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THE HALL OF FAME


“It’s special this year that George Brett, Robin Yount and Nolan Ryan
can enjoy the moment in their first year of eligibility. They are
three guys I greatly admire. I think they earned the right to go in
the first year.”

Don Sutton, announcer


“I think this is the final chapter of my career. It’s the highest
honor.”

Nolan Ryan


“I never dreamed of being in the Hall of Fame. And with all due
respect, Mr. Gehrig, today I consider myself the luckiest man on the
face of the earth.”

Robin Yount


“Today concludes a long journey. I stand humbly before you in
Cooperstown.”

George Brett


“I knew it would happen eventually some day. But I’m glad it’s
happening right now. People say to me that it’s a shame that it didn’t
happen before. But for me right now is the best time because before I
was not ready mentally to handle it, accept it.”

Orlando Cepeda


“George put Kansas City on the map. Before he came, Kansas City was
only known for the Negro leagues and the Monarchs, and as a farm team
for the Yankees. George Brett made it credible, a big league town.”

David Cone, Yankees pitcher


PERFECTION


“I signed a one-year contract to stay with them. After throwing that
perfect game at Yankee Stadium on Yogi Berra Day, now I know why.”

David Cone, Yankees pitcher


“He didn’t leave anything over the middle of the plate. He didn’t get
away with any bad pitches. He just didn’t throw any bad pitches.”

Chris Widger, Expos catcher


“The only time I talked to David today, was before the game when we
went over the hitters. We talked about the pitch selection and I
didn’t say another word the rest of the day. Nobody was brave enough
to joke with him.”

Joe Girardi, Yankees catcher


“I think it’s a cool thing to have the final ball hit to you in one
of those things. But you want it to be an easy one, not a screaming,
two-hop backhander.”

Scott Brosius, Yankees infielder


“I’ve been spoiled by a couple perfect games, and I think that helped
the mood.”

Derek Jeter, Yankees infielder


“Chicks dig perfect games!”

David Wells, Blue Jays pitcher


AS THE UMPIRES TURN


“I love my job, but if they feel they can get along without us, then
maybe this job isn’t worth having.”

Bruce Davidson, umpire


“I can’t worry about public opinion. Public opinion is not what we’re
after. What we’re after is protecting the rights we bargained for over
the past 21 years, that’s what we’re doing. We’re never going to win a
popularity contest with the public.”

Jerry Crawford, umpires union president


“Bud [Selig] said it’s sad. What’s sad is that baseball doesn’t have
enough respect to address a situation that they knew was coming….
It looks like they want a war, for whatever reason.”

Bruce Froemming, umpire


“A lot of this is all posturing, negotiating tactics. You have to
take it with a grain of salt.”

Tim McClelland, umpire


“Fifty-five guys say Richie Phillips is the greatest thing that ever
happened to officiating in any sport and has won battle after battle
after battle for us since 1978.”

Richie Phillips, umpires union head, on the umpires who plan
to resign


“This is not one or two. This is a big group out there now who have
rescinded their resignations. My decision was based on my family and
what I can do best to support them. I have four kids, 12 to 7.”

Mike Reilly, umpire


TRADES


“I think we’ll make a couple of deals. We’d like to add some
productivity and pitching. I’m not thrilled with what’s out there, but
we do owe something to our fans. They’ve been great, they’ve been
loyal, and we owe it to them to make a deal or two if we can.”

Dan Duquette, Red Sox GM


“It’s emotional, but you just have to move on. I’ll miss my teammates
and the city of Miami. This is still my home. I’ll be back.”

Livan Hernandez, Giants pitcher, on being traded from the
Marlins


“Talk’s always going to be there if you have an older club. If we
make a deal, it’ll be getting somebody to help us win.”

Ray Miller, Orioles manager


“I look forward to this challenge. I’m happy it worked out this way.
It’s a chance to go back to New York and pitch well. I have something
to prove to myself more than anyone.”

Kenny Rogers, Mets pitcher, on being traded from the A’s


“The trade rumors are false. I’m not going anywhere.”

Albert Belle, Orioles outfielder


PITCHERS


“He was tiring. When Mr. Nomo tells me he’s had enough, Mr. Nomo’s
had enough. What else can you say? I’m kissing the ground he walks on.”

Phil Garner, Brewers manager, on Hideo Nomo


“Everywhere I go I get booed. I don’t pay attention to that stuff.”

Armando Benitez, Mets pitcher


“It’s been a year where it seems like someone is trying to test me.
It’s been that way the whole year. Game after game, it’s like a witch
doctor has a curse on me. If anybody knows how to get rid of it, tell
him to send it to me.”

Kevin Brown, Dodgers pitcher


“He’s our one-hit guy. We need a one-hitter, we go to him.”

Jack McKeon, Reds manager, on Ron Villone


“I just want to come in right now and get some guys out and just keep
building. Long-range, I do hope I’ll get the chance to close again,
and I think I will. But I know I have to earn it.”

Rod Beck, Cubs pitcher


“I’ve heard they’re looking for a No. 1 starter but I don’t know why
when they have him on the mound. That’s about as good as it gets. When
a guy is throwing 100 miles an hour in the eighth inning, that’s
impressive.”

Craig Biggio, Astros infielder, on Bartolo Colon


“One of these days, my mistakes will start getting hit for singles
and doubles instead of home runs.”

Rick Helling, Rangers pitcher


THE REST


“I love offense. It makes everything better. If we’re swinging the
bats well, we play better defense and the pitching is better. People
talking about pitching, pitching, pitching, but this is an offensive
age. You’ve got to swing that lumber.”

Davey Johnson, Dodgers manager


“When you close your eyes and swing, you never know what’s going to
happen. You open them and the ball’s over the fence. I can’t explain
it. I’ve only got 66 more to tie McGwire’s record.”

Denny Hocking, Twins infielder


“1/2 year down, 4 1/2 years to go so don’t fight it and show me
some LOVE!!!”

Albert Belle, Orioles outfielder, from a note he wrote to
reporters


“I’d like to dedicate something like this to my wife. I think that
she’s been through a lot, and I think the girls really stay off to the
side and out of the limelight, and they really do an awful lot of work
for us to come out here and play as well as we do and take care of our
families.”

Orel Hershiser, Mets pitcher, on his 200th win


“I’ve said all along, I think we’ve got a good bullpen. We’ve got a
couple guys who suffer from the Coors Field syndrome. We’ve got
several guys down there who can pitch for a championship team, I
think.”

Jim Leyland, Rockies manager


“People are kind of focusing in on 3,000 [hits]. I’d rather win. This
club has really been unbelievable here in the last month. I’m afraid
that pursuit of 3,000 is going to overshadow the team.”

Tony Gwynn, Padres outfielder


“We had talked about this. He’s the type of guy we think can hit in
the No. 2 hole, except that Brad Ausmus has been going so good there.”

Larry Parrish, Tigers manager, on Deivi Cruz and his
.287 OBA


“I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy. I think about winning the division.
To me, we’re 5 2/4 games behind the Yankees, and that’s what’s
important to me.”

Jim Fregosi, Blue Jays manager


“We’re so used to the Kingdome that we still feel like we’re on the
road.”

Edgar Martinez, Mariners DH