Quotes of the Day: Jackie Robinson Edition
“Remember how he used to agitate on the bases? You never knew what he was going to do... So I decided I had better switch over and work from a stretch position. But you can see right there what happened—Robinson had broken my concentration. I was pitching more to Robinson than I was to Hodges, and as a result I threw one up into Gil's power and he got the base hit that beat me.”
“Carl Furillo got all the headlines the next day, and he deserved them, because he did the job. But I knew that it was Robinson who had distracted me just enough to get me to hang that curve.”
--Gene Conley, pitcher, Milwaukee Braves, most likely talking about a game, May 2, 1955, in which, in the bottom of the 12th inning, with one out, Robinson walked and Furillo followed with a 2-run, walk-off homer to beat the Braves 2-0.
It's stories like these, both from Donald Honig's oral history, “Baseball: Between the Lines,” which must give any sabremetrician pause about their ability to quantify every aspect of the game. Some stuff just doesn't show up in the stats.
Jackie Robinson, in 1955, breaking concentration