“Ray. People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. “Of course, we won’t mind if you look around”, you’ll say, “It’s only $20 per person”. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon.
“They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray.
“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and that could be again. Oh…people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.”
When you are the Iron Man, the normal rules don’t apply to you. And Frank Robinson ought to know an Iron Man when he sees one. Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson were inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y., on August 1, 1982 together so that is the Atlanta connection.
What people don’t understand is, one day off for Cal Ripken would not recharge his batteries. One day would not do it. He’s not playing 2,130 games in a row. Cal is ONLY playing 162 games a year.
– Frank Robinson in The Sporting News (September 11, 1995)
Ripken was amazing. He compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career, and he won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense.
He was a 19-time All-Star and was twice named American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP). Ripken is best known for holding the record for consecutive games played, 2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 that had stood for 56 years and that many deemed unbreakable.
In 2007, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and currently has the fourth highest voting percentage of all-time (98.53%).
Every day. Always. Forever.
There is an attitude about living today that is energizing.
It is a beautiful day for baseball.
It is a stunning day in paradise.
God is in a good mood.
It is a beautiful day for baseball. ~~Ernie Banks
In what other profession can you be paid millions to show up to work in pajamas?
Baseball is too much of a sport to be called a business and too much of a business to be called a sport. ~~Phil Wrigley
America is mourning today, September 23, 2015, the passing of one of its true originals, Yogi Berra. He didn’t get the chance to play for his hometown St. Louis Cardinals, but had a legendary career as catcher and later manager of the New York Yankees. But Berra was really a philosopher in pinstripes.
The NYP collected some of his best malapropisms, jokes and bits of wisdom, including the very best when one is facing uncertainty with difficult choices in life: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” How many of us have been sorry we failed to choose when we had the chance?
Here are 35:
1. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
2. “It’s deja vu all over again.”
3. “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.”
4. “Never answer an anonymous letter.”
5. “We made too many wrong mistakes.”
6. “You can observe a lot by watching.”
7. “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
8. “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
9. “It gets late early out here.”
10. “If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”
11. “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.”
12. “Pair up in threes.”
13. “Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.”
14. “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
15. “All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”
16. “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
17. “Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.”
18. “He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
19. “I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”
20. “I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won 25 games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.”
21. “I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.”
22. “I’m a lucky guy and I’m happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.”
23. “I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”
24. “In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”
25. “I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?”
26. “I never said most of the things I said.”
27. “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”
28. “I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”
29. “I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I’d never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field.”
30. “So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.”
31. “Take it with a grin of salt.”
32. (On the 1973 Mets) “We were overwhelming underdogs.”
33. “The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”
34. “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”
35. “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
I believe in the Rip Van Winkle Theory: that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for 70 years, walk into a ballpark, and understand baseball perfectly. — Former Major League Commissioner Bowie Kuhn
It helps to have priorities. At least in baseball that is true.
“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 are men on base.”