If I’m being honest, I don’t have one favorite baseball movie. Some days, I’d say it’s “Major League.” Some days, “Bull Durham.” Kinda depends on which one I’ve watched most recently.
A couple of weeks ago, I ranked the top 30 quotes from “Major League,” on the 30th anniversary of that classic’s release. When I finished, I would have definitely told you that’s my favorite. But this week, I’ve rewatched “Bull Durham” a couple of times to rank this brilliant movie’s best quotes/scenes, and now I’m just as convinced this one’s my favorite. I may never settle on one. And that’s OK. Just means I’ll have to keep watching them for years to make up my mind.
MORE: Ranking the best lines from “The Sandlot”
Anyway, on to the reason you clicked on the story. Watching through on Monday, I typed in 79 different quotes/scenes, and on Tuesday I cut down that list to 37, including the parts I felt had to make the list. And if you know “Bull Durham” well, you probably immediately recognized 37 as the uniform number for Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh. So I kept it at 37. Which means that great lines like this one …
Annie Savoy: “Bad trades are part of baseball. I mean, who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake?”
And this one …
Crash Davis: “When you get in a fight with a drunk, you don’t hit them with your pitching hand. God! I can’t keep giving you these free lessons. Quit screwing around and help me up.”
… didn’t make the cut. Yeah. I know. And that classic scene where Crash tells Nuke to throw the ball at the bull mascot? It didn’t make it, either, because it’s seeing the bull fall to the ground that’s the funny part, not necessarily the dialogue.
Anyway, this was an incredibly difficult labor of love. You’ll surely disagree with some of these rankings, and that’s OK. There are no perfect answers, though I hope I came close. These top 37 lines/scenes are what I consider the funniest, most iconic, most repeatable and most usable in everyday life.
Now, on to the list …
37. ‘I see great things in baseball. It’s our game.’
The setup: We’re starting this list with the end of the movie, the final line of Annie’s narration. Crash hit his record dinger — the 247th of his minor-league career — in Asheville and retired. He came back to Durham to be with Annie, and they’re sitting together on her porch swing, on a rainy late-summer day.
Annie, voiceover: “Walt Whitman once said, ‘I see great things in baseball. It’s our game. The American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing to us.’ You could look it up.”
Why it’s the best: Damn right, baseball’s a blessing to us.
36. ‘The press will think you’re colorful.’
The setup: In the Bulls clubhouse, Crash gets a look at Nuke’s fungus-covered flip-flops.
Crash: “Your shower shoes have fungus on them. You’ll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy and you’ll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back on your shower shoes and the press will think you’re colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you’re a slob.”
Why it’s the best: As a member of the press, I can confidently tell you we would think he’s a slob, not colorful, if he won 20 in the bigs with fungus-covered shower shoes.
35. ‘The rose goes in the front, big guy.’
The setup: Annie has Nuke wearing her garter on days when he pitches, to keep the other half of his brain occupied. Crash sees Nuke struggling to put it on in the clubhouse.
Crash: “The rose goes in the front, big guy.”
Why it’s the best: Clever and amusing.
34. ‘New league record!’
The setup: Nuke’s first game is in the books, and manager Joe “Skip” Riggins and coach Larry Hockett talk about it after the contest ends.
Skip: “He walked 18.”
Larry: “New league record!”
Skip: “He struck out 18.”
Larry: “Another new league record. In addition, he hit the sportswriters, the public-address announcer, the bull mascot — twice — also new league records. But, Joe. This guy’s got some serious s—.”
Why it’s the best: All I can think is that, in today’s game, there’s zero chance a bonus-baby youngster would even be allowed to stay in a game long enough to face at least 36 batters — 18 Ks, 18 BBs —but that was a different time. And, Hollywood.
33. ‘The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.’
The setup: Annie’s narration is giving us a quick update on Nuke near the end of the movie.
Annie, voiceover: “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”
Why it’s the best: Ain’t that the truth, unfortunately.
32. ‘The Durham Bulls began playing baseball with joy and verve and poetry.’
The setup: After an awful start to the season, Crash’s influence — and a man-made rain delay to give the team a much-needed break — turns the squad around, and they’re playing great baseball. Annie’s narration airs over the video montage of a winning streak.
Annie, voiceover: “For one extraordinary June and July, the Durham Bulls began playing baseball with joy and verve and poetry.”
Why it’s the best: Because baseball, played at its highest level, should be played with joy and verve and poetry. This one should probably be higher.
31. ‘I just want to be.’
The setup: Crash hit his dinger in Asheville and immediately retired. He’s back in Durham, on Annie’s porch. She walks up in the rain.
Crash: “I got a lot of time to hear your theories. And I wanna hear every damn one of them, but now I’m tired, and I don’t want to think about baseball. I don’t want to think about quantum physics and I don’t wanna think about nothin’. I just want to be.”
Annie: “I can do that, too.”
Why it’s the best: Those two crazy kids were meant to be together.
30. ‘I actually saw him read a book without pictures once!’
The setup: Annie’s at the bar, talking with Max Patkin, the clown prince of baseball. Crash, a friend of Max’s, sends over a couple of drinks to their table.
Annie: “He’s kinda cute.”
Max: “He’s played in more ballparks than I have. Hell of a guy. You know, he’s really different. I actually saw him read a book without pictures once!”
Why it’s the best: Mostly, I wanted to mention Max Patkin at least once. I just LOVED that they included him in this movie and even gave him a couple of lines.
29. ‘You think Dwight Gooden leaves his socks on?’
The setup: Annie and LaLoosh are disrobing, but the brash youngster keeps his socks on. Annie tells him to take them off, but he doesn’t want to.
Annie: “You think Dwight Gooden leaves his socks on?”
Why it’s the best: Everybody wanted to pitch like Dwight Gooden in those days.
28. ‘Yeah, maybe you’re right.’
The setup: In the throes of passion, Annie calls Nuke by Crash’s name. Oops.
Annie: “Crash, that was fabulous.”
Nuke: “Crash? You mean Nuke. You said Crash.”
Annie: “No, honey, I said Nuke.”
Nuke: “You said Crash.”
Annie: “Oh, no. Listen, sweetheart. You shouldn’t listen to what a woman says when she’s in the throes of passion. They say the darndest things.”
Nuke: “Yeah, you said Crash.”
Annie: “Honey, would you rather I be making love to him using your name or making love to you using his name.”
Nuke: “Yeah, maybe you’re right.”
Why it’s the best: Even when she’s in the wrong, Annie knows what to say.
27. ‘Baby ducks are cute! I hate cute!’
The setup: Nuke and the team are on a winning streak, and Nuke attributes this to Annie’s idea — rechanneling his sexual energy onto the field. But they’ve been winning a long time, and Annie’s getting lonely. When Nuke gets back from a road trip, she turns on the charm.
Nuke: “I knew it. You’re trying to seduce me!”
Annie: “Of course I’m trying to seduce you, for God’s sake! I’m doing a damn poor job of it. Aren’t I pretty?”
Nuke: “God, I think you’re real cute.”
Annie: “Cute? Baby ducks are cute. I hate cute! I want to be exotic and mysterious.”
Nuke: “You are. You’re exotic and mysterious and cute and … that’s why I’d better leave.”
Why it’s the best: Stupid Nuke, always saying dumb things.
26. ‘It’s an egg. Hold it like an egg.’
The setup: Crash-to-Nuke wisdom time!
Crash: “Don’t hold the ball so hard, OK? It’s an egg. Hold it like an egg.”
Why it’s the best: Because it’s an egg, right?
25. ‘Like the lava lizards of the Galapagos Islands.’
The setup: Annie’s trying to impart some of her baseball wisdom on Nuke. Her advice isn’t exactly traditional.
Annie: “Now, I want you to breathe through your eyelids?”
Nuke: “My eyelids?”
Annie: “Yeah, like the lava lizards of the Galapagos Islands. See, there are some lizards that have a parietal eye behind their heads so they can see backwards. Haven’t you ever noticed how Fernando Valenzuela, he just doesn’t even look when he pitches? He’s a Mayan Indian. Or an Aztec, I get them confused.”
Why it’s the best: I mean, it worked. Kudos, Annie!
24. ‘Nuke’s chastity was your idea.’
The setup: Annie storms into Crash’s apartment, furious about his interference with her relationship with Nuke. Crash feels he did nothing wrong.
Crash: “Nuke’s chastity was your idea.”
Annie: “I know!. I’m telling you to keep your hands out of this.”
Crash: “I never told him to stay out of your bed.”
Annie: “You most certainly did.”
Crash: “I never told him to stay out of your bed.”
Annie: “Yes, you did!”
Crash: “I told him a player on a streak has to respect the streak.”
Crash: “You know why? Because they don’t happen very often.”
Crash: “If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid or because you’re not getting laid or because you wear women’s underwear, then you are. And you should know that!”
Why it’s the best: It’s now that Annie and Crash realize the fire of the argument means they probably need to be together. She says she wants him, but Crash isn’t interested in the moment, leading to this great line from Annie: “OK, well. This is the damndest season I’ve ever seen. The Durham Bulls can’t lose and I can’t get laid.”
23. ‘Is the modern-day athlete a pale imitation of the great old warriors?’
The setup: The Bulls are not a good squad to start the season, and the team’s long-time radio broadcaster, Teddy Cullinane, doesn’t feel like sugar-coating anything.
Cullinane: “It’s time to tell it like it is, sports fans. And this is the most wretched road trip I’ve seen in 20 years. And possibly the worst Durham team in a half-century. Is the modern-day athlete a pale imitation of the great old warriors? Only Crash Davis stands out this year, begging the question: What are these boys thinking about? Because it sure ain’t baseball.”
Why it’s the best: Teddy’s fed up, dammit.
22. ‘He’s got a million-dollar arm but a five-cent head.’
The setup: Crash walks into the Durham managers office for the first time. Larry says, “Who’s this?” And Crash says, “I’m the player to be named later.” And then shows the mental baseball knowledge that makes him the perfect guy to mentor LaLoosh.
Crash: “And you, Larry Hockett, should recognize me, because five years ago in the Texas League, you were pitching for El Paso, I was hitting cleanup for Shreveport. You hung a curveball on an 0-2 pitch in a 3-2 game in the bottom of the eighth and I tattooed it over the Michelin tire sign and beat you, 4-3.”
Larry: “I remember that. I should have thrown a slider. Damn, Crash. How are ya?”
Crash: “I’m too old for this s—. Why the hell am I back in A ball?”
Skip: “Because of Ebby Calvin LaLoosh. Big club’s got 100 grand in him.”
Larry: “He’s got a million-dollar arm but a five-cent head.”
Why it’s the best: I’ve talked with hundreds of baseball players over the years and I’m continually amazed at their ability to recall details just like this from years earlier. When I first saw the movie, I figured this was an exaggeration. Nope. Just brilliant script writing.
MORE: What if? How Sporting News might’ve covered Crash Davis’ record-breaking home run
21. ‘Twenty-one greatest days of my life.’
The setup: On the team bus, Crash tells the guys he once made the major leagues.
Crash: “I was in the show for 21 days once. Twenty-one greatest days of my life. You know you never handle your luggage in the show? Someone else carries your bags. It’s great. You hit white balls for batting practice. Ballparks are like cathedrals. The hotels all have room service and the women all have long legs and brains.”
Another player: “They’re really, hot, huh?”
Why it’s the best: Crash tells these guys about the dream, and that horny bastard’s only response is “the girls are hot, huh?” Sheesh. (And, I swear that I didn’t intentionally put the story of the 21 days in the majors at No. 21. I ranked everything before I put actual numbers on the list. Just a happy coincidence.)
20. ‘Sort of all over the place.’
The setup: Annie and Millie are sitting in their game-day spot. Pre-nickname Nuke is throwing the ball all over the place — he finished the game with 18 strikeouts and 18 walks, both new league records — and the girls have a talk.
Annie: “All right, honey. Let’s get down to it. How was Ebby Calvin LaLoosh?”
Millie: “Well, he f—s like he pitches, sort of all over the place.”
Why it’s the best: Honest, accurate assessment. Millie is a sneaky quote superstar in this movie. She had a ton of quotes in my original list of 79.
19. ‘I got a Porsche already. I got a 911 with a quadraphonic Blaupunkt.’
The setup: Another team bus incident. Lots happen on those long bus trips in the minors.
Nuke: “How come you don’t like me?”
Crash: “You don’t respect yourself, which is your problem. But you don’t respect the game, and that’s my problem. You got a gift.”
Nuke: “What do I got?”
Crash: “You got a gift. When you were a baby, the gods reached down and turned your right arm into a thunderbolt. You’ve got a Hall of Fame arm but you’re pissing it away.”
Nuke: “I ain’t pissing it away. I got a Porsche already. I got a 911 with a quadraphonic Blaupunkt.”
Crash: “Christ! You don’t need a quadraphonic Blaupunkt. What you need is a curveball.”
Why it’s the best: Curveball > Quadraphonic Blaupunkt
18. ‘He hit the f—ing bull. Guy gets a free steak.’
The setup: Nuke shakes off Crash. Wants to throw a fastball instead of a curve. Crash relents, but tells the hitter what’s coming. The hitter watches the homer hit the bull beyond the right-field fence, which annoys Crash.
Crash, to the hitter: “What are you doing? Huh? What are you doing standing here? I give you a gift and you’re stand here showing up my pitcher? Run, dummy!”
(Crash walks to the mound)
Crash: “Give me the ball. Well, he really hit the shit out of that one, didn’t he?”
Nuke: “I held it like an egg.”
Crash: “And he scrambled that son of a b—. Look at that. He hit the f—ing bull. Guy gets a free steak. You having fun yet?”
Nuke: “Oh yeah, I’m having a blast. Thanks.”
Nuke: “Sucker teed off on that like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball.”
Crash: “He did know.”
Crash: “I told him.”
Why it’s the best: Eventually Nuke learns there are consequences for not listening to Crash. Don’t think, just throw.
17. ‘Sears sucks, Crash.’
The setup: Crash has reported to the Durham Bulls, but he’s not sure why he’s there. Skip, the manager, tells him they want Crash, a veteran catcher, to mentor bonus baby Ebby LaLoosh, a right-handed pitcher with an arm capable of reaching the majors. Crash ain’t exactly happy about this news and what it means for his career.
Crash: “Yeah, where can I go?”
Skip: “You can keep going to the ballpark, keep getting paid to do it. Beats the hell out of working at Sears.”
Larry: “Sears sucks, Crash. Boy, I once worked there. Sold Lady Kenmores. Nasty. Nasty work.”
Skip: “Even if it is the Carolina League, this is a chance to play every day!”
Crash: “You don’t want a player. You want a stable pony.”
Crash: “My Triple-A contract gets bought out so I can hold the flavor of the month’s d— in the bud leagues? Is that it? Well, f— this f—ing game.”
Crash: “I f—ing quit. Alright? I quit.”
(walks out, then back in)
Crash: “Who do we play tomorrow?”
Skip: “Winston-Salem. Batting practice at 11:30.”
Why it’s the best: Yeah, he’s pissed. And yeah, he has a right to think about quitting. But it’s baseball and it’s in his blood and he can’t give it up yet. And, it beats working at Sears.
16. ‘The only church that truly feeds the soul, day in and day out, is the church of baseball.’
The setup: Annie’s narration at the beginning of the movie is just fantastic. Brilliant, even. Sets the stage for the next couple of hours.
Annie, voiceover: “I’ve tried them all, I really have. And the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in and day out, is the church of baseball.”
Why it’s the best: This line’s my favorite from Annie’s opening voiceover.
15. ‘Strikeouts are boring. Besides that, they’re fascist.’
The setup: It’s wisdom time, from Crash to Nuke.
Crash: “Hey. Relax. Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring. Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls. It’s more democratic.”
Why it’s the best: Nobody wants to be a fascist. Even Nuke and his five-cent head understood that.
14. ‘… just one more dying quail a week and you’re in Yankee Stadium.’
The setup: Nuke comes to the pool hall to tell Crash great news — he’s been called up to the majors! Crash, though, is staring his own baseball mortality in the face. The kid he mentored is going to be living Crash’s dream, and he’s wallowing in a little self-pity.
Crash: “You know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It’s 25 hits. Twenty-five hits in 500 at-bats is 50 points, OK? There’s six months in a season. That’s about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week, just one, a gork, a ground ball — a ground ball with eyes! — you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week and you’re in Yankee Stadium. You still don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?”
Why it’s the best: Always loved the breakdown of the baseball stats. And, yeah, it’s so true. Gorks matter, people.
13. ‘Show us that million-dollar arm, because I got a good idea about that five-cent head of yours.’
The setup: LaLoosh challenges Crash to a fight — he has no idea who Crash is at this point — and they both step outside Mitch’s Bar. Instead of punching, Crash challenges the rookie to throw a baseball at him.
Crash: “Hit me in the chest with that.”
LaLoosh: “I’d kill you.”
Crash: “Yeah? From what I hear, you couldn’t hit water if you fell out of a f—in’ boat. Throw it. Throw it. C’mon, right in the chest.”
LaLoosh: “No way.”
Crash: “C’mon, Meat. You’re not going to hit me because you’re starting to think about it already. Starting to think how embarrassing it would be to miss in front of all these people, how somebody might laugh. C’mon, rook. Show us that million-dollar arm, because I got a good idea about that five-cent head of yours.”
(LaLoosh throws and misses well right, breaking the window in the door)
Crash: “Ball four!”
Why it’s the best: Crash accurately sizes up the kid in about two seconds. Plus, it’s the first time he calls him Meat.
12. ‘Never f— with a winning streak.’
The setup: The lesson about interview cliches finished and the team on a winning streak, Crash asks Nuke about his girlfriend.
Crash: “How’s Annie?”
Nuke: “She’s getting pretty steamed, actually, because I’m still re-channeling my sexual energy. I’m figuring I’m just gonna cave in and sleep with her. You know, calm her down.”
Crash: “Are you out of your mind?”
Nuke: “I’m just …”
Crash: “Are you out of your mind?”
Nuke: “I’m just talking about one time.”
Crash: “If you give in now, you might start losing. Huh? Never f— with a winning streak.”
Why it’s the best: Because EVERYONE knows you never, um, mess with a winning streak.
11. ‘Just because sometimes you manage to be clever and you have a nice smile does not mean you are not full of s—.’
The setup: Annie and Crash are talking.
Annie: “You know, just because sometimes you manage to be clever and you have a nice smile does not mean you are not full of s—.”
Why it’s the best: I’ve used some bastardized version of this quote more times than I can count.
10. ‘The Sporting News should know about it.’
The setup: Annie and Crash are at the batting cages. Annie wants Crash to know she’s done a little research on him (which was tougher in those pre-internet days).
Annie: “I looked up your records.”
Crash: “You what?”
Annie: “You hit 227 home runs in the minors. That’s not bad.”
Crash: “Don’t tell anybody.”
Annie: “Why not? You hit 20 more this year, you’re going to be the all-time minor-league champ. The record’s 246.”
Crash: “Well, 247 home runs in the minor-leagues would be kind of a dubious honor.”
Annie: “I think it would be great. The Sporting News should know about it.”
Crash: “No, just no. Please?”
Why it’s the best: BECAUSE ANNIE MENTIONS THE SPORTING NEWS! And even before I worked here, I had a subscription as a kid. I’ve always loved SN. And this is my list, so this makes the Top 10.
MORE: To Crash Davis, former home run king: Sporting News is sorry
9. ‘Charlie, here comes the deuce. And when you speak of me, speak well.’
The setup: Nuke is finally starting to listen to Crash, on and off the mound. And he’s throwing a brilliant game, the best of his career to that point. Until late in the game, when he wants to throw a curveball, even though Crash is calling for a fastball.
Crash, to the hitter: “This son of a b— is throwing a two-hit shutout and he’s shaking me too. You believe that s—? Charlie, here comes the deuce. And when you speak of me, speak well.”
(Batter hits home run. Crash trots out to the mound, smiling.)
Nuke: “You told him I was gonna throw a deuce, right?”
Crash: “Yep. Man, that ball got out of here in a hurry. Anything that travels that far ought to have a damn stewardess on it, don’t you think?”
Why it’s the best: Listen to Crash, Nuke. Sheesh. You should know that by now.
8. ‘You’re in the wrong business, Jack. You’re Sears and Roebuck material.’
The setup: There’s a play at the plate. Crash thinks he makes the play, but the ump disagrees. An argument ensues and Crash gets thrown out of the game. It’s … intense, with colorful language we’re going to censor even a bit more than usual, because, well, it’s … intense. But couldn’t leave out the scene, y’know?
Crash: “No! I got him!”
Ump: “You missed him!”
Crash: “I didn’t miss him!”
Ump: “Don’t bump me!”
Crash: “He still hasn’t touched the plate!”
Ump: “Don’t bump me.”
Crash: “He still ain’t touched the plate.”
(… yada yada yada …)
Ump: “Well, you missed the tag. You missed the tag!”
Crash: “You just spit on me!”
Ump: “I did not spit on you!”
Crash: “You spit on me!”
Ump: “I did not spit on you!”
Crash: “You’re in the wrong business, Jack. You’re Sears and Roebuck material.”
Ump: “You’re pushing it, buddy. You’re pushing it! You want me to run ya? I’ll run ya.”
(… yada yada yada …)
Ump: “You’re outta here!”
Why it’s the best: I know, I know. We yada yada’d the best part. Apologies. Chances are hundreds of catcher-ump arguments have followed this exact script over the years.
7. ‘Get a hit, Crash!’ … ‘Shut up.’
The setup: Crash is at the plate, talking to himself (out loud and internally).
Crash: “Stupid f—, Crash. What are you swinging at the breaking ball for? F— me. Usually start me off with a hammer.”
Crash, thinking: “You’re thinking too much, Crash. Thinking too much. Get out of your f—ing head. Don’t let him in your kitchen.”
Annie, in the stands: “C’mon, Crash. Just relax. You’ve got it, honey.”
Crash, thinking: “Alright now, here we go. Stay back. Relax. Quick bat, quick bat.”
Crash, to the pitcher: “Throw that s— again, meat. You throw that weak-a— s— again.”
Larry, from the dugout: “OK, he’s got vision there. Get close, baby. You’ve got it. One more, baby. One more. You’ve got him.”
Crash, thinking: “Alright, he’s gonna throw the deuce now. He’s gotta waste one. Stay back and wipe that silly grin off his face. C’mon, bring it. Bring it.”
(Pitcher throws at Crash’s head)
Larry: “What the hell was that? What the hell was that? What goes around comes around.”
Crash, to himself: “Son of a b— throws hard.”
Crash, thinking: “Alright, 1-2. You can hit this s—. Relax. Annie. Annie. Who is this Annie? Jesus, get out of the box, you idiot! Where’s your head? Get the broad out of your head! Time out!”
Umpire: “Time out!”
Crash, to the bat boy: “Give me a rag.”
Bat boy: “Get a hit, Crash!”
Crash: “Shut up.” (laughs)
Crash, thinking: “Alright, you’ve seen all his pitches. You’ve seen them all. Shorten up, Crash. Bring me the gas, kid. Bring me the gas. Bring me the gas. Quick bat, quick bat, quick bat.”
(Swings and misses for strike three)
Why it’s the best: Just great insight into what’s going on in a batter’s head. And the way he laughs at himself after telling the bat boy to shut up cracks me up every time.
6. ‘Don’t think. It can only hurt the ballclub.’
The setup: After LaLoosh challenged Crash to a fight, then missed him by a mile with a baseball, then got slugged in the jaw, Crash introduces himself.
Crash: “I’m Crash Davis, your new catcher, and you just got lesson No. 1. Don’t think. It can only hurt the ballclub. Now come inside and I’ll buy you a drink.”
Why it’s the best: Another line I’ve borrowed many times over the years. Don’t (something). It’ll only hurt the (something).
5. ‘I want to bring the heater! Announce my presence with authority!’
The setup: Stupid Nuke. He’s throwing well, thanks to Crash, and he’s feeling invincible. Crash calls for a curveball, multiple times, and Nuke shakes him off each time.
Crash: “Hey, why you shaking me off? Huh?”
Nuke: “I want to bring the heater. Announce my presence with authority.”
Nuke: “To announce my presence with authority!”
Crash: “To announce your f—ing presence with authority? This guy’s a first-ball fastball hitter. He’s looking for heat.”
Nuke: “Oh yeah? So what. He ain’t seen my heat.”
Crash: “Alright, meat. Give him your heat.”
(Crash walks back to the plate.)
Nuke: “Why’s he always calling me Meat? I’m the guy driving the Porsche.”
Why it’s the best: I like to think the South Park guys channeled Nuke here a bit with their Cartman character and his obsession with showing his authority. And that last line, about being the guy with the Porsche? That probably should have its own listing.
4. ‘Candlesticks always make a nice gift.’
The setup: There’s a conference on the mound, with the entire infield gathered around the pitching rubber. Everyone has their own problem. It’s basically a venting session. Larry, the pitching coach, jogs out to see what’s happening.
Larry: “Excuse me, but what the hell’s going on out here?
Crash: “Well, Nuke’s scared because his eyelids are jammed and his old man’s here. We need a live … is it a live rooster?”
Crash: “We need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose’s glove and nobody seems to know what to get Millie or Jimmy for their wedding present. That about right? We’re dealing with a lot of s—.”
Larry: “Okay, well … candlesticks always make a nice gift, and uh, maybe you could find out where she’s registered and maybe a place-setting or maybe a silverware pattern. Okay, let’s get two! Go get ‘em.”
Why it’s the best: Larry has all the answers. Bravo.
3. ‘I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.’
The setup: Nuke’s like a little puppy, so happy to be experiencing success — finally — and happy to be on a winning streak. He hops up to Crash’s seat on the bus.
Nuke: “I love winning, man! I f—ing love winning! You know what I’m saying? It’s, like, better than losing. Teach me something new, man. I need to learn.”
Crash: “You got something to write with? Good. It’s time to work on your interviews.”
Nuke: “My interviews? What do I got to do?”
Crash: “You’re gonna have to learn your cliches. You’re going to have to study them. You’re going to have to know them. They’re your friends. Write this down. We’ve got to play them one day at a time.”
Nuke: “Got to play … that’s pretty boring, you know?”
Crash: “Of course it’s boring. That’s the point. Write it down!”
Nuke: “One day at a time …”
Crash: “I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club. I know. Write it down. I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.”
Nuke: “Good Lord willing …”
Crash: “Things will work out.”
Why it’s the best: If we were just ranking the most iconic scenes/moments, this would be an easy No. 1. Far and away.
2. ‘… the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good scotch …’
The setup: Annie invites both Crash and LaLoosh back to her place, as she tries to pick her baseball boyfriend/project for the season. Crash says he isn’t interested in a woman who’s interested in a boy like LaLoosh.
Annie: “Wait a minute. Where are you going?”
Crash: “After 12 years in the minor leagues, I don’t try out. Besides, uh, I don’t believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart.”
Annie: “What do you believe in, then?”
Crash: “Well, I believe in the soul, the (yada yada yada), the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curveball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather that Christmas Eve, and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. Good night.”
(Crash walks out the door.)
Annie: “Oh my. Crash …”
LaLoosh: “Hey, Annie. What’s all this molecule stuff?”
Why it’s the best: That Crash, he does give speeches (and, yeah, yada yada’d the best part again. Apologies). And the boy soon to be known as Nuke, pretending to be interested in Annie’s interests, just cracks me up.
The setup: The Bulls are playing crummy baseball. Crash tells Skip the way to get the players’ attention is to scare ’em. They’re just kids. So Skip throws a bunch of baseball bats into the shower and screams at everyone to get in there.
Skip: “You guy, you lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry?”
Skip: “Lollygaggers! What’s our record, Larry?”
Larry: “Eight and 16.”
Skip: “Eight and 16. How’d we ever win eight?”
Larry: “It’s a miracle.”
Skip: “It’s a miracle. This is a simple game. You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. You got it. Now we have got a 12-day road trip starting tomorrow. Bus leaves six in the morning.”
Why it’s the best: Oh, man. So many classic lines in one short scene. Lollygaggers! It’s a simple game! It’s a miracle! Watch/repeat. Just like the whole entire movie.