"After I hit a home run I had a habit of running the bases with my head down. I figured the pitcher already felt bad enough without me showing him up rounding the bases."
"All I had was natural ability."
"All the ballparks and the big crowds have a certain mystique. You feel attached, permanently wedded to the sounds that ring out, to the fans chanting your name, even when there are only four or five thousand in the stands on a Wednesday afternoon."
"A lot of people wrote that Roger (Maris) and I didn't like each other and that we didn't get along. Nothing could be further from the truth."
"A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide."
"As far as I'm concerned, (Hank) Aaron is the best ball player of my era. He is to baseball of the last fifteen years what Joe DiMaggio was before him. He's never received the credit he's due." Source: Baseball Digest (June 1970)
"But god-damn, to think you're a .300 hitter and end up at .237 in your last season, then find yourself looking at a lifetime .298 average - it made me want to cry." Source: The Mick (Mickey Mantle)
"Every time I see his name (Dean Chance) on a lineup card, I feel like throwing up." Source: Pitching and Wooing (Maury Allen)
"Heroes are people who are all good with no bad in them. That's the way I always saw Joe DiMaggio. He was beyond question one of the greatest players of the century."
"Hitting the ball was easy. Running around the bases was the tough part." Source: Slick (Whitey Ford)
"I always loved the game, but when my legs weren't hurting it was a lot easier to love."
"I could never be a manager. All I have is natural ability." Source: Great Sports Reporting (Allen Kirschner)
"I don't care who you are, you hear those boos." Source: Look Magazine (March 1969)
"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." Source: The Mick (Mickey Mantle)
"If I knew I'd live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."
"I hated to bat against (Don) Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'"
"I'll play baseball for the Army or fight for it, whatever they want me to do."
"In 1960 when Pittsburgh beat us in the World Series, we outscored them 55-27. It was the only time I think the better team lost. I was so disappointed I cried on the plane ride home."
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life."
"It was all I lived for, to play baseball."
"My dad taught me to switch-hit. He and my grandfather, who was left-handed, pitched to me everyday after school in the back yard. I batted lefty against my dad and righty against my granddad."
"Roger Maris was as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was."
"Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'"
"Sometimes I sit in my den at home and read stories about myself. Kids used to save whole scrapbooks on me. They get tired of them and mail them to me. I'll go in there and read them, and you know what? They might as well be about (Stan) Musial and (Joe) DiMaggio, it's like reading about somebody else."
"Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."
"Sorry Mickey, but because of the way you lived on Earth, you can't come in. But, before you leave, would you autograph these baseballs for HIM." - Mantle quoting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates
"The best team I ever saw, and I really mean this, was the '61 Yankees.I never got to see the '27 Yankees. Everyone says that was the greatest team ever, but I think it would've been a great series if we'd have had the chance to play them."
"The biggest game I ever played in was probably Don Larsen's perfect game."
"The only thing I can do is play baseball. I have to play ball. It's the only thing I know."
"They (the Athletics) should have come out of the dugout on tippy-toes, holding hands and singing."
"Today's Little Leaguers, and there are millions of them each year, pick up how to hit and throw and field just by watching games on TV. By the time they're out of high school, the good ones are almost ready to play professional ball."
"To play eighteen years in Yankee Stadium is the best thing that could ever happen to a ballplayer."
"Well, baseball was my whole life. Nothing's ever been as fun as baseball." Source: New York Times (February 5, 1988)
"When I hit a home run I usually didn't care where it went. So long as it was a home run was all that mattered."
"You don't realize how easy this game is until you get up in that broadcasting booth."