Asking baseball enthusiasts to find four memorable baseball movie quotes is like asking a bartender which drink he recommends: "It depends," he'd say. "If you want a full-bodied flavor to accentuate your cheeseburger, try an IPA micro-brew. If you want to erase the rest of your night, try the Long Island Tea." Similarly, depending on the mood of the person watching, memorable baseball movie quotes can reflect both the humor and the intensity of the much-cherished American sport and the sports highlights it creates. The following four baseball movie quotes simultaneously illustrate the character of baseball, the quirkiness of the players and managers, and the sense of sacredness diehard fans attribute to the game.
"You may run like Mays, but you hit like shit." In "Major League," when Willie Mays Hays (Wesley Snipes) keeps hitting the ball in the air during spring training batting practice, Manager Lou Brown walks out to the batter's box and delivers this famous line, which is a callback to when Willie introduces himself: "Willie Mays Hayes here. I play like Mays, and I run like Hayes." This movie is infinitely quotable, but the most memorable quote comes from Manager Lou Brown because his no-bullshit attitude, even-keeled temperament and fantastic mustache make him the quintessential wise ass baseball manager.
"There's no crying in baseball!" In "A League of Their Own," Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), the alcoholic has-been manager of a women's professional baseball team, delivers this line to Evelyn, his right fielder, after he yells at her for missing the cutoff man and she bursts into tears. "Rogers Hornsby was my manager," Dugan goes on, "and he called me a talking pile of pig shit. And that was when my parents drove all the way from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry?" Dugan's incredulity is apparent; his eyes widen, specks of saliva fly from his lips and his voice gets gradually more high-pitched. The quote marks a spot in the movie where Dugan still grapples with the idea of female ballplayers. His reaction lends the movie comic relief, but also displays the hesitance to accept women into the male-dominated arena of professional sports.
"People will come, Ray." In "Field of Dreams," Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones) delivers this speech, highlighting the romanticism and nostalgia surrounding baseball. Mann's monologue in Jones' deep and resonating voice marks the pentacle of the film, relaying a heartbreaking longing for American identity. It's truly poetic: "The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be good again."
"I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back…" In "Bull Durham," when Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) asks veteran ballplayer Crash Davis what he believes, Crash (Kevin Costner) says, "Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there should be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, soft, deep, wet kisses that last three days." Annie gasps in what we can only assume is sexual longing, grabs her chest and chases Crash out the door. This memorable monologue not only gives off that ultra-manly sexual aura of an athlete, but it also demonstrates the mindset of the player, baseball weaving in and out of all other thoughts, its connection with sex, life, politics, art and sensuality.