ESPN Network: | | | | ABCSports | EXPN | INSIDER | FANTASY   

Baseball's showman

Veeck vault

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Quotes by Bill Veeck

Quotes by Veeck

  • "The athlete who catches the imagination is the individualist, the free soul who challenges not only the opposition but the generally accepted rules of behavior. Essentially, he should be uncivilized. Untamed."

  • "Baseball is almost the orerly thing in a very unorderly world. If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off."

  • "It is played by people, real people, not freaks. Basketball is played by giants. Football is played by corn-fed hulks. The normal-sized man plays baseball and the fellow in the stands can relate to that."
    --On baseball being the national pastime

  • "It isn't the high price of stars that is expensive, it's the high price of mediocrity."

  • "Baseball is like our society. It's becoming homogenized, computerized. People identify with swash-buckling individuals, not polite little men who field their position well. Sir Galahad had a big following-but I'll bet Lancelot had more."

  • "To compare baseball with other team games is to say the Hope Diamond is a nice chunk of carbon. The endless variety of physical and mental skills demanded by baseball is both uncomparable and incomparable.""

  • "We can't always guarantee the ball game is going to be good; but we can guarantee the fan will have fun."

  • "An island of surety in a changing world."
    --On baseball

  • "Eddie, how would you like to be a big-league ballplayer? Eddie, you'll be the only midget in the history of the game. You'll be appearing before thousands of people. Your name will go into the record books for all time. You'll be famous, Eddie. You'll be immortal."
    --On Eddie Gaedel's August 19, 1951 appearance, from Veeck-as in Wreck

  • "My epitaph is inescapable. It will read: 'He sent a midget up to bat.'"

  • "If there is any justice in this world, to be a White Sox fan frees a man from any other form of penance."
    --From Veeck-as in Wreck

  • "I have discovered, in twenty years of moving around a ball park, that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats."

  • "I guess I'm just not bright enough to stop."
    --explaining how he kept up his 24 hour schedule

  • "Sooner or later, the lame, the halt, and the blind all seek refuge with us."
    --On the 1977 White Sox

  • "That's the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capustrano, but the sound of a bat on the ball."
    --As White Sox owner in 1976

  • "The Mets achieved total incompetence in a single year, while the Browns worked industriously for almost a decade to gain equal proficiency."
    --From Veeck-as in Wreck

  • "The original idea of the bleachers was for the guy who couldn't afford season box seats, but could shell out cash for an outfield seat on a day-to-day basis?Maybe the time has come when they don't need that guy. You can buy all those seats the days they're not sold out, but the rest of the time you're not welcome. It does seem that way, doesn't it? I guess that's what happens when marketing experts come in and take over."
    --On the Cubs 1985 decision to sell bleacher seats in advance

  • "When the Supreme Court says baseball isn't run like a business, everybody jumps up and down with joy. When I say the same thing, everybody throws pointy objects at me."
    --The Hustler's Handbook

    Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories