InDigestibles, #1: Know Your 1978 Stars

I picked a Baseball Digest at random. It was from 1978: year of Grease, “YMCA,” Space Invaders, the test tube baby, and Dave Parker, N.L. Batting Champ. Or so I’m told, having not yet been a sentient human at the time. But those of you who were will surely remember the following illustrious personages, and will most surely be able to pair each with the quote by or about him.

Illustrious Personages

Larry Bowa, Mike Caldwell, Chris Chambliss, Jack Clark, Doug DeCinces, Ivan DeJesus, Rollie Fingers, J.R. Richard, Kent Tekulve, Andre Thornton


“I look at it this way: I only have to do my job here two or three hours every day, and I intend to do it as well as I can.”

“Mickey Lolich was the fat man’s hero. Maybe eventually I’ll be the skinny man’s hero. Who knows?”

“Eventually I just said to myself: Hey, you got to the big leagues by being Doug DeCinces and not somebody else, so why don’t you give yourself a chance?”

“A man of average size and relatively modest ability, he devours the box scores every morning, arrives at the ballpark two hours before he has to, practices his skills with demonic intensity, talks constantly about the game, studies every game situation in search of the slightest competitive edge, exults in victory and broods in defeat, and is ever aware of how fortunate he is to be here, playing the game for money at the age of 32.”

“I told somebody the other day that I’m the youngest oldest player in the world.”

“If I played in New York, I’d be the greatest thing since Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. I’d be riding around in a Rolls Royce and making Schick Shape commercials but, hey, that doesn’t mean I’d be happy.”

“You don’t see __’s picture on magazine covers. You don’t see him explaining the meaning of life on network news shows…That’s because [he] has these funny ideas about baseball and about winning.”

“I know I’m having a good year within myself and that is all that should matter to any man.”

“I can’t remember a player being so good, so young. Maybe you have to go back to Mickey Mantle.”

“‘He does almost everything better,’ said Cub manager Herman Franks, no rapturous soul. ‘He makes the double-plays better, he runs better, he’s a better hitter. I don’t think there’s a better shortstop.'”

“__ has a buggy whip for a right arm, a disposition suitable for capping oil-well fires, and a handlebar mustache so perfectly groomed that it probably should carry the label, ‘Permanent Press.'”

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Bryan Grosnick
Bryan Grosnick

I hope, passionately, that the third quote is NOT attributed to Doug DeCinces.