It’s not the groundhog, the daffodils nor the vernal equinox that tells me when spring has sprung. And it’s definitely not the weather.

As the great philosopher Charles Dickens wrote, “Spring is the time of the year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”

Or as the great philosopher Mark Twain observed, “In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush,” the great philosopher Doug Larson said.

So with the weather so unreliable, how can we know when it’s spring?


The great baseball philosopher Rogers Hornsby once said, “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

Well, Major League Baseball is back. That’s how we know it’s spring.

Between innings of the home opener, I pondered whether there might be more to spring than pine tar, rawhide balls and ash bats.

Since spring fever infected me with visions of ball diamonds and green grass, I asked the great philosophers for their opinions on these matters:

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood

“Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.” — Leo Durocher

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” — Robin Williams

“You have to have a lot of little boy in you to play baseball for a living.” — Roy Campanella

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.” — Anne Bradstreet

“If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there is a man on base.” — Dave Barry

“Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.” — Virgil Kraft

“Sandor Boatly had never guessed that, properly played, baseball consisted of mathematics, geometry, art, philosophy, ballet and carnival, all intertwined like the mystical ribbons of color in a rainbow.” — W.P. Kinsella

“The earth laughs in flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In high school I wrote an essay on baseball and my teacher told me I had to rewrite it on a more serious topic. So I wrote an essay about the World Series and my teacher gave up.” — Tucker Elliot

“In springtime, love is carried on the breeze. Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head.” — Emma Racine deFleur

“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.” — Yogi Berra

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created spring.” — Bern Williams

“It is the life-affirming genius of baseball that the short can pummel the tall, the rotund can make fools of the sleek, and no matter how far down you find yourself in the bottom of the ninth you can always pull out a miracle.” — Bill Vaughn

It’s spring (even when the weather doesn’t agree). Play ball!


PLAY A GAME of catch the quotes with Cole at, on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.

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