Four Great Managers Talking About Their Job

The Baseball-Almanac site has a nice collection of quotes from baseball men. Here, selected from the collection, are some quotes from four outstanding managers, John McGraw, Connie Mack, Billy Martin, and Al Lopez, focused on the manager’s task, personality, and methods.

From McGraw:
“Remember this, son. One percent of ballplayers are leaders of men. The other ninety-nine percent are followers of women.”

“I think we can win it if my brain holds out.”

“In playing or managing, the game of ball is only fun for me when I’m out in front and winning. I don’t give a hill of beans for the rest of the game.”

“Learn to know every man under you, get under his skin, know his faults. Then cater to him — with kindness or roughness as his case may demand.”

“Sportsmanship and easygoing methods are all right, but it is the prospect of a hot fight that brings out the crowds.”

From Mack:
“Humanity is the keystone that holds nations and men together. When that collapses, the whole structure crumbles. This is as true of baseball teams as any other pursuit in life.”

“I guess more players lick themselves than are ever licked by an opposing team. The first thing any man has to know is how to handle himself.”

“No matter what I talk about, I always get back to baseball.”

“You can’t win them all.”

“You’re born with two strikes against you, so don’t take a third one on your own.”

From Martin:
“All I know is (as a Yankees Manager), I pass people on the street these days, and they don’t know whether to say hello or to say good-bye.”

“Everything looks nicer when you win. The girls are prettier. The cigars taste better. The trees are greener.”

“I don’t think so because I’ve got the reputation for being baseball’s bad boy and I don’t deserve it. But I think I’d make a good manager. For one thing, I know how to handle men. That’s the secret of managing. For another, I know enough about the game, not fundamentals, but executing. I think I could get the most out of players with common sense and psychology. I’m fiery enough that I’d have their respect. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance and there’s nothing in the world that can change that.”

“I really love the togetherness in baseball. That’s a real true love.”

“Most people miss the great part mental outlook plays in this game.”

“Sometimes I would do just the opposite of what George wanted me to do, because I won’t let anyone tell me how to manage. If I’m going down the tube, I’m going to do it my way.”

From Lopez:
“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You’ll be an old man before you know it.”

“Managing can be more discouraging than playing, especially when you’re losing because when you’re a player, there are at least individual goals you can shoot for. When you’re a manager all the worries of the team become your worries.”

“The manager is by himself. He can’t mingle with his players. I enjoyed my players, but I could not socialize with them so I spent a lot of time alone in my hotel room. Those four walls kind of close in on you.”

And, here are three quotes about McGraw:
“His (John McGraw) very walk across the field in a hostile town was a challenge to the multitude.” – Sportswriter Grantland Rice

“I got along with him (John McGraw) fine. He only suspended me once for two weeks. It was on account that I socked him.” – Giants shortstop Al Bridwell

“I have seen McGraw go onto ball fields where he is as welcome as a man with the black smallpox. I have seen him take all sorts of personal challenges. He doesn’t know what fear is.” – Christy Mathewson

And two about Martin:
“Even when Billy’s not around, he’s in every mind. It’s like a spiritual involvement with the Lord. You can’t see him, but you know he’s there. That’s enough.” – A’s pitcher Mike Norris

“People think I hate Billy Martin. I don’t. I hate some of the things he did. And I will say I don’t understand him. Billy Martin is not an intellectual, but there is a cunningness to him that is something to behold.” – Reggie Jackson

Published in: Uncategorized on January 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm  Comments (2)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow, that’s a great bunch of posts. Honest and insightful. I especially like the first one by Connie Mack about “Humanity being the keystone….”
    Good stuff,

  2. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for The Reality Blog award. I have some info over on my blog, if you want to find out more about it.
    Take care,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s