Ralph Houk once announced on a trip to the plate, "that I passed a kennel on the way to the game and your mother's all right."

97. Well that makes sense: According to the Chicago Tribune, the following statistic was given in the press notes for a Chicago-Oakland game: "The Oakland Athletics are 32-0 in games in which they have scored more runs than their opponents."

98. Well at least they showed up! A New York Announcer once said ,"And the Orioles are still without a win. But despite losing their 10th straight, attendance is up.....all the players showed up tonight."

99. It could happen: Dave Armstrong and Dave Campbell are the television announcers for Colorado Rockies baseball games. During Sunday's game, several vintage planes flew over the stadium. One of them briefly emitted a trail of white smoke. Dave A.: What was that puff of smoke for? Dave C.: Maybe they've elected a new commissioner.

100. You gotta hit: Heard on an Atlanta Braves baseball game broadcast a couple of weeks ago: A little old lady was sitting next to a priest at a ballgame. She watched several batters throughout the game cross themselves as they came to the plate. Finally she turned to the priest and asked, "Father, will that really help?" The priest replied, "Not if he can't hit."

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