Famous Yankee Quotes

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It has a way of eroding barriers-that famous Yankee reticence-which would otherwise be impregnable.
Stephen King (Revival)
You Americans are a very singular people," he later recalled to one of his friends. "I went with my automaton all over my own country—the Germans wondered and said nothing. In France they exclaimed, Magnifique! Merveilleux! Superbe! The English set themselves to prove—one that it could be, and another that it could not be, a mere mechanism acting without a man inside. But I had not been long in your country, before a Yankee came to see me and said, 'Mr Maelzel, would you like another thing like that? I can make you one for five hundred dollars.' I laughed at his proposition. A few months afterwards, the same Yankee came to see me again, and this time he said, 'Mr Maelzel, would you like to buy another thing like that? I have one already made for you.
Tom Standage (The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine)
Funnel The family story tells, and it was told true, of my great-grandfather who begat eight genius children and bought twelve almost-new grand pianos. He left a considerable estate when he died. The children honored their separate arts; two became moderately famous, three married and fattened their delicate share of wealth and brilliance. The sixth one was a concert pianist. She had a notable career and wore cropped hair and walked like a man, or so I heard when prying a childhood car into the hushed talk of the straight Maine clan. One died a pinafore child, she stays her five years forever. And here is one that wrote- I sort his odd books and wonder his once alive words and scratch out my short marginal notes and finger my accounts. back from that great-grandfather I have come to tidy a country graveyard for his sake, to chat with the custodian under a yearly sun and touch a ghost sound where it lies awake. I like best to think of that Bunyan man slapping his thighs and trading the yankee sale for one dozen grand pianos. it fit his plan of culture to do it big. On this same scale he built seven arking houses and they still stand. One, five stories up, straight up like a square box, still dominates its coastal edge of land. It is rented cheap in the summer musted air to sneaker-footed families who pad through its rooms and sometimes finger the yellow keys of an old piano that wheezes bells of mildew. Like a shoe factory amid the spruce trees it squats; flat roof and rows of windows spying through the mist. Where those eight children danced their starfished summers, the thirty-six pines sighing, that bearded man walked giant steps and chanced his gifts in numbers. Back from that great-grandfather I have come to puzzle a bending gravestone for his sake, to question this diminishing and feed a minimum of children their careful slice of suburban cake.
Anne Sexton
One had to be more discerning in recognizing other Yankees players. And a program would have been of little help. In 1923, the Yankee uniforms were blank on the back. The team did not introduce uniform numbers until 1929; Ruth was given No. 3 because he batted third in the lineup and Gehrig was given No. 4 because he batted fourth. In 1923, the Yankees did not even have their famous interlocking N and Y on the left breast of their uniforms. The only similarity of those Yankees home uniforms with those of later years were the pinstripes.
Tony Castro (Gehrig and the Babe: The Friendship and the Feud)
In June 1981, a strike shuttered the major leagues for fifty days, the first time in baseball history that players walked out during the season. Determined to make his people earn their keep, George Steinbrenner ordered his major-league coaches into the minors to scout and help mentor the organization’s prospects. Berra drew Nashville, where Merrill was the manager. Merrill was a former minor-league catcher with a degree in physical education from the University of Maine. He began working for the Yankees in 1978 at West Haven, Connecticut, in the Eastern League and moved south when the Yankees took control of the Southern League’s Nashville team in 1980. Suddenly, in mid-1981, the former catcher who had never made it out of Double-A ball had the most famous and decorated Yankees backstop asking him, “What do you want me to do?” Wait a minute, Merrill thought. Yogi Berra is asking me to supervise him? “Do whatever you want,” Merrill said. “No,” Berra said. “Give me something specific.” And that was when Merrill began to understand the existential splendor of Yogi Berra, whom he would come to call Lawrence or Sir Lawrence in comic tribute to his utter lack of pretense and sense of importance. “He rode buses with us all night,” Merrill said. “You think he had to do that? He was incredible.” One day Merrill told him, “Why don’t you hit some rollers to that lefty kid over there at first base?” Berra did as he was told and later remarked to Merrill, “That kid looks pretty good with the glove.” Berra knew a prospect when he saw one. It was Don Mattingly, who at the time was considered expendable by a chronically shortsighted organization always on the prowl for immediate assistance at the major-league level.
Harvey Araton (Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball's Greatest Gift)
Boyd concluded, “The prospect of being burned alive naturally terrified us, and, as a last resource, I contrived to get a message conveyed to the Federal officer in command. He exerted himself with effect, and had the incendiaries arrested before they could execute their horrible purpose. In the meantime it had been reported at head-quarters that I had shot a Yankee soldier, and great was the indignation at first felt and expressed against me. Soon, however, the commanding officer, with several of his staff, called at our house to investigate the affair. He examined the witnesses, and inquired into all the circumstances with strict impartiality, and finally said I had ‘done perfectly right.’" Spying
Charles River Editors (Belle Boyd: The Controversial Life and Legacy of the Civil War’s Most Famous Spy)
were one of the worst teams in the league. They lost game after game. They didn’t come close to winning a World Series. But Babe Ruth turned their luck around. After he became a New York Yankee, things would never be the same. Within a few years of buying Babe Ruth, the Yankees won the first of dozens of World Series. On the Yankees, Ruth hit even more home runs. In 1920, Ruth was one of the most famous people in America. He hit an amazing fifty-four home runs that year. That’s twenty-five more than he had hit the year before. Fifty-four home runs was more than most teams had!
David A. Kelly (Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse)
But Gehrig reported in later life that they weren’t very nice to him. He was a brother all right, but he wasn’t quite as much of a brother as some of the other lads whose mothers weren’t cooks. The boys managed somehow to convey that fine distinction to him. It was the first time that the big, rough, dumb Dutchman butted into the wall reared by the so-called upper classes. It bled a little where he hit, and left a scar. In fact, the brothers never did warm up to him until he became the famous Yankee first baseman and heir to the throne of Babe Ruth. Then they would come around and give him the grip and remember the good old days in the frat house and how jolly it all was.
Paul Gallico (Lou Gehrig: Pride of the Yankees)
For two successive days, while perched up in the rigging, covered with tar and engaged in our disagreeable work, we saw these fellows going ashore in the morning, and coming off again at night, in high spirits. So much for being Protestants. There’s no danger of Catholicism’s spreading in New England; Yankees can’t afford the time to be Catholics. American shipmasters get nearly three weeks more labor out of their crews, in the course of a year, than the masters of vessels from Catholic countries. Yankees don’t keep Christmas, and shipmasters at sea never know when Thanksgiving comes, so Jack has no festival at all. About
Charles William Eliot (The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature)
Although our feelings are not particularly fraternal, we give the people inhabiting this continent the national cognomen of "Brother Jonathan," while we name individuals "Yankees." We know that they are famous for smoking, spitting, "gouging," and bowie-knives—for monster hotels, steamboat explosions, railway collisions, and repudiated debts.
Isabella Lucy Bird (The Englishwoman in America)
It was not long before the 17 year old girl learned that she could learn a great deal about the Yankees’ movements if she was willing to offer at least some of her virtue in trade. Valuing adventure above chastity, she soon became known as a very pleasant young woman to spend time with, and she explained how she was ultimately able to make this work in her favor: “Meanwhile, my residence within the Federal lines, and my acquaintance with so many of the officers, the origin of which I have already mentioned, enabled me to gain much important information as to the position and designs of the enemy.” In
Charles River Editors (Belle Boyd: The Controversial Life and Legacy of the Civil War’s Most Famous Spy)
We all know who you are, Mr. Coughlin. Famous Yankee gangster. Friend of the colonel. It would be safer for a man to swim into the middle of the ocean and cut his own throat than to threaten you.' He solemnly made the sign of the cross. 'But when people starve and have nowhere to go, where would you have them end up?' 'Not on my land,' Joe said. 'But it is not your land. It's God's. You are renting it. This rum? This life?' He patted his chest. 'We are all just renting from God.
Dennis Lehane (Live by Night (Coughlin, #2))
After the Battle of Winchester, Jackson allowed his men two days of rest and prayer, while his quartermasters tallied the spoils left behind by the Yankees. Although Jackson drove his men hard, he could sense they were at their limit; their failure to pursue Banks’ broken army was proof of it. While he was eager to get on with the fight, he needed men capable of fighting. He
Charles River Editors (The Stonewall Brigade: The History of the Most Famous Confederate Combat Unit of the Civil War)
I knew you forever and you were always old, soft white lady of my heart. Surely you would scold me for sitting up late, reading your letters, as if these foreign postmarks were meant for me. You posted them first in London, wearing furs and a new dress in the winter of eighteen-ninety. I read how London is dull on Lord Mayor's Day, where you guided past groups of robbers, the sad holes of Whitechapel, clutching your pocketbook, on the way to Jack the Ripper dissecting his famous bones. This Wednesday in Berlin, you say, you will go to a bazaar at Bismarck's house. And I see you as a young girl in a good world still, writing three generations before mine. I try to reach into your page and breathe it back… but life is a trick, life is a kitten in a sack. This is the sack of time your death vacates. How distant your are on your nickel-plated skates in the skating park in Berlin, gliding past me with your Count, while a military band plays a Strauss waltz. I loved you last, a pleated old lady with a crooked hand. Once you read Lohengrin and every goose hung high while you practiced castle life in Hanover. Tonight your letters reduce history to a guess. The count had a wife. You were the old maid aunt who lived with us. Tonight I read how the winter howled around the towers of Schloss Schwobber, how the tedious language grew in your jaw, how you loved the sound of the music of the rats tapping on the stone floors. When you were mine you wore an earphone. This is Wednesday, May 9th, near Lucerne, Switzerland, sixty-nine years ago. I learn your first climb up Mount San Salvatore; this is the rocky path, the hole in your shoes, the yankee girl, the iron interior of her sweet body. You let the Count choose your next climb. You went together, armed with alpine stocks, with ham sandwiches and seltzer wasser. You were not alarmed by the thick woods of briars and bushes, nor the rugged cliff, nor the first vertigo up over Lake Lucerne. The Count sweated with his coat off as you waded through top snow. He held your hand and kissed you. You rattled down on the train to catch a steam boat for home; or other postmarks: Paris, verona, Rome. This is Italy. You learn its mother tongue. I read how you walked on the Palatine among the ruins of the palace of the Caesars; alone in the Roman autumn, alone since July. When you were mine they wrapped you out of here with your best hat over your face. I cried because I was seventeen. I am older now. I read how your student ticket admitted you into the private chapel of the Vatican and how you cheered with the others, as we used to do on the fourth of July. One Wednesday in November you watched a balloon, painted like a silver abll, float up over the Forum, up over the lost emperors, to shiver its little modern cage in an occasional breeze. You worked your New England conscience out beside artisans, chestnut vendors and the devout. Tonight I will learn to love you twice; learn your first days, your mid-Victorian face. Tonight I will speak up and interrupt your letters, warning you that wars are coming, that the Count will die, that you will accept your America back to live like a prim thing on the farm in Maine. I tell you, you will come here, to the suburbs of Boston, to see the blue-nose world go drunk each night, to see the handsome children jitterbug, to feel your left ear close one Friday at Symphony. And I tell you, you will tip your boot feet out of that hall, rocking from its sour sound, out onto the crowded street, letting your spectacles fall and your hair net tangle as you stop passers-by to mumble your guilty love while your ears die.
Anne Sexton
Speaking of baseball, a small group of Nautilus crew members arrived during a game at Yankee Stadium. Even though the famous slugger Mickey Mantle was at bat, the crowd stood and gave the submariners a standing ovation.
William R. Anderson (The Ice Diaries: The Untold Story of the USS Nautilus and the Cold War's Most Daring Mission)