Today not many remember that over a fourteen year career Casey Stengel hit .284, which is not chopped liver. He also hit the first World Series home run at the original Yankee Stadium, albeit in a losing cause with the New York Giants. Casey was considered by many to be a has-been when he finally got to manage the Yankees; he responded by winning ten American League pennants and five World Series, highlighted by a record unlikely to be broken, five straight championships from 1949-53. Even his tenure as the first manager of the woeful New York Mets, whose futility is legendary, burnishes his legend.
Here are some of the great quotes attributed to Casey . . .
“Son, we'd like to keep you around this season but we're going to try and win a pennant.”
“Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa.”
“Most ball games are lost, not won.”
“Now there's three things that can happen in a ballgame: you can win, you can lose, or it can rain.”
“The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.”
“Mr., that boy couldn't hit the ground if he fell out of an airplane.”
“That kid can hit balls over buildings.”
“I don't know if he throws a spitball but he sure spits on the ball.”
“I don't like them fellas who drive in two runs and let in three.”
“The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.”
“All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height.”
“I got players with bad watches - they can't tell midnight from noon.”
“You have to go broke three times to learn how to make a living.”
“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?”
“If we're going to win the pennant, we've got to start thinking we're not as good as we think we are.”
“The trick is growing up without growing old.”
“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.”
“They say some of my stars drink whiskey, but I have found that ones who drink milkshakes don't win many ball games.”
“Two hundred million Americans, and there ain't two good catchers among 'em.”
“If you're playing baseball and thinking about managing, you're crazy. You'd be better off thinking about being an owner.”
“It's wonderful to meet so many friends that I didn't used to like.”
“"Look at him. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he doesn't chew, he doesn't stay out late and he still can't hit .250."”
Some quotes from his frustrating days as the Mets manager when they had the worst record in baseball history . . .
1. “Those Mets are gonna be amazing.”
2. “No, even my players aren't players.”
3. "Lyndon Johnson wanted to see poverty, so he came to see my team."
4. “We are in such a slump that even the ones that aren't drinkin' aren't hittin'.”
5. “Can't anybody here play this game?”
6. “Don't cut my throat, I may want to do that later myself.”
7. “The team has come along slow but fast.”
8. “Take them down to that other field and find out if they can play on the road."”
Some quotes regarding himself . . .
1. “I was not successful as a ball player, as it was a game of skill.”
2. a) “Ability is the art of getting credit for all the home runs somebody else hits.”
2. b) “Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits.”
3. “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. “
4. “I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice.”
5. “Been in this game one-hundred years, but I see new ways to lose 'em I never knew existed before. “
6. “Sure I played, did you think I was born at the age of 70 sitting in a dugout trying to manage guys like you?”