Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” comedy routine, first performed in vaudeville in 1937. Lou Costello is considering becoming a baseball player. Bud Abbott wants to make sure he knows what he’s getting into.
Abbott: Strange as it may seem, they give ball players nowadays very peculiar names.
Costello: Funny names?
Abbott: Nicknames, nicknames. Now, on the St. Louis team we have Who’s on first,
What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third...
Costello: That’s what I want to find out. I want you to tell me the names of
the fellows on the St. Louis team.
Abbott: I’m telling you. Who’s on first, What’s on second, I Don’t Know is on third...
Costello: You know the fellows’ names?
Costello: Well, then who’s playing first?
Costello: I mean the fellow’s name on first base.
Costello: The fellow playin’ first base.
Costello: The guy on first base.
Abbott: Who is on first.
Costello: Well, what are you askin’ me for?
Abbott: I’m not asking you ... I’m telling you. Who is on first.
Costello: I’m asking you ... who’s on first?
Abbott: That’s the man’s name.
Costello: That’s who’s name?
Costello: When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
Abbott: Every dollar of it. And why not, the man’s entitled to it.
Costello: Who is?
Costello: So who gets it?
Abbott: Why shouldn’t he? Sometimes his wife comes down and collects it.
Costello: Who’s wife?
Abbott: Yes. After all, the man earns it.
Costello: Who does?
Costello: Well, all I’m trying to find out is what’s the guy’s name on first base?
Abbott: Oh, no, no. What is on second base.
Costello: I’m not asking you who’s on second.
Abbott: Who’s on first!
Costello: St. Louis has a good outfield?
Abbott: Oh, absolutely.
Costello: The left fielder’s name?
Costello: I don’t know, I just thought I’d ask.
Abbott: Well, I just thought I’d tell you.
Costello: Then tell me who’s playing left field?
Abbott: Who’s playing first.
Costello: Stay out of the infield! The left fielder’s name?
Abbott: Oh, he’s center field.
Costello: Wait a minute. You got a pitcher on this team?
Abbott: Wouldn’t this be a fine team without a pitcher?
Costello: Tell me the pitcher’s name.
Costello: Now, when the guy at bat bunts the ball ...
me being a good catcher ... I want to throw the guy out at first base,
so I pick up the ball and throw it to who?
Abbott: Now, that’s he first thing you’ve said right.
Costello: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!
Abbott: Don’t get excited. Take it easy.
Costello: I throw the ball to first base, whoever it is grabs the ball,
so the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to what.
What throws it to I don’t know. I don’t know throws it
back to tomorrow ... a triple play.
Abbott: Yeah, it could be.
Costello: Another guy gets up and it’s a long ball to center.
Costello: Why? I don’t know. And I don’t care.
Abbott: What was that?
Costello: I said, I DON’T CARE!
Abbott: Oh, that’s our shortstop!
A full mind is an empty baseball bat. - Branch Rickey
Cricket is basically baseball on valium. - Robin Williams
Baseball is what we were, football is what we have become. - Mary McGrory
Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical. - Yogi Berra
For me, baseball is more comparable to chess than it is to hockey. - Jeff Garlin
Baseball has the great advantage over cricket of being sooner ended. - George Bernard Shaw
Baseball is a skilled game. It's America's game - it, and high taxes. - Will Rogers
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball. - Jacques Barzun
Never wear a backward baseball cap to an interview unless applying for the job of umpire. - Dan Zevin
If it weren't for baseball, many kids wouldn't know what a millionaire looked like. - Phyllis Diller
Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things. - Robert Frost
Things could be worse. Suppose your errors were counted and published every day, like those of a baseball player. - Unknown
Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer. - Ted Williams
Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field? - Jim Bouton
Baseball happens to be a game of cumulative tension but football, basketball and hockey are played with hand grenades and machine guns. - John Leonard
Now that women are jockeys, baseball umpires, atomic scientists, and business executives, maybe someday they can master parallel parking. - Bill Vaughan
I'm one of those people who's not really turned on by baseball. My idea of a relief pitcher is one that's filled with martinis. - Dean Martin
Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It's staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in. - Casey Stengel