It has long been said that baseball is a business and “there is no sentiment in baseball.” Players get bought and sold and traded. The Players’ League of 1890 tested the “sentiment in baseball,” a saying that was used throughout the 1890s. A widely reprinted newspaper article in March 1907 discussed “no sentiment in baseball.”
“There’s no crying in baseball” is a popular line spoken by the actor Tom Hanks in the baseball film A League of Their Own (1992).
3 March 1890, New York (NY) Herald, “Plans for the Baseball Season, pg. 2:
There is little sentiment in baseball nowadays, and if the Players’ League grows more formidable than the National League, the minor leagues will be quick to desert the old body, the founder of the National Agreement.
7 December 1891, Knoxville (TN) Journal, “The Sporting News,” pg. 3:
Since the collapse of the Players’ league John M. Ward has had no sentiment in base ball. He is patriotic enough, however, to earnestly desire the consummation of the twelve-club scheme.
18 October 1892, New York (NY) Herald, “Some Inside History of the New Yorks” by O. P. Caylor, pg. 33:
Glasscock could have been saved to the club by advancing several hundred dollars. In his case there was a phase of ingratitude that was without doubt very galling to shoulder, but sentiment in baseball has always been very expensive indulgence.
1 August 1895, Bangor (ME) Daily Whig and Courier, “Lost and Won in the 9th,” pg. 4, col. 4:
Tender considerations for a pitcher’s feelings has lost us several games on these grounds. There ought to be no sentiment in base ball.
24 June 1897, Morning Star (Rockford, IL), pg. 4, col. 4:
There can be no sentiment in baseball, but many people will regret the release of Quinn.
3 January 1899, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “Magnates in a Quandary,” pg. 8, col. 1:
“The clubs have all they can do to take care of themselves, and there is no room for sentiment in baseball. The best thing owners and stockholders can do when the venture is a losing one is to try to better themselves by selling out the players.”
31 March 1907, Duluth (MN) News-Tribune, “Sentiment Lives for Game Alone,” sec. 4, pg. 1:
NEW YORK, March 30.—A local fan asked a veteran baseball man if sentiment no longer existed in baseball, admitting that he felt depressed and pessimistic because Donlin and Chase, both of whom happen to be favorites of his, have not come to terms with the local clubs.
“There is sentiment in baseball, but it is largely sentiment for baseball, with a slight dash for the players when they are in favor with the populace.”
No Sentiment in Baseball.
“There is no sentiment in baseball in New York, in baseball in Boston, in Chicago, or in any other city of this broad land, which would uphold the manager of a team striving for the championship who would hold to a player who was manifestly unfit physically to be upon the field.”
July 1913, Baseball Magazine, “Joseph Tiker, the Shortstop Manager and His Remarkable Career” by F. C. Lane, “Tinker Tips,” pg. 54. col. 1:
There is no sentiment in baseball. Personal friendship doesn’t weigh very heavy with a manager. And he should never give way to it.
September 1913, Baseball Magazine, “The Pennant Winners as They Look in July” by William A. Phelon, pg. 26, cols. 1-2:
Ah, well, when it comes to making trades or deals, then indeed “there is no sentiment in baseball!”
Yet they say there is no sentiment in baseball!
The Brooklyn Dodgers:
An informal history
By Frank Graham
New York, NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
It could be that poor old William (McGunnigle—ed.) coined the phrase, so often heard in after years: “There is no sentiment in baseball.”
Google News Archive
23 January 1958, Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT), “Sportsmanship At Its Best” by Les Goates, pg. 26A, col. 5:
PARDON, folks, if I drift back into my old sports realm long enough to refute the fallacious quip that there’s no sentiment in baseball. Look how the sports people have come to the rescue of Jimmy Foxx!
Google News Archive
2 January 1967, Modesto (CA) Bee, “Time Out” by Darell Phillips, pg. B7, col. 1:
Braves Do It Again
There is an old saying that goes “There’s no sentiment in baseball,” and this was proved once again this past weekend when the Atlanta Braves traded Eddie Matthews to the Houston Astros.
Google News Archive
11 December 1974, The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), “Final chance for Hall of Fame: Ralph and Mom facing last year” by Milton Richman (UPI Sports Editor), pg. 9, col. 7:
They say there’s no sentiment in baseball, but that isn’t true. Sentiment means feeling and emotion, and to a degree some of it has to be manifest with every vote ever cast whether the voter is conscious of it or not.
The Internet Movie Database
Memorable quotes for
A League of Their Own (1992)
Jimmy Dugan: Evelyn, could you come here for a second? Which team do you play for?
Evelyn Gardner: Well, I’m a Peach.
Jimmy Dugan: Well I was just wonderin’ why you would throw home when we got a two-run lead. You let the tying run get on second base and we lost the lead because of you. Start using your head. That’s the lump that’s three feet above your ass.
[Evelyn starts to cry]
Jimmy Dugan: Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There’s no crying! THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!
Doris Murphy: Why don’t you give her a break, Jimmy…
Jimmy Dugan: Oh, you zip it, Doris! Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pigshit. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry?
Evelyn Gardner: No, no, no.
Jimmy Dugan: Yeah! NO. And do you know why?
Evelyn Gardner: No…
Jimmy Dugan: Because there’s no crying in baseball. THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! No crying!