Walter Johnson (Washington)
Christy Mathewson (New York)
Last Update: Thursday, July 12th, 2001
"In our sun-down perambulations of late, through the outer parts of Brooklyn,
we have observed several parties of youngsters playing "base", a certain game of 'ball'
....Let us go forth awhile, and get better air in our lungs.
Let us leave our close rooms....the game of ball is glorious".
(Walt Whitman 1846)
"When the Yankees came to town, it was like Barnum and Bailey coming to town...
It was the excitement. They had these gray uniforms, but there was a blue hue to them.
I'll never forget them. Watching them warm up was as exciting as watching the game.
Being in Cleveland, you couldn't root for them,
but you could boo them in awe".
(George Steinbrenner, on growing up in Cleveland)
University of Pennsylvania
"The parade ground has been a busy place for a week or so past,
ball playing having become a mania in camp.
Officers and men forget, for a time,
the differences in rank and indulge in the invigorating sport
with a school boy's ardor"
(Pvt. Alphonius B. Parker
For sixteen years into every ball park in which I have ever walked,
I received nothing but kindness and encouragement.
Mine has been a full life....
I have been priveleged to play many years with the famous Yankees,
the greatest team of all times...
I may have been given a bad break, but I have an awful lot to live for.
All in all, I can say on this day that I consider myself
the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
(Lou Gehrig-Farewell Speech-July 4th, 1939)
"Gehrig set his record of 2,130 consecutive games in conditions
he never bothered to complain about.
Late in his career X-rays of his hands revealed 17 fractures
he had let heal by themselves. He had broken every finger
in both hands, some twice, and didn't mention it.
Hit by a pitch that gave him a concussion that should have put him in bed for a week,
he came to the park the following day and got four hits.
He didn't stop playing until he was dying."
(John Mosedale on Lou Gehrig)
The Grand Olde Man of Baseball
Manager: Philadelphia Athletics
1901 to 1950
"It seems to me that the one unalloyed joy in life is baseball...
I have snatched my share of joy from the grudging hands of fate
as i have jogged along, but never has life held for me anything quite so
entrancing as baseball.....When we heard of the professional game
in which men cared nothing whatever for patriotism but only for money--
games in which rival towns would hire the best players from a natural enemy--
we could scarely believe the tale was true.
No Ohio boy would any more give aid and comfort to a rival town
than would a loyal soldier open a gate in the wall and let an enemy march in".
(Clarence Darrow 1870)
Walter Johnson, Washington
Christy Mathewson, NY Giants
"......the one constant, through all the years Ray, has been baseball.
America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers.
It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again.
Baseball has marked the time! This field! This game!
It's a part of our past Ray.
It reminds us of all that was once good, and it could be again.
People will come Ray! People will most definitely come".
(James Earl Jones to Kevin Costner, "Field of Dreams")
Davy Jones (Detroit Tigers)
Honus Wagner (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Ty Cobb (Detroit Tigers)
1909 World Series
"....We're talkin baseball.....(Kluzewski, Campanella),
Talkin Baseball...(The Man and Bobby Feller),
The Scooter, The Barber and the Newk,
They knew em all from Boston to Dubuque,
Especially Willie, Mickey and the Duke!"
(Terry Cashman's song)
Fan presents Maris with 61st Homer Ball...1961
"You can't say anything too good about Roger Maris.
He ran right through a wooden fence for me at Keokuk.
I thought he was out for the year, but he held the ball, came to,
and got up and won the game for me with a homer in the ninth.
How much hustle can a guy give you?
(Jo-Jo White, Maris's manager in Class B ball in Keokuk, Iowa)
"I give the man a point for speed. I do this because Maris can run so fast.
Then I give him a point because he can slide fast.
I give him another point because he can bunt.
I also give him a point because he can field.
He is very good around the fences, sometime on top of the fences.
Next, I give him a point because he can throw.
A right fielder has to be a thrower or he's not a right fielder.
So I add up his points, and I got five for him
before I even talk about his hitting.
I would say this is a good man".
(Manager Casey Stengel)
"The essential difference between Ruth and Maris
was not merely that Maris was a better all around ball player,
but that Maris had to worry about Ruth,
and Ruth didn't have to worry about Maris.
The Babe swung with a free mind,
and as I remember it, often an empty mind.
The difference wasn't that Maris had a livelier ball
or bat than Ruth had but that he had a livelier imagination-
and that is no advantage to a ball player practicing his profession
under savage pressure in a howling stadium".
(James Reston, The New York Times)
"Maris was never treated as a champion,
because he challenged the immortals and won".
"One guy wrote that I don't deserve to break Ruth's record.
Now I admire Ruth. He was the greatest.
But what am I supposed to do, stop hitting homers?
They make it sound as if I'd be committing a sin
if I broke the record."
"Commissioner Ford Frick attached an asterisk next to the 61 homers
in the record book, because Roger failed to hit them in the first 154 games,
which happened to be the schedule when Ruth got the 60.
I thought it was a ridiculous ruling. It made no sense at all.
Check further and you'll note that the same year, 1961, Sandy Koufax
broke Christy Mathewson's National League strikeout record.
Mathewson set it in 1903, when they played a 140 game schedule.
But you won't find an asterisk attached to Koufax."
"I saw it was a good fastball.
I was ready and I connected.
As soon as I hit it, I knew it was number 61;
it was the only time that the number of the homer
ever flashed into my mind as I hit it.
Then I heard the tremendous roar of the crowd.
I could see them all standing.
Then my mind went blank."
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