"Any time you think you have the game conquered, the game will turn around and punch you right in the nose." Source: National Baseball Hall of Fame (website)
"I could ask the Phillies to keep me on to add to my statistics, but my love for the game won't let me do that." Source: Retirement Speech (May 29, 1989)
"I don't think I can get into my deep inner thoughts about hitting. It's like talking about religion." Source: Late Innings (Roger Angell)
"If you could equate the amount of time and effort put in mentally and physically into succeeding on the baseball field and measured it by the dirt on your uniform, mine would have been black."
"If you're associated with the Philadelphia media or town, you look for negatives. I don't know if there's something about their upbringing or they have too many hoagies, or too much cream cheese." Source: USA Today (March 9, 1989)
"It isn't that hard to get RBI's when you're hitting home runs, you generally get a least one." Source: A Night at the Hot Corner (Yes Network)
is the most likable arrogant person I've ever met."
"Philadelphia is the only city, where you can experience the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day."
"They read their sports pages, know their statistics and either root like hell or boo our butts off. I love it. Give me vocal fans, pro or con, over the tourist types who show up in Houston or Montreal and just sit there." Source: Los Angeles Times (March 31, 1975)
"You're trying your damndest, you strike out and they boo you. I act like it doesn't bother me, like I don't hear anything the fans say, but the truth is I hear every word of it and it kills me."
Tribute Night Speech May 26, 1990
"Thank you all. I have a short message for you tonight. It concerns those areas of my life that were most important to my success. I'd like to talk about my faith, my family, my friendships and about you, my fans. Each of us has our own definition of faith. I define my faith three ways.
First, my faith in God. God is the source for all my strength - physical and mental. In 1977, God entered my life. My faith in Him provided a foundation for my life and my career.
Second, my faith in myself, my confidence, my belief that I would always reach my goals if I worked hard enough, especially during the tough times.
My third faith involves those around me, my family, my teammates, and yes, YOU, my fans.
The affect of my family on my career began with Mom and Dad and my sister, Sally, back in Dayton, Ohio. They provided me: One, with love. Two, the freedom to develop my skills. Three, a strong sense of values. Four, a high regard for education. I met my wife, Donna, in 1973, and we were married six months later. With her I developed a stronger sense of responsibility and the fulfillment that comes from sharing our love. I am blessed with two wonderful children, who require me to set a strong example. All kids need heroes, not only mine, but every young child. This is especially important now when children are more vulnerable than during any other period in history. I hope I have 'touched' kids in a positive way. To me everyone who wears a uniform carries the responsibility of becoming a positive role model. When I think about it, this is more important than any home run, any play, or any statistic. All these fade with time. But being a positive role model both on and off the field helps others become better human beings.
I'm thankful to baseball for many things. Perhaps the most important are the friendships it has given me. Playing baseball involves living with other players day in and day out - getting to know them, to learn from them, to lean on them in tough times, to survive together. I feel blessed to have made so many true friends in my seventeen years of wearing the Phillies uniform. The uniform of a first class organization rung throughout my career by two first class men: Ruly Carpenter and Bill Giles. I'm proud to call them both my friends. At times, I admit I can be a hard guy to get to know. This makes me even more grateful to those who invested their time and their trust to build a friendship with me. Each of you has my friendship forever.
And finally, my fans:
I want to tell you straight from the heart, how I feel about you and your influence on this game. As athletes, we're disciplined, we're focused, we're even tough. But I know of no athlete who is immune to fan reaction, positive or negative. Yes, you fans affect the game in a 'big' way. Calling Philadelphia fans spectators hardly describes your impact. You help mold the spirit of a team. Your positive feedback is crucial in the Phillies' right to stay on top. You know, I'm often asked what I miss most about the game. It's tough to sort out all the wonderful memories and come up with a definite answer. But I can tell you this; I'll always miss the goose bumps I got when you cheered me. I've collected eighteen years of those goose bumps, from my first hit back in 1972 to the welcome you gave me tonight. To right now. That feeling can never be recreated, but that feeling will always be remembered.
My dreams started on a small playground near my home where I first learned how to hold a bat. My dreams came true here on this field. This game - baseball - is rich with strategy, talent, challenge, excitement and yes, tradition. But most of all, this game of baseball creates a bond - an indescribable bond, a bond that brings all of us together. All of us, not only teams but, families, friends, communities and, yes, even countries. At this very moment, I feel that bond and it will always be with me. I don't know where life will lead. but the Phillies and Philadelphia will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
Thank you all - all of you."