Last Updated on April 22, 2020
Baseball is deemed as America’s national pastime, and no other sport has woven itself into the DNA of the country quite like it has. It’s associated with the U.S.A. as much as apple pies and bald eagles are.
Baseball is part of the bedrock of American culture. It has been around since the 19th century and has been deeply ingrained in the hearts and souls of the entire country.
Although baseball has evolved over the years, one thing remains the same: it’s a game that pushes athletes to greatness. Teams have to work together to overcome odds and become the champion.
It’s no wonder that some of the most inspirational quotes come from the hardworking athletes and coaches in the field of baseball. After all, playing over 100 games a year is no joke, and it takes passionate discipline and pure heart to make it to the end of a long and arduous season.
Baseball traces its roots back to the Civil War. Although it was different from the professional baseball we know today, teams were already playing early forms of baseball, which were initially based on the English games rounders and cricket, in the 1840s.
The sport evolved from there. Some say that baseball was invented as a way to create a sport that was uniquely American. Whether that’s true or not, what can be said about baseball is that by the time the Knickerbocker Baseball Club began playing games that resembled modern baseball games in 1846, people had already fallen in love with the sport.
And it wasn’t just about winning and losing games. Baseball turned ordinary men into legends. Athletes like Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Ted Williams became some of the greatest names in sports history. Baseball also helped make landmark changes in racial segregation in sports.
Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and became the first African-American player to sign with a Major League team. His signing and subsequent success paved the way for other players, like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, to join the professional league.
Players from other nationalities and ethnicities also started joining and becoming great names in their own right, including Roberto Clemente, Ichiro Suzuki, and Miguel Cabrera.
The sport’s rich history greatly contributes to why Americans love baseball. Over the years, other countries have even adopted the sport. Today, baseball is played professionally, not just in America, but also in Japan, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Aside from being an integral part of sports history and American culture, people love baseball for how fun it is to both play and watch. People don’t forget the feeling of going to the ballpark, buying hotdogs or cracker jacks, and cheering for their home teams.
There is such a sense of pride watching these elite athletes do what they do on the diamond. They all give everything they’ve got and for nine innings (or more), crowds are on the edge of their seats waiting for a home run or a strikeout.
Would you want some inspiration from America’s favorite game? Here are some of the most inspirational baseball quotes:
Motivational Baseball Quotes
- “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth
- “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” – Yogi Berra
- “Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” – Leo Durocher
- “It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. It took one afternoon on the golf course.” – Hank Aaron
- “No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.” – Tommy Lasorda
- “Baseball isn’t just a game. It’s the smell of popcorn drifting in the air, the sight of bugs buzzing near the stadium lights, the roughness of the dirt beneath your cleats. It’s the anticipation building in your chest as the anthem plays, the adrenaline rush when your bat cracks against the ball, and the surge of blood when the umpire shouts strike after you pitch. It’s a team full of guys backing your every move, a bleacher full of people cheering you on. It’s…life.” – Katie McGarry, Dare You To
- “There’s so few things men can talk about. If a man doesn’t like baseball, then he must like horses, and if he doesn’t like either of them, well, I’m in trouble anyway: he don’t like girls.” – Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- “Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It’s gossip” – Erma Bombeck
- “(Baseball) is a game with a lot of waiting in it; it is a game with increasingly heightened anticipation of increasingly limited action.” – John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany
- “A ballplayer spends a good piece of his life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” – Jim Bouton
- “The sheer quantity of brain power that hurled itself voluntarily and quixotically into the search for new baseball knowledge was either exhilarating or depressing, depending on how you felt about baseball. The same intellectual resources might have cured the common cold, or put a man on Pluto.” – Michael Lewis, Moneyball
- “They say some of my stars drink whiskey. But I have found that the ones who drink milkshakes don’t win many ball games.” – Casey Stengel
- “Oh, to be a center fielder, a center fielder – and nothing more.” – Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint
- “I do what I’ve trained my whole life to do. I watch the ball. I keep my eye on the ball. I never stop watching. I watch it as it sails past me and lands in the catcher’s mitt, a perfect and glorious strike three.” – Barry Lyga, Boy Toy
- “If I had known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself!” – Mickey Mantle
- “If you don’t think too good, don’t think too much.” – Ted Williams
- “We picked the Red Sox because they lose. If you root for something that loses for 86 years, you’re a pretty good fan. You don’t have to win everything to be a fan of something.” – Jimmy Fallon
- “I’ve never questioned the integrity of an umpire. Their eyesight, yes.” – Leo Durocher
- “How can I play baseball when I’m worried about foreign policy?” – Charles M. Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 6
- “Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear – and doubt.” – A. Dorfman
- “Putting Henry at shortstop – it was like taking a painting that had been shoved in a closet and hanging it in the ideal spot. You instantly forgot what the room had looked like before.” – Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding
- “The first and last duty of the lover of the game of baseball,” Peavine’s book began, “whether in the stands or on the field, is the same as that of the lover of life itself: to pay attention to it. When it comes to the position of catcher, as all but fools and shortstops will freely acknowledge, this solemn requirement is doubled.” – Michael Chabon, Summerland
- “A man has to have goals – for a day, for a lifetime – and that was mine, to have people say, ‘There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter who ever lived.” – Ted Willams
- “I’ve fallen in love with baseball.” – Nick Jonas
- “’A no-hitter is a freaky thing,’ Tweet said. Most of the greatest pitchers never pitched one. It’s a combination of a lot of little accidents.” – Duane Decker, Switch Hitter
- “Playing baseball for pay – home run. Teaching kids to play the game – priceless.” – Jack Perconte
- “I don’t rate them, I just hit them.” – Willie Mays
- “Sometimes, in a tight game with runners on, digging in at short, ready to break with the ball, a peace I’d never felt before would paralyze the diamond. For a moment of eternal stillness I felt as if I were cocked at the very heart of the Midwest.” – Stuart Dybek, Childhood and Other Neighborhoods
- “That moment, when you first lay eyes on that field – The Monster, the triangle, the scoreboard, the light tower Big Mac bashed, the left-field grass where Ted (Williams) once roamed – it all defines to me why baseball is such a magical game.” – Jayson Stark
- “I’ve always loved baseball. Ever since 6th grade, I was geared to becoming a baseball writer.” – Scott Miller
- “… there’s almost nothing worse than spending an entire day anticipating watching a Yankees vs. Red Sox game, only to have the score be 9-0 in the third inning.” – Tucker Elliot, Major League Baseball IQ
- “If there are any curses left in baseball, they are all on the north side of Chicago.” – Tucker Elliot, Boston Red Sox
- “You know, a lot of people say they didn’t want to die until the Red Sox won the World Series. Well, there could be a lot of busy ambulances tomorrow.” – Johnny Damon
- “Ortiz is now synonymous with walk-off homers. After all, he hit a total of nine game-ending blasts from 2002-07. And that was just in the regular season. It was his blasts in the 2004 postseason that cemented his legacy in Boston.” – Tucker Elliot, Boston Red Sox
- “Deep down, it’s all baseball, no matter what kind of geometrical shape you play it with.” – Vernon D. Burns, Gods of the Jungle Planet
- “More than any other American sport, baseball creates the magnetic, addictive illusion that it can almost be understood.” – Thomas Boswell
- “I’m helplessly and permanently a Red Sox fan. It was like first love…You never forget. It’s special. It’s the first time I saw a ballpark. I’d thought nothing would ever replace cricket. Wow! Fenway Park at 7 o’clock in the evening. Oh, just, magic beyond magic: never got over that.” – Simon Schama
- “Ideally, the umpire should combine the integrity of a Supreme Court judge, the physical agility of an acrobat, the endurance of Job and the imperturbability of Buddha.” – Time Magazine
- “Most of all, perhaps, these exultant yells for the Mets were also yells for ourselves, and came from a wry, half-understood recognition that there is more Met than Yankee in every one of us. I knew for whom that foghorn blew; it blew for me.” – Roger Angell, The Summer Game
- “Fenway is the essence of baseball.” – Tom Seaver
- “Baseball really is a glorified game of throw and catch. And if you don’t have guys who throw it really well, you can’t compete for long.” – Tucker Elliot, Tampa Bay Rays IQ
- “That’s why he was here, to surrender himself to longing, to listen to his host recite the anecdotal texts, all the passed-down stories of bonehead plays and swirling brawls, the pitching duels that carried into twilight, stories that Marvin had been collecting for half a century – the deep eros of memory that separates baseball from other sports.” – Don DeLillo, Underworld
- “Rose worked and played so hard that kids all across the country—not just in Cincinnati—were emulating him on sandlots everywhere, proud to dirty their jerseys doing a headfirst ‘Pete Rose’ dive into cardboard boxes used for bases…whether they needed to slide or not.” – Tucker Elliot, Cincinnati Reds IQ
- “Neukom, the Giants’ buttoned-down owner, finally found Ross and vigorously rubbed his bald head while screaming gibberish nobody could understand.” – Andrew Baggarly, Band of Misfits
- “…it was one at bat during October 1975 that defined his [Joe Morgan’s] place in baseball history and secured the legacy of the Big Red Machine, all with one swing.” – Tucker Elliot, Cincinnati Reds IQ
- “’For your penance, say two Hail Marys, three our Fathers, and’, he added, with a chuckle, ‘say a special prayer for the Dodgers.’” – Doris Kearns Goodwin, Wait Till Next Year
- “Bottom half of the seventh, Brock’s boy had made it through another inning unscratched, one! Two! Three! Twenty-one down and just six outs to go! And Henry’s heart was racing, he was sweating with relief and tension all at once, unable to sit, unable to think, in there, with them! Oh yes, boys, it was on!” – Robert Coover
- “New Rule: Don’t name your kid after a ballpark. Cubs fans Paul and Teri Fields have named their newborn son Wrigley. Wrigley Fields. A child is supposed to be an independent individual, not a means of touting your own personal hobbies. At least that’s what I’ve always taught my kids, Panama Red and Jacuzzi.” – Bill Maher, The New New Rules
- “I see great things in baseball.” – Walt Whitman
- “…During the season, it was always the most recent game. They were both Mets fans, and the hopelessness of that passion had created a bond between them.” – Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy
- “As I grew up, I knew that as a building (Fenway Park) was on the level of Mount Olympus, the Pyramid at Giza, the nation’s capitol, the czar’s Winter Palace, and the Louvre — except, of course, that is better than all those inconsequential places.” – Bart Giamatti
- “The game (baseball) was a custom of his clan, and it gave outlet for the homicidal and sides-taking instincts which Babbitt called ‘patriotism’ and ‘love of sport.’” – Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
- “If you’re wondering what’s wrong with Fenway Park in the first place, you’re not the only one. Fenway is special precisely because it has what modern stadiums lack: seats that, while often cramped, offer the best views in baseball; and the sense that, if you squint, that could be Smoky Joe Wood pitching to Ty Cobb out there instead of Jeff Fassero and Bobby Higginson.” – Webmaster Neil deMause
- “You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time.” – Jim Bouton
- “…But I must have confidence and I must be worthy of the great DiMaggio who does all things perfectly even with the pain of the bone spur in his heel.” – Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
- “Researchers measure that the average major-league pitcher puts 40 pounds of pressure on his shoulder by cocking and releasing the baseball…” – Tom Verducci, The Yankee Years
- “Whatever the pace of the particular baseball game we are watching, whatever its outcome, it holds us in its own continuum and mercifully releases us from our own.” – Roger Angell, The Summer Game
- “How many pitchers in any league have a fastball with its own nickname? And what kind of fastball earns the name Mad Mouse? I will tell you: the kind that twists in crackling without one notion where it’s going. The kind you don’t see but hear hissing to itself like the bottle rocket before the bang.” – Leif Enger, Virgil Wander
- “I was never good at sports. For a while I played Little League baseball, but I had very little interaction with the actual ball. I heard a lot of yelling about the ball, and I occasionally sensed that something – which I assumed was the ball – had just whizzed past me. But I almost never had any direct personal contact with the ball, which turns out to be crucial to succeeding in many athletic endeavors.” – Dave Barry, Live Right and Find Happiness
- “Baseball is the only thing I can give you that might be worth something in your lives.” – Michael Dault, The Sons of Summer
- “Offhand, I can think of no other sport in which the world’s champions, one of the great teams of its era, would not instantly demolish inferior opposition and reduce a game such as the one we had just seen to cruel ludicrousness. Baseball is harder than that; it requires a full season, hundreds and hundreds of separate games, before quality can emerge, and in that summer span every hometown fan, every doomed admirer of underdogs will have his afternoons of revenge and joy.” – Roger Angell, The Summer Game
- “The nice guys are all over there, in seventh place.” – Leo Durocher, Nice Guys Finish Last
- “So, I say while we’re able to wear the orange and black, let’s give this town the title they deserve…Let’s touch Heaven, boys…” – Michael Dault, The Sons of Summer
- “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up some place else.” – Yogi Berra
- “Runs like a rotary phone thrown into a running clothes dryer. Throws like an effete Frenchman throwing a bookcase uphill. Swings a bat like his elbows are stapled to his knees and his underwear is pulled over his head. Stares at you while you aren’t looking.” – Grant Brisbee
- “What’s the first thing that happens after you put on Pinstripes ?…You become overrated !” – Kevin Kolenda
- “This game [baseball] should be passed from father to son. You want your son to grow strong and be a man? Play catch with him.” – Roger Maris, Roger Maris at Bat
- “On Saturday you’re Mickey Lolich; make the game yours.” – Michael Dault, The Sons of Summer
- “Baseball may be a religion full of magic, cosmic truth, and the fundamental ontological riddles of our time, but it’s also a job.” – Bull Durham
- “You never know what’s going to happen… And that’s the fun of it! That’s what baseball’s all about!” – Keiichi Arawi
- “Understand that we were a crowd of rational people. We knew that a home run cannot be produced at will; the right pitch must be perfectly met and luck must ride with the ball…Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around a corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the future.” – John Updike, Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu
- “Nobody deserves to go to the World Series more than the Chicago Cubs. But they can’t go because that would spoil their custom of never going. It is an irreconcilable paradox.” – Bill Bryson, I’m a Stranger Here Myself
- “In any game, the game itself is the prize, no matter who wins, ultimately both lose the game.” – Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words
- “That’s why baseball is more like life than other games. Sometimes I feel like that’s all I do in life, keep track of my errors.” – Michael Chabon, Summerland
- “Most people, ordinary citizens, regard Major League Baseball with a reverence bordering on foolishness…Baseball is the drunken uncle America keeps inviting back to Thanksgiving, even though we know he’s going to puke and pass out on the floor.” – T. Monday, Double Switch
- “You’re not going to always hit a home run in life. You’re going to strike out! You’re going to walk to the dugout of life, frustrated, while spectators chirp your name in judgment. They’re afraid to even get on the field, and you know it. The fact that you get back up there, unafraid, going after that next home run, makes you the person you are.” – Ron Baratono, The Writings of Ron Baratono
- “[Rachel] was of the opinion that if baseball were any slower it would be called farming.” – B. Spangler, Maker Space
- “You can get base hits or home runs, but you can’t get a grand slam without both.” – Richie Norton
- “Baseball is a man maker.” – Al Spalding
- “There are only five things you can do in baseball – run, throw, catch, hit and hit with power.” – Leo Durocher