Baseball in quotes – Croup’s Corner

Written By Josh Croup

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I’m a sucker for a good quote now and then.

I also love baseball.

Lucky for me, there are hundreds of great baseball quotes out there. Heck, there are books with just Yogi Berra quotes.

The Point Park baseball team is riding an eight game winning streak in conference play entering the week.

The Pioneers host West Virginia Tech to take on the Golden Bears in a four-game conference series Friday and Saturday. Also, the Pittsburgh Pirates will begin their 2016 campaign Sunday.

Ah, baseball is back. Isn’t it wonderful?

The following is a famous Rogers Hornsby quote that floats around the Internet during the offseason.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

Lucky for Hornsby, spring is here.

Baseball is an odd sport, as Boston Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams once noted. If I consistently scored around 30 percent on exams, well, I wouldn’t be in college still.

But hitting a baseball is one of the hardest feats in sports.

“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer,” Williams said.

Only five Pioneers are currently hitting above .300 and only four players on last year’s roster who played more than 75 percent of Point Park’s games hit above Williams’ “good performer” marker.

Striking out is a given, no matter how talented the player is with a bat. Reggie Jackson struck out more times than any other player in Major League Baseball but still earned the nickname “Mr. October” and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Striking out in life is a given. We’re all going to fail sometimes. I tend to defer to Babe Ruth when it comes to quotes about persistence and failure.

“Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back,” Ruth said. “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

The greats never gave up, Hank Aaron included.

“My motto was always to keep swinging,” Aaron said. “Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.”

It’s not a game for the faint of heart. The daily mental and physical grind for baseball players is taxing. Point Park plays at least 50 games in a season while big leaguers play 162.

Former Major League Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti described the baseball season perfectly in “A Great and Glorious Game: Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti.”

“It breaks your heart,”Giamatti wrote. “It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”

Baseball will break your heart, people will break your heart and the people playing baseball will break your heart.

Why on earth would someone like this game? I’ve heard all the arguments for not liking baseball. It’s too slow, there isn’t enough action, the season is too long, blah blah blah.

I get it. It’s not for everyone.

“Baseball, it is said, is only a game,” George Will once said. “True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.”

It’s a beautiful game and longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell described it perfectly.

“Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words,” Harwell said.

I love the daily grind of baseball, the numbers behind every player and the beauty that is a good battle between a good pitcher and hitter.

If you love good baseball quotes or just good quotes in general, check out Yogi Berra’s sometime. They go beyond just baseball and really will make you think.

“If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be,” Berra said.

I leave you with my favorite Berra-ism as we approach the heart of the Point Park baseball season and the start of the Major League Baseball season.

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” he said.