Close on the heels of my posting about Yogi Berra, a Casey Stengel quote turned up in the New York Times obit for former player Greg Goossen: “Goossen is only 20, and in 10 years he has a chance to be 30.”
Casey saw both the sublime and the ridiculous during his career, managing the New York Yankees to seven World Series championships and then becoming the first manager of the "Amazin' Mets." For your amusement, some classics from "The Old Perfessor"...
On baseball and managing:
"I broke in with four hits and the writers promptly declared they had seen the new Ty Cobb. It took me only a few days to correct that impression."
"I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice."
"You got to get twenty-seven outs to win."
"Without losers, where would the winners be?"
"Now there's three things you can do in a baseball game: You can win or you can lose or it can rain."
"You have to have a catcher or you'll have all passed balls."
"Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa."
"Managing is getting paid for home runs someone else hits."
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided."
"The Yankees don't pay me to win every day, just two out of three."
"We (the Mets) are a much improved ball club, now we lose in extra innings!"
"The way our luck has been lately, our fellas have been getting hurt on their days off."
"The Mets have shown me more ways to lose than I even knew existed."
Casey on those other two "most quotable players":
"He (Satchel Paige) threw the ball as far from the bat and as close to the plate as possible."
"They say he's (Yogi Berra) 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?"
"They told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth program as an advance way of keeping the club going. I'll never make the mistake of being seventy again."
"Most people my age are dead at the present time."
"Do you think I was born old?"
"It's wonderful to meet so many friends that I didn't used to like."
"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."
"Never make predictions, especially about the future."
"There comes a time in every man’s life, and I’ve had plenty of them."
And my favorite, after the hapless 1962 Mets once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory:
"Can’t anybody here play this game?"