Casey Stengel

American baseball player and coach (1890-1975)

Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel (30 July 189029 September 1975) was an American baseball player and manager from the early 1910s into the 1960s. In the 1950s, sportswriters dubbed him with yet another nickname, "The Old Perfessor", for his sharp wit and his ability to talk at length on anything baseball-related. He is regarded as one of baseball's more colourful personalities.

Casey Stengel in 1957
Casey Stengel's Hall of Fame plaque


  • Nowadays, when a pitcher gets a ball close to the hitter, the hitter comes back to the bench and says: "You know, I think he's throwing at me." That shows you how times have changed. When I broke in, you knew damned well they were throwing at you.
  • There comes a time at least once in every man's life, and I've had plenty of them.
    • As quoted by Kevin Roberts in the August 23, 1953 issue of Parade; reproduced in "Gab with Gatts" by Art Gatts, in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (September 13, 1953), p. 16
  • Maybe, but I don't have another life to live to wait around for it.
    • Speaking on August 31, 1956 at Griffith Stadium, in response to pitcher Whitey Ford's assurance that he could indeed retire Jim Lemon, who had homered off Ford in each of his previous three at-bats; as quoted in The Greatest Team of All Timeː As Selected by Baseball's Immortals, From Ty Cobb to Willie Mays (1994) by Nicholas Acocella and Donald Dewey, p. 113
  • I guess this means they fired me. I'll never make the mistake of being 70 years old again.
    • On being fired by the Yankees after the 1960 World Series; as quoted in Casey; the life and legend of Charles Dillon Stengel (1967) by Joseph Durso; reproduced in "'Casey': A Career in Stengelese" by Ed Rumill, in The Christian Science Monitor (April 19, 1967), p. 13
  • This makes a man think. You look up and down the bench and you say to yourself, "Can't anybody here play this game?"
    • As quoted in Can't Anybody here Play This Game? (1963) by Jimmy Breslin; reproduced in "Rocene's Sport Jabs" by Ray Rocene, in The Missoulian (April 21, 1963), p. 11
  • It's a good likeness of The Dutchman. It's perfect the way they have him holding a bat in his big hands. He was good with the bat but he was a terror with that glove, too. And my, how he could run the bases. Come to think of it, he was as good a ball player as I ever saw. Maybe the best. John McGraw always said Wagner was the greatest and I'm inclined to agree with him. He was certainly the best I ever played against. Wagner was a huge man with huge hands. He could cover ground and he could throw. Amazing thing about him was his arm. It was only as good as the runner. If you were an average runner, he'd just beat you with his throw. And if you were fast, he'd just beat you again.
  • I've been talking only of some of the things Wagner did in the field. But he was a terror with that bat. The only other right-handed batter I could compare him with was Rogers Hornsby. Wagner could hit line drives into right field all day long. And when you started to shade him toward right field, he'd flip that bat, fake the third baseman into a bunt and hit it past him. And how he could run, too, even with his bowlegs. Honus had as much baseball instinct as I ever saw in a player. It was an education to play against him and a delight to watch him.
  • Now the secret to successful managing is to break down your club. The first 15 guys you don't have to bother with. They are always playing and don't need the manager. The next five play only occasionally, so you got to keep buttering them up. The last five you gotta watch all the time because they're plotting to get you fired.
    • Speaking with reporters in December 1964 at MLB's Winter Meetings, as recalled by then-Cleveland Press reporter Bob Sudyk, and quoted in "Casey at the Bar: A Writer's Recollection of Stengel Stingers and Suite Stories" by Sudyk in The Hartford Courant (March 14, 1993), p. 18
  • There ain't nothin' to it. You go into the fancy meeting room and you just sit there and never open your yap. As long as you don't say nuthin' they don't know whether you're smart or dumb. When the question of a loan comes up, if it's a friend of yours, you vote to give it to him and if he ain't a friend, you don't.
    • On his duties as "vice-president of a flourishing bank in California"; as quoted in "Try and Stop Me" by Bennett Cerf, in The Raleigh Register / Beckley Post-Herald (December 5, 1964), p. 19
  • The new park sure holds the heat. The heat took the press right out of my pants.
  • Oh yes, THAT Robason. Well, I seen Mr. Paige and I seen Rogan and I seen Mr. Josh Gibson, did you ever see that centerfield wall in Pittsburgh? Well, he hit one-out-of-three over it and I would have to say Mr. Robason shouldn't think he was the only man was brought in the big leagues was a wizard, why, he hit the lousiest popup I ever seen in a World Series [...] he, this wizard Mr. Robason hit the ball clear to the pitcher's mound and Mr. Billy Martin catches it and we beat Mr. Robason's team for the fourth time in five. And the time they beat us, he wasn't in the lineup, he took the day off in the seventh game, you could look it up, so it's possible a college education doesn't always help you if you can't hit a lefthanded changeup as far as the shortstop, but I'm not bragging, you understand, as I don't have a clear notion myself about atomics and physics.
    • Responding to severe criticism by Jackie Robinson, published the previous week; as quoted in "Robason's Popup" by Jim Murray, in The Los Angeles Times (November 4, 1969), p. C1
  • Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in.
    • As quoted in "L. M. Boyd" by Boyd, in The Sioux City Journal (April 20, 1981), p. A17
  • Without losers, where would the winners be?
    • The Gospel According to Casey (1992), ed. Berkow & Kaplan, St. Martin's Press, p. 19 : ISBN 0312069227 , as cited in The Executive's Book of Quotations (1994), ed. Martin & Moskin, Oxford University Press, p. 299 : ISBN 0195078365

Quotes about

  • We had a lot of fun with Casey all through the Series. There never was anything abusive about him. We rode him just to hear his clownish comebacks. I know I kidded him plenty. And when he won the the 1 to 0 game, he ran around the bases with his thumb to his nose and his hand pointed to the Yankee bench. I think it was meant for me in particular as he tried to show me he, too, knew how to hit home runs. Ruppert didn't like it and later said it was undignified. But we didn't mind Casey having his fun.
    • Babe Ruth, in The Babe Ruth Story (1948) by Ruth with Bob Considine, pp. 123-124
  • He was like a father to me, and I mean that. My dad died after I had been with the Yankees a year and I guess Casey felt it was up to him to bring me up right. He kept me when I wasn't ready for the big leagues. He had confidence in me. He taught me to think, to play hard from the first pitch to the last.
    • Mickey Mantle, as quoted in "Mickey Mantle, an interview in depth" by Joe Reichler, in The Boston Globe (March 21, 1965)
  • The role of the manager is overrated, anyhow. Look at Stengel. When he was with the Yankees, loaded with material, he was a winner. When he moved over to the Mets, he finished last. They voted Casey the greatest living manager. That's a lot of bull—a joke. The only thing a manager has to do is relate to the players. Who did Casey ever relate to? Nobody but himself.
    • Jackie Robinson, as quoted in "Jackie Robinson Calls Stengel Overrated Pilot: Attacks Managerial Color Line On Clinic Faculty Discrimination Alleged" by the Associated Press, in The Washington Post (October 25, 1969)
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