are baseball's greatest franchise, a team of legends,
ghosts, marker moments, odd characters. So much has been
written about them and the talk stream stretches out
through many decades. Herewith, a small sampling of some
of the more memorable observations, enjoy.
On the Yankees
"I would rather beat the Yankees regularly than pitch a
no-hit game." - Bob Feller
"It was a death struggle every day being
a Yankee you either won or you lost. There was no
second place. Half of us were nuts by the end of a
season." - Jerry Coleman
"When I was a player and we would play
the Yankees in spring training, even though the game
didn't mean anything, it was a special day." - Joe Torre
"I wish I'd never see them again. I wish
they'd disappear from the league." Pedro Martinez,
Boston Red Sox
"Hating the Yankees is as American as
pizza pie and cheating on your income tax." - Columnist
"Hating the Yankees isn't part of my act.
It is one of those exquisite times when life and art are
in perfect conjunction." - Bill Veeck
"Going north from spring training, we'd
pass through small towns and people would be out there
early in the morning as the train went by, waving to us.
I don't know how they got the word but we'd be having
our breakfast in the diner and they'd be there." - Jerry
"You kind of took it for granted around the Yankees that
there was always going to be baseball in October." -
"This isn't just a ball club! This is
Murderers Row!" sportswriter Arthur Robinson, 1927
"There has never been anything like it. Even as these
lines are batted out on the office typewriter, youths
dash out of the AP and UP ticker room every two or three
minutes shouting, 'Ruth hit one! Gehrig hit another
one!' " - sportswriter Paul Gallico
"I was known as a Yankee killer. My best
year against them was 1953. I beat them five times and
shut them out four times. You just played a little
harder against them." - Mel Parnell
"Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting
for U.S. Steel." - Joe E. Lewis
"Rooting for the Yankees is like owning a
yacht." - Jimmy Cannon
"The majority of American males put
themselves to sleep by striking out the batting order of
the New York Yankees." - James Thurber
"They have, what, 26 World Series titles?
But that doesn't
mean they are going to beat us. We deserve to be here as
much as they do. I'm not trying to get Babe Ruth or Lou
Gehrig or Mickey Mantle out. I'm trying to get the
Yankees' lineup out today." - Curt Schilling of Arizona,
before Game One, 2001 World Series
"Somebody told me that we beat the
Yankees in the bottom of the ninth! I still don't
believe it!" - Mark Grace, 2001 World Series
"When my Yankee career is over I'll play
anywhere, but I'm positive that I'll never find a team
quite like the Yankees." -Bernie Williams
"These are your Yankees. They leave their
hearts on the field for you." - Joe Torre
"When I come here, it's like standing on
hallowed ground." Cal Ripken
"It was so large and the fans there were
so rabid. It was amazing for me to go out there and
stand on the mound and look around and realize that was
the place that Ruth built." -Bob Feller
"Most guys won't admit it, but it can be
an intimidating thing your first few times there. All
the lore of the stadium and the mystique can be
difficult to deal with." - Al Leiter
"It is the most magical ballpark ever
built. Playing there as a Yankee was like being in the
Marines, the feeling that you were in a special
ballpark, special town, special uniform, special
history." Phil Linz
"When I went to the American League as an
umpire, I had never been to a major league ballpark .
This was 1963. You went out of the umpire's dressing
room and down the hallway and up the ramp and stepped
out onto the field. Here's this kid from Little Rock,
Arkansas standing in New York City in Yankee Stadium. It
was a pretty incredible thing." - Bill Valentine
"I loved Yankee Stadium because I was
left-handed. I usually faced mostly right-handed hitting
teams there. The fence in centerfield was 461 feet away,
and left centerfield was 457 feet. As long as you kept
the hitters from hitting the ball down the line, it was
a great park to pitch in." - Whitey Ford
"Being from New York, it meant a lot for
me to play in my hometown. I knew every nook and cranny
there, and we had the fans behind us. Back then, you had
the monuments in the outfield and that was
unbelievable." - Phil Rizzuto
"The cathedral of baseball." - David Cone
"Baseball heaven." - Randy Johnson
"The stadium is a part of the Yankees and
the Yankees are a part of the stadium. That will never
change." - Chuck Knoblauch
"I was in the right place at the right time." -- Mel
"You ought to know that you're making a
mistake." to Red Sox owner Harry Frazee on the sale of
Babe Ruth to the Yankees
"Congratulations on breaking my record
last night. I always thought the record would stand
until it was broken." to Johnny Bench who broke his
record for career home runs by a catcher.
"I didn't say the things I said "
"The other teams could make trouble for
us if they win."
"If you don't know where you are going,
you will wind up somewhere else."
"If you come to a fork in the road, take
"He must have made that before he died."
--on a Steve McQueen movie, 1982
"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."
"It's tough to make predictions,
especially about the future."
"The future ain't what it used to be."
"A home opener is always exciting, no
matter if it's home or on the road."
"I take a two hour nap between 1PM and
"90% of the putts that are short don't go
"Baseball is 90-percent mental. The other
half is physical."
"You have to give 100 percent in the
first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the
second half, you have to give what is left."
"Nobody goes there any more. It's too
"It gets late out there early," referring
to the bad sun conditions in left field at the stadium.
"He is a big clog in their machine."
"I've been with the Yankees 17 years,
watching games and learning. You can see a lot by
"Baseball is the champ of them all. Like
somebody said, the pay is good and the hours are short."
"All pitchers are liars and crybabies."
"Bill Dickey learned me all his
"I want to thank you for making this day
necessary." -- to fans in hometown St. Louis for giving
him a day in 1947 at Sportsmen's Park.
"I've known this guy so long. Can't he
spell my name right?" -- after receiving a check that
said "Pay to the order of Bearer"
"I think Little League is wonderful. It
keeps the kids out of the house."
"If the people don't want to come out to
the ballpark, nobody's going to stop them."
"Pair off in threes."
"The other teams could make trouble for
us if they win." -- as Yankee manager
"Always go to other people's funerals,
otherwise they won't come to yours."
"We have very deep depth!"
"It was impossible to get a conversation
going, everybody was talking too much."
When asked what time it is -- "Do you
When asked what he would do if he found a
million dollars - "If the guy was poor, I'd give it
When asked by a waitress how many pieces
she should cut his pizza into -- "Four. I don't think I
could eat eight."
When asked why the Yankees lost the 1960
series to Pittsburgh--
"We made too many wrong mistakes."
When told by Yankee manager Bucky Harris to think about
what was being pitched to him -- "Think? How the hell
are you gonna think and hit at the same time?"
When told Ernest Hemmingway was a great writer -- "Yeah,
for what paper?"
When asked what his cap size was at the beginning of
spring training -- "I don't know, I'm not in shape.""
"It's deja vu all over again."
"It ain't over until it's over."
On Yogi Berra
"You can't compare me to my father, our
similarities are different." - Dale Berra
"They say he's funny. Well, he has a
lovely wife and family, a beautiful home, money in the
bank, and he plays golf with millionaires. What's funny
about that?" - Casey Stengel
"He'd fall in a sewer and come up with a
gold watch." - Casey Stengel
"Where he was especially dangerous was in
the final two innings. You couldn't pitch to him. He had
no weaknesses. He was the most dangerous hitter ever."
"Not only was he lucky, he was never
wrong." Whitey Ford
"Yogi's face is his fortune." Mike