Now the game is all different. All power and lively balls and short fences and home runs. But not in the old days. I led the National League in home runs in 1901, and do you know how many I hit? Sixteen. That was a helluva lot for those days.
In New York I learned quite a bit about baseball, as to many a Northerner it is his great love. But what interested me about it was not perhaps the same thing that interested them. I like how all the ball players have marital problems and personality problems and need sports psychiatrists, and especially in baseball, where you don’t have to be that athletic, or it’s not as strenuous in a way the players are all dissipated wrecks with drug problems, chain-smoking.
Ah, baseball… pointless and circular and beautiful. Nothing better than an afternoon at the ballpark — that most perfect of diamonds — where life’s as simple as a slow roll foul down the first base line, where anyone can be the star, the chosen, the hard-breathing champ.
I consciously memorized the speed at which every pitcher in the league threw his fastball, curve, and slider; then, I’d pick up the speed of the ball in the first thirty feet of its flight and knew how it would move once it had crossed the plate.
Cricket is a gentle pastime. Base Ball is War! Cricket is an Athletic Sociable, played and applauded in a conventional, decorous and English manner. Base Ball is an Athletic Turmoil, played and applauded in an unconventional, enthusiastic and American manner.
~Albert G. Spalding
You have to know what you’re doing and where you’re going. For some guys, the answer is just keep doing what you’re doing. For other guys, that might not be the case. It just depends on what kind you are.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.