Thursday, October 6, 2011

There's Plenty to Say about the 10 Commandments of Baseball

At Sporting Chance Press we've made the case that perhaps unlike any other sport, baseball has principles of behavior and courtesy that are part and parcel of its underlying standards of behavior. Despite all the bad behavior (especially from parents) that we see at baseball games, there is a wonderful code that has been passed down for 90 years in good programs. Most kids, and sadly, most adults, have never heard of the Code's creator, Joe McCarthy. McCarthy is legendary in the annals of baseball, having coached three of the most storied teams--the Chicago Cubs, the NY Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. He is also the most successful baseball manager in history, still holding the highest winning percentage of any Major League Manager.

McCarthy's 10 Commandments of Baseball:

1. Nobody ever became a ballplayer by walking after a ball.
2. You will never become a .300 hitter unless you take the bat off your shoulder.
3. An outfielder who throws back of a runner is locking the barn after the horse is stolen.
4. Keep your head up and you may not have to keep it down.
5. When you start to slide, S-L-I-D-E. He who changes his mind may hav to change a good leg for a bad one.
6. Do not alibi on bad hops. Anyone can field the good ones.
7. Always run them out, you can never tell.
8. Do not quit.
9. Do not find too much fault with the umpires. You cannot expect them to be as perfect as you are.
10. A pitcher who hasn’t control, hasn’t anything.

Club Presentations

J. D. Thorne, the author of The 10 Commandments of Baseball is a wonderful speaker who provides a humorous and interesting presentation that keys on the interesting case of characters from his book that illustrate the principles with humorous and touching stories--from ledge-walkers and practical jokers to Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak and Lou Gehrig's goodbye. Comments from a Arlington Heights Rotary Club, a Racine Library post and Carroll College Post. Here's a review from the Wisconsin Lawyer and one from a baseball blog.

The 10 Commandments of Baseball: An Affectionate Look at Joe McCarthy's Principles for Success in Baseball (and Life) is a thoroughly fun read that is accessible to fans from 10 to 100. It is a paperback that costs $20--special quantity discounts available for schools. The book is published by

Photo: Virginia Smoot is running it out, but being tagged out by Mabel Harvey who is playing heads up ball. --Library of Congress Photo 1925.

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