Casey Stengel had a solid 14 year playing career, posting a .284 batting average, leading the National League in on base percentage in 1914 and winning two World Series titles (he did not participate in the Giants' 1921 World Series victory but he hit better than .400 in both their 1922 World Series win and their 1923 World Series loss)--but he made his name as a manager and as a quipster. Stengel led the Yankees to 10 AL pennants and seven World Series titles in a 12 season stretch from 1949-60. Stengel was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966, nine years before he passed away at the age of 85.
Here is a sampling of the wit and wisdom of "The Old Professor":
"Being with a woman all night never hurt no
professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a
woman that does him in."
"Don't cut my throat, I may want to do that later myself."
"Don't drink in the hotel bar, that's where I do my drinking."
"Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose 'em I never knew existed before."
"Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits."
"They say Yogi Berra is 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?"
"You can't go out to the mound, hobbling and take a pitcher out with a cane."
"They examined all my organs. Some of them are quite remarkable and
others are not so good. A lot of museums are bidding for them." (comment made after being hospitalized for two weeks)
"You have to go broke three times to learn how to make a living."
"I broke in with four hits and the writers promptly declared they had
seen the new Ty Cobb. It took me only a few days to correct that
"All right, everybody line up alphabetically according to your height."
"You got to get twenty-seven outs to win."
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided."
"Mister, that boy couldn't hit the ground if he fell out of an airplane."
"I couldn't have done it without my players." (comment made after his Yankees won the 1958 World Series)
"They told me my services were no longer desired
because they wanted to put in a youth program as an advance way of
keeping the club going. I'll never make the mistake of being seventy
"My health is good enough above the shoulders."
"The team has come along slow but fast."
"Well, that's baseball. Rags to riches one day and riches to rags the next. But I've been in it 36 years and I'm used to it."
"Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa."
"The trick is growing up without growing old."
"The Yankees don't pay me to win every day, just two out of three."
"You have to have a catcher because if you don't you're likely to have a lot of passed balls."
"When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed
and when you're older you begin to get credit for virtues you never
possessed. It evens itself out."
"Now there's three things that can happen in a ball game: you can win, you can lose, or it can rain."
"You can't get into the Hall of Fame unless you limp."
"They got a lot of kids now whose uniforms are so tight, especially
the pants, that they cannot bend over to pick up ground balls. And they
don't want to bend over in television games because in that way there is
no way their face can get on the camera."
"Son, we'd like to keep you around this season but we're going to try and win a pennant."
"The trouble with women umpires is that I couldn't argue with one. I'd put my arms around her and give her a little kiss."
"Johnny Sain don't say much, but that don't matter much, because
when you're out there on the mound, you got nobody to talk to."
"Sure I played, did you think I was born at the age of 70 sitting in a dugout trying to manage guys like you?"
"The Mets are gonna be amazing."
"I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks in batting practice."
"I was not successful as a ball player, as it was a game of skill."
"If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to start thinking we're not as good as we think we are."
"If you're so smart, let's see you get out of the Army."
"I would not admire hitting against Ryne Duren, because if he ever hit you in the head you might be in the past tense."
"I don't like them fellas who drive in two runs and let in three."
"They say some of my stars drink whiskey. But I have found that
the ones who drink milkshakes don't win many ball games."
"I don't know if he throws a spitball but he sure spits on the ball."
"Lefthanders have more enthusiasm for life. They sleep on the wrong side
of the bed and their head gets more stagnant on that side."
"It's wonderful to meet so many friends that I didn't used to like."
"The way our luck has been lately, our fellas have been getting hurt on their days off."
"If you're playing baseball and thinking about managing, you're crazy. You'd be better off thinking about being an owner."
"Most ball games are lost, not won."
"We are in such a slump that even the ones that are drinkin' aren't hittin'."
"I feel greatly honored to have a ballpark named after me, especially since I've been thrown out of so many."
"I got players with bad watches--they can't tell midnight from noon."
"You look up and down the bench and you have to say to yourself,
'Can't anybody here play this game?' There comes a time in every man's
life and I've had plenty of them."
"All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and
regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing
blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons
to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another
feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing
whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy."