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More magic words

Readers offer their favorite sports quotes

Posted: Tuesday August 16, 2005 2:49PM; Updated: Tuesday August 16, 2005 2:49PM
Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra coined so many memorable phrases, he put them all into a book titled The Yogi Book in 1998.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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The compendium of my favorite sports quotes and quips that appeared in this space two weeks ago brought down a landslide of reader e-mail. Among the public's offerings was a salient question:

"How in the world can you put out a list of the greatest sport quotes and not include one from Yogi Berra?" asked Brian from Park Ridge, N.J.

Well, I love a good Berra-ism as much as anyone, but due to space limitations strictly enforced by glowering editors in expensive suits, it gets late early out here. My all-time favorite is Yogi buying a piano, calling a teammate and saying, "Come over here and show me how to work this thing."

Some readers claimed that I made too many wrong mistakes. "John McKay, when referring to his team's execution, ACTUALLY said, 'I'm in favor of it,'" wrote Steve from Carnation, Wash.

Jon Donaghy from Belfast, Northern Ireland, added, "Northern Ireland and Manchester United football legend George Best was the first to say the words you attribute to Tug McGraw. He actually said, "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

Just goes to show that sometimes people didn't really say everything they said.

I also forgot to remember other personal favorites, such as Casey Stengel's plaintive query to his inept 1962 Mets -- "Can't anybody here play this game?" -- and Muhammad Ali's brilliant boast, "I'll beat him so bad he'll need a shoehorn to put on his hat."

And now your favorites. Like the Firesign Theatre's comet-stricken Magog Brothers Carpet Reclaimers, we're over our poor heads in remnants, burnt ends and fragments, so we'll surely run more in coming weeks:

Brian Taylor, El Dorado Hills, Calif.: Pat Williams of the Orlando Magic on the value of a diploma from Florida State: "You can hang it from your rear view mirror and you get to park in the handicapped spaces."

Tom Kennedy, Bethpage, N.Y.: Oscar Gamble talking about how surprised Yankees free agents were about the reality of The Bronx Zoo: "They come here and they don't believe it be like it is, but it do."

Mike Toriello, New York City: Graig Nettles to Sparky Lyle after the Yankees acquired Goose Gossage: "You went from Cy Young to sayonara."

Brian Donohue, Brooklyn, N.Y.: Yankees catcher Ron Hassey: "Physically I'm fine, but mentally I'm day-to-day."

Travis Patterson, Summerville, S.C.: Tommy Lasorda marveling at the modern training room: "When I was playing we had one old guy called a trainer. All he had was a bottle of rubbing alcohol and he drank most of that by the seventh inning."

Ethan, Berkeley, Calif.: Abe Lemons, at the press conference announcing his hiring as basketball coach at Texas: "This year, we hope to run and shoot. Next year, we hope to run and score."