"Always go to other people's funerals. Otherwise, they won't come to yours."—Yogi Berra
For as long as baseball has been played with a bat and a ball, its players have had lots to say. Many times, what they have to say is outrageous, funny or flat-out dumb. Over the course of baseball history, some players have made a name with their baseball ability, while others have done so with their mouths.
Today, we will look at 10 baseball players who really set themselves apart from the pack. Whether it is Yogi Berra's head-scratchers or Brian Wilson's hilarious rants, these 10 ballplayers certainly have a way with words.
So join me on this odyssey to gain a greater appreciation for baseball's 10 most quotable players.
Feel free to add your personal favorite quotations from these players or suggest some other quotable players.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: SOME OF THE VIDEOS IN THIS SLIDESHOW CONTAIN PROFANITY.
The greatest leadoff hitter in baseball history, Rickey Henderson also happened to be one of the most quotable players. Known for routinely referring to himself in the third person, Henderson is almost as well known for his stories and quotes as for his blazing speed and ability to get on base.
Among his classics:
- "I like playing for Oakland. They have a very colorful uniform."
- After striking out, overheard by a teammate: "Don't worry, Rickey, you're still the best."
Oh, Rickey. Baseball wouldn't be the same without you.
"I'm the Charlie Sheen of baseball, without the drugs and a prostitute."
That just about says it all for baseball's most erratic and hilarious manager. Ozzie Guillen has made a name for himself as being about as eccentric as a human being can possibly be. Here are some more of his all-time greats:
- On Wrigley Field: "You are going to take batting practice and the rats look bigger than a pig out there. ... I think the rats out there are lifting weights."
- On Cubs pitcher Rich Hill: “Tell that Triple-A [bleep] to shut the [bleep] up. Tell him to start throwing some strikes or he’s going to get Dusty [Baker] fired.”
- On Buck Showalter: “[Showalter] never even smelled a jock in the big leagues. Mr. Baseball never even got a hit in Triple-A. I was a better player than him, I have more money than him and I’m better-looking than him.”
Manny wasn't so much quotable as he was memorable, but Manny still supplied us with a great array of funny quotes. Aside from his multiple brushes with insanity, including peeing in the Green Monster, cutting off a Johnny Damon throw and wearing MP3 glasses in the field, Manny also said some pretty outlandish things.
- At the Red Sox World Series parade: "Hey, everybody is invited to my house tonight for free drinks!"
- After a walk-off home run in the ALDS: "I haven’t been right all year. I guess, you know, when you don’t feel good, and you still get hits, that’s when you know you are a bad man."
- After a game-winning, pinch-hit RBI single on the trade deadline in 2005: "Manny being Manny, man. It’s great."
Leroy "Satchel" Paige might be one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, but his career will never be able to be matched up against anyone else's due to a lack of stats in the Negro Leagues. However, Paige did leave many great marks on the game, namely in the form of some quotes and sayings.
Paige did have a way with words as much as he had a way with throwing a baseball.
Here are some of his finest quotes:
- "I ain't ever had a job, I just always played baseball."
- "I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I toss one that ain't never been seen by this generation."
- "One time I snuck a ball on with me and when I went to winding up, I threw one of them balls to first and one to second. I was so smooth I picked off both runners and fanned the batter without that ump or the other team even knowing it."
- "Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it don't matter."
The power-hitting, great hair-having, extremely arrogant Reggie Jackson has his fair share of great quotes. Mr. October hit many huge home runs during his career, but he really hit some of these quotes out of the park.
Aside from the interview shown in the video, here are some of the classics:
- "I didn't come to New York to be a star. I brought my star with me."
- "Hitting is better than sex."
- "After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that."
Despite being an absolutely dismal baseball player, Bob Uecker has made a name for himself with his colorful personality and great voice.
Currently the radio announcer of the Milwaukee Brewers, Uecker has moonlighted as a wrestling announcer and played the part of Harry Doyle, the Cleveland Indians announcer in Major League.
Here are some of Uecker's greatest quotes:
- "Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. To last as long as I did with the skills I had, with the numbers I produced, was a triumph of the human spirit."
- "In 1962 I was named Minor League Player of the Year. It was my second season in the bigs."
- "Career highlights? I had two. I got an intentional walk from Sandy Koufax and I got out of a rundown against the Mets."
Leo Durocher managed almost 35 years in the majors and finished with a .540 winning percentage, but that is not what he is remembered for.
Known as Leo the Lip, Durocher had more than his fair share of commentary about the game of baseball. He was obscene, candid and flat-out hilarious.
Here's a sampling of Leo's best:
- "I never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes."
- "Show me a good loser and I'll show you an idiot."
- "Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand."
There is no more colorful character in baseball right now than Giants closer Brian Wilson. He is easily recognizable by a beard that would make Grizzly Adams proud, but Wilson takes it a step further with his unforgettable interviews.
Following San Francisco's win in the 2010 World Series, Wilson proclaimed, "I'm feeling like I want to rage—right now."
When asked by Jim Rome why Wilson believed he was fined for his orange cleats, Wilson responded by saying, "Too much awesome on my feet."
And we can't forget the first episode of the Showtime series The Franchise, in which Wilson, posing for pictures, comments, "It smells like eggs in here. Did you fart? Did I fart?"
There's nothing like having one of baseball's best closers also be one of the funniest men alive.
Managing nearly 30 years after a decade-long career as a player, Billy Martin compiled 1,253 wins as manager and earned the distinction of having his jersey retired with the New York Yankees.
He was known for his many altercations, constant firing and re-hiring and some of the more colorful quotes in baseball history. Among them:
- "I'm getting smarter. I finally punched something that couldn't sue me."
- "Everything looks nicer when you win. The girls are prettier. The cigars taste better. The trees are greener."
- On the 1973 Milwaukee Brewers: "If they can win (the pennant) with that club, I'm a Chinese aviator."
Not much needs to be said about Yogi Berra. We all know about him. But for now, here's a sampling of the Essence of Yogi:
- "He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."
- "How can you think and hit at the same time?"
- "If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
- "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."