Popular culture aficionados like myself know that it was 72 years ago today that Bugs Bunny, that wascaly rabbit himself, made his official debut in the Academy Award-nominated short film, A Wild Hare.
Voted the greatest cartoon character ten years ago by TV Guide, a magazine editor subsequently went on CNN to explain that, not only was Bugs a great cartoon character, but he was a great comedian as well. Just watch the classic 1946 short Baseball Bugs and you'll hear some of the funniest one-liners the rabbit has ever come out with. This one's a particular favorite of mine:
"Watch me paste this pathetic palooka with a powerful, paralyzing, perfect, pachydermous percussion pitch."
Granted, Bugs' waxing comic at the ballpark isn't the same as a Yogi Berra pearl of wisdom, but I still like it nonetheless. Interestingly, Nomar Garciaparra is on record for saying what a tremendous influence that cartoon had on him:
"Back then my idol was Bugs, because I saw a cartoon of him playing ball—you know, the one where he plays every position himself with nobody else on the field but him? Now that I think of it, Bugs is still my idol. You have to love a ballplayer like that."
What's your favorite funny line dealing with baseball? As for me, I am especailly partial to some of these rare gems:
"If I ain't starting, I ain't departing." -Garry Templeton, on turning down his All-Star Game selection unless he was voted in by the fans.
"Heaven is for good people. The Hall of Fame is for baseball people." -Jim Dwyer
"The difference between God and Reggie Jackson is that God doesn't think he's Reggie Jackson." -Jim "Catfish" Hunter
"Rickey don't need no press now, man." -Rickey Henderson
"When we die, they're gonna bury me and Carlton 60 feet, six inches away from one another." -Tim McCarver.
Earlier this year, the American Association of Retired Persons offered up its own list of classic baseball lines. How many of them do you know?
And just remember, if you've never heard of 'em, don't pout, mope or be sad. Because as Tom Hanks' alter ego, manager Jimmy Dugan, knows all too well, "there's no crying in baseball."