Pitching Quotes

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Here are some of my favorite baseball pitching quotes, as well as quoted from famous pitchers, quotes from hall of fame pitchers and quotes from old-timers for youth pitchers.

  • "Less than a foot made the difference between a hero and a bum."
    Grover Alexander

  • "What, and give him (the batter) a chance to think on my time."
    Grover Alexander

  • "I would change policy, bring back natural grass and nickel beer. Baseball is the belly-button of our society. Straighten out baseball, and you straighten out the rest of the world."
    Bill Lee

  • "Kids don't learn the fundamentals of baseball at the games anymore."
    Bill Lee

  • "I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf." - Asked for a preference of grass or Astroturf
    Tug McGraw

  • "I have no trouble with the twelve inches between my elbow and my palm. It's the seven inches between my ears that's bent."
    Tug McGraw

  • "Kids should practice autographing baseballs. This is a skill that's often overlooked in Little League."
    Tug McGraw

  • "Ten million years from now, when then sun burns out and the Earth is just a frozen iceball hurtling through space, nobody's going to care whether or not I got this guy out."
    Tug McGraw

  • "Consistency is something you can always improve on. You can be more consistent with your mental approach, the things you do physically on the mound. Instead of doing 5 good pitches an inning, try to make six. You can always do more of what you are doing well and try to be as consistent as you can be."
    Greg Maddux

  • "I could probably throw harder if I wanted, but why? When they're in a jam, a lot of pitchers...try to throw harder. Me, I try to locate better."
    Greg Maddux

  • "I try to do two things: locate my fastball and change speeds. That's it. I try to keep as simple as possible. I just throw my fastball (to) both sides of the plate and change speed every now and then. There is no special food or anything like that, I just try to make quality pitches and try to be prepared each time I go out there."
    Greg Maddux

  • "All ballplayers want to wind up their careers with the Cubs, Giants or Yankees. They just can't help it."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "Anybody who's ever had the privilege of seeing me play knows that I am the greatest pitcher in the world."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "He (Branch Rickey) must think I went to the Massachesetts Constitution of Technology." - The Sporting News (1936)
    Dizzy Dean

  • "He (Bill Terry) once hit a ball between my legs so hard that my center-fielder caught it on the fly backing up against the wall."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "He slud into third." Dizzy Dean

  • "Heck, if anybody told me I was setting a record (strikeouts in a game on July 30, 1933) I'd of got me some more strikeouts." - It Takes Heart (1934)
    Dizzy Dean

  • "I ain't what I used to be, but who the hell is?"
    Dizzy Dean

  • "I can't tell you why there's a delay, but stick your head out of the window and you'll know why."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "If Satch (Paige) and I were pitching on the same team, we would clinch the pennant by July fourth and go fishing until World Series time."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "I know who's the best pitcher I ever see and it's old Satchel Paige, that big lanky colored boy. My fastball looks like a change of pace alongside that little pistol bullet ole Satchel (Paige) shoots up to the plate." - Sport (1969)
    Dizzy Dean

  • "I never keep a scorecard or the batting averages. I hate statistics. What I got to know, I keep in my head."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "It ain't braggin' if you can back it up."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "It puzzles me how they know what corners are good for filling stations. Just how did they know gas and oil was under there?"
    Dizzy Dean

  • "I won twenty-eight games in thirty-five and I couldn't believe my eyes when the Cards sent me a contract with a cut in salary. Mr. Rickey said I deserved a cut because I didn't win thirty games."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "Let the teachers teach English and I will teach baseball. There is a lot of people in the United States who say isn't, and they ain't eating."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "Me and Paul (Dean) will probably win forty games (they won forty-nine)."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "Mr. Rickey, I'll put more people in the park than anybody since Babe Ruth."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "Son, what kind of pitch would you like to miss."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "The Cards had one pitcher who won fourteen straight games in a period of twenty-four days. Then when he lost his fifteenth game 1-0, his manager fined him fifty bucks." - The Laugh's on Me (1973)
    Dizzy Dean

  • "The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing"
    Dizzy Dean

  • "The dumber a pitcher is, the better. When he gets smart and begins to experiment with a lot of different pitches, he's in trouble. All I ever had was a fastball, a curve and a changeup and I did pretty good."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "The good Lord was good to me. He gave me a strong body, a good right arm, and a weak mind."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "Well what's wrong with ain't? And as for saying (Phil) Rizzuto slud into second' it just ain't natural. Sounds silly to me. Slud is something more than slid. It means sliding with great effort."
    Dizzy Dean

  • "Army life was rough. Would you believe it, they actually wanted me to pitch three times a week."
    Whitey Ford

  • "Hell, if I didn't drink drink or smoke, I'd win twenty games every year. It's easy when you don't drink or smoke or horse around."
    Whitey Ford

  • "I didn't begin cheating until late in my career, when I needed something to help me survive. I didn't cheat when I won the twenty-five games in 1961. I don't want anybody to get any ideas and take my Cy Young Award away. And I didn't cheat in 1963 when I won twenty-four games. Well, maybe a little."
    Whitey Ford

  • "I know (Sandy) Koufax weakness. He can't hit."
    Whitey Ford

  • "I never threw the spitter, well maybe once or twice when I really needed to get a guy out real bad."
    Whitey Ford

  • "Sooner or later the arm goes bad. It has to...Sooner or later you have to start pitching in pain."
    Whitey Ford

  • "There's no easier pitch to hit than a splitter that doesn't do anything."
    Whitey Ford

  • "The way to make coaches think you're in shape in the spring is to get a tan."
    Whitey Ford

  • "You kind of took it for granted around the Yankees that there was always going to be baseball in October."
    Whitey Ford

  • "You would be amazed how many important outs you can get by working the count down to where the hitter is sure you're going to throw to his weakness, and then throw to his power instead."
    Whitey Ford

  • "I owe the public just one thing - a good performance."
    Bob Gibson

  • "I've played a couple of hundred games of tic-tac-toe with my little daughter and she hasn't beaten me yet. I've always had to win. I've got to win."
    Bob Gibson

  • "The two most important things in life: good friends and a strong bullpen."
    Bob Gibson

  • "You've got to have an attitude if your going to go far in this game."
    Bob Gibson

  • "When I gave up a grand slam to Pete LaCock, I knew it was time to quit."
    Bob Gibson

  • "When I knocked a guy down, there was no second part to the story."
    Bob Gibson

  • "Why do I have to be an example for your kid? You be an example for your own kid."
    Bob Gibson

  • "He'd (Reggie Jackson) give you the shirt off his back. Of course he'd call a press conference to announce it."
    Catfish Hunter

  • "If I had done everything I was supposed to, I'd be leading the league in homers, have the highest batting average, have given $100,000 to the Cancer Fund and be married to Marie Osmond."
    Catfish Hunter

  • "I had some friends here from North Carolina who'd never seen a homer, so I gave them a couple."
    Catfish Hunter

  • "The thing about Reggie (Jackson) is that you know he's going to produce. And if he doesn't, he's going to talk enough to make people think he's going to produce."
    Catfish Hunter

  • "A guy that throws what he intends to throw, that's the definition of a good pitcher."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "I became a good pitcher when I stopped trying to make them miss the ball and started trying to make them hit it."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "I can't believe that Babe Ruth was a better player than Willie Mays. (Babe) Ruth is to baseball what Arnold Palmer is to golf. He got the game moving. But I can't believe he could run as well as (Willie) Mays, and I can't believe he was any better an outfielder."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "In the end it all comes down to talent. You can talk all you want about intangibles, I just don't know what that means. Talent makes winners, not intangibles. Can nice guys win? Sure, nice guys can win - if they're nice guys with a lot of talent. Nice guys with a little talent finish fourth and nice guys with no talent finish last."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "I think it's incredible because there were guys like (Willie) Mays and (Mickey) Mantle and Henry Aaron who were great players for ten years... I only had four or five good years."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "If I could straighten it out (his golf swing), I'd be pitching at Dodger Stadium tonight."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "If there was any magic formula, it was getting to pitch every fourth day."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "I've got a lot of years to live after baseball and I would like to live them with the complete use of my body."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "People who write about spring training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "Pitching is the art of instilling fear."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "Show me a guy who can't pitch inside and I'll show you a loser."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "The game has a cleanness. If you do a good job, the numbers say so. You don't have to ask anyone or play politics. You don't have to wait for the reviews."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "The only time I really try for a strikeout is when I'm in a jam. If the bases are loaded with none out, for example, then I'll go for a strikeout. But most of the time I try to throw to spots. I try to get them to pop up or ground out. On a strikeout I might have to throw five or six pitches, sometimes more if there are foul-offs. That tires me. So I just try to get outs. That's what counts - outs. You win with outs, not strikeouts."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "There is among us a far closer relationship than the purely social one of a fraternal organization because we are bound together not only by a single interest but by a common goal. To win. Nothing else matters, and nothing else will do."
    Sandy Koufax

  • "Can I throw harder than Joe Wood? Listen mister, no man alive can throw any harder than Smoky Joe Wood."
    Walter Johnson

  • "(Bob) Feller isn't quite as fast as I was."
    Walter Johnson

  • "I throw as hard as I can when I think I have to throw as hard as I can."
    Walter Johnson

  • "I was the greenest rookie that ever was. One evening I was standing out on the sidewalk when a stranger approached and said, 'You're famous already kid. See, they've named a hotel for you.' I looked across the street and sure enough, there was a big illuminated sign that read 'Johnson Hotel.' Well, do you know that I was so green that I actually believed the man!"
    Walter Johnson

  • "Nobody saw it, he (Rogers Hornsby) hit it and it disappeared."
    Walter Johnson

  • "The beanball is one of the meanest things on Earth and no decent fellow would use it. The beanball is a potential murderer. If I were a batter and thought the pitcher really tried to bean me, I'd be inclined to wait for him outside the park with a baseball bat."
    Walter Johnson

  • "You can't hit what you can't see."
    Walter Johnson

  • "A pitcher's got to be good and he's got to be lucky to get a no hit game."
    Cy Young

  • "All us Youngs could throw. I used to kill squirrels with a stone when I was a kid, and my granddad once killed a turkey buzzard on the fly with a rock."
    Cy Young

  • "Gosh, all a kid has to do these days is spit straight and he gets forty-thousand dollars to sign."
    Cy Young

  • "His trouble is he takes life too seriously. (Ty) Cobb is going at it too hard."
    Cy Young

  • "I thought I had to show all my stuff and I almost tore the boards of the grandstand with my fastball."
    Cy Young

  • "One of the fellows called me 'Cyclone' but finally shortened it to 'Cy' and its been that ever since."
    Cy Young

  • "Too many pitchers, that's all, there are just too many pitchers Ten or twelve on a team. Don't see how any of them get enough work. Four starting pitchers and one relief man ought to be enough. Pitch 'em every three days and you'd find they'd get control and good, strong arms."
    Cy Young

  • "Family is everything. It is even more important than baseball."
    Luis Tiant

  • "I didn't do it (pitch like he did) for show. I did it to get batters out. Players would tell me, 'We can't tell where the ball is coming from.'"
    Luis Tiant

  • "If we lose today, it will be over my dead body. They'll have to leave me face down on the mound."
    Luis Tiant

  • "I give him (Frank Howard during April 28, 1968 two-hitter) shoulder, back, foot and the ball last," and Frank Howard commented, "He threw everything at me but the ball." - in The Cleveland Press
    Luis Tiant

  • "I had dreamed about being a college coach for a long time, but with no education, I never thought I would get a chance."
    Luis Tiant

  • "Normal relations, never. We should never forget what has happened to the people in Cuba for forty years. All baseball cares about is getting players out of Cuba. It doesn't care about the suffering, just money. The Orioles shouldn't have gone to Cuba. This is a free county, but that's the way I feel."
    Luis Tiant

  • "The fastball is the best pitch in baseball. It's like having five pitches, if you move it around."
    Luis Tiant

  • "When I'm in Boston, I always feel like I'm home. I almost cry, I feel so good."
    Luis Tiant

  • "If they knocked two of your guys down, I'd get four. You have to protect your hitters."
    Don Drysdale

  • "In Brooklyn, it was as though you were in your own little bubble. You were all part of one big, but very close family, and the Dodgers were the main topic of everybody's conversations and you could sense the affection people had for you. I don't know that such a thing exists anymore."
    Don Drysdale

  • "I hate all hitters. I start a game mad and I stay that way until it's over."
    Don Drysdale

  • "It's a bottom line business where a lot of gray suits are brought in and then, within two years, these guys suddenly know everything about baseball."
    Don Drysdale

  • "My own little rule was two for one. If one of my teammates got knocked down, then I knocked down two on the other team."
    Don Drysdale

  • "Some of these guys wear beards to make them look intimidating, but they don't look so tough when they have to deliver the ball. Their abilities and their attitudes don't back up their beards."
    Don Drysdale

  • "The pitcher has to find out if the hitter is timid, and if he is timid, he has to remind the hitter he's timid."
    Don Drysdale

  • "When I throw a curve that hangs and it goes for a hit, I want to chew up my glove."
    Don Drysdale

  • "When the ball is over the middle of the plate, the batter is hitting it with the sweet part of the bat. When it's inside, he's hitting it with the part of the bat from the handle to the trademark. When it's outside, he's hitting it with the end of the bat. You've got to keep the ball away from the sweet part of the bat. To do that, the pitcher has to move the hitter off the plate."
    Don Drysdale

  • "When we played, World Series checks meant something. Now all they do is screw your taxes."
    Don Drysdale

  • "I just reared back and let them go."
    Bob Feller

  • "I would rather beat the Yankees regularly than pitch a no hit game."
    Bob Feller

  • "Nowadays, they have more trouble packing hair dryers than baseball equipment."
    Bob Feller

  • "Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed upon the Yankees. Apparently it angers them."
    Bob Feller

  • "Ted Williams was the greatest hitter I ever saw, but (Joe) DiMaggio was the greatest all around player."
    Bob Feller

  • "The difference between relief pitching when I did it today is simple, there is too much of it. It's one of those cases where more is not necessarily better."
    Bob Feller

  • "When I pick up the ball and it feels nice and light and small I know I'm going to have a good day. But if I picked it up and it's big and heavy, I know I'm liable to get into a little trouble."
    Bob Feller

  • "Where the ball went was up to heaven. Sometimes I threw the ball clean up into the stands."
    Bob Feller

  • "When you make a bad pitch and the hitter puts it out of the park and you cost your team the game, it's a real test of your maturity to be able to stand in front of your locker fifteen minutes later and admit it to the world. How many people in other professions would be willing to have their job performances evaluated that way, in front of millions, every afternoon at five o'clock."
    Bob Feller

  • "You figure they cheat at the ballpark, they'll cheat on the golf course, they'll cheat in business, and anything else in life. Players may laugh about it and say it's funny, but right down in their heart, they don't think it's funny at all, and they have no respect for a person who cheats."
    Bob Feller

  • "A pitcher needs two pitches, one they're looking for and one to cross them up."
    Warren Spahn

  • "A sore arm is like a headache or a toothache. It can make you feel bad, but if you just forget about it and do what you have to do, it will go away. If you really like to pitch and you want to pitch, that's what you'll do."
    Warren Spahn

  • "He was something like zero for twenty-one the first time I saw him. His first major league hit was a home run off me and I'll never forgive myself. We might have gotten rid of Willie (Mays) forever if I'd only struck him out."
    Warren Spahn

  • "Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing."
    Warren Spahn

  • "I'm probably the only guy who worked for (Casey) Stengel before and after he was a genius."
    Warren Spahn

  • "A pitcher has to look at the hitter as his mortal enemy."
    Early Wynn

  • "A pitcher is only as good as his legs."
    Early Wynn

  • "A pitcher will never be a big winner until he hates hitters."
    Early Wynn

  • "I don't like losing a ballgame any more than a salesman likes losing a sale."
    Early Wynn

  • "A lot of things run through your head when you're going in to relieve in a tight spot. One of them was, "Should I spike myself?"
    Lefty Gomez

  • "He (Jimmie Foxx) has muscles in his hair."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "Hell, Lou (Gehrig) it took fifteen years to get you out of a game. Sometimes I'm out in fifteen minutes."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "I'd rather be lucky than good."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "I'm the guy that made Joe DiMaggio famous."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "I'm throwing as hard as I ever did, but the ball is just not getting there as fast."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "I talked to the ball a lot of times in my career. I yelled, "Go foul. Go foul."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "I've got a new invention. It's a revolving bowl for tired goldfish."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "I want to thank all my teammates who scored so many runs and Joe DiMaggio, who ran down so many of my mistakes."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "I was the worst hitter ever. I never even broke a bat until last year when I was backing out of the garage."
    Lefty Gomez

  • "No one hit home runs the way Babe (Ruth) did. They were something special. They were like homing pigeons. The ball would leave the bat, pause briefly, suddenly gain its bearings, then take off for the stands."
    Lefty Gomez

 

Related Pitching Materials

Want to learn more about youth baseball pitching? Arm yourself with the most innovative and up-to-date baseball pitching training available. These related pitching materials from former Chicago Cubs pitching pro Steven Ellis are guaranteed to help you or the players you coach pitch better and reach the next level faster!

The Pitching Manual

A complete training guide for youth pitchers ages 8-13

Title: TUFFCUFF Jr
Author: Steven Ellis and Chris McCoy
Spiral bound, 90 pages
Price: $64.95
Avg rating: (156 reviews)

 

Baseball Pitching Tips

Learn essential baseball pitching tips for young players

Title: Baseball Pitching Tips [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 105 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (143 reviews)


 

 »  Discuss this baseball pitching article
 »  Read more baseball pitching articles
 »  See today's post on my pitching tips blog

want a more explosive fastball? click here