“The gentleman from Kentucky will add a touch of class to the Hall of Fame”-Arthur Daley, New York Times


“If you had nine Earle Combses on your ball club, you could go to bed every night and sleep like a baby”-Miller Huggins, Yankee manager


“I think he was the best lead-off man of all time”-Ed Barrow, Yankee secretary/general manager


“Earle Combs was a wonderful player and a wonderful man.  He was always in perfect condition. Why, that fellow could hit an inside the park home run, sit down on the bench and not blow out a match.  Earle Combs helped put me in the Hall of Fame.  They wouldn’t pay managers much of a salary if all players presented as few problems as did Earle Combs.”-Joe McCarthy, Yankee manager


The Sportlight

By Grantland Rice
(written after Earle Combs sustained a fractured skull in a game in St. Louis in July 1934)

 Earle Combs-Ball Player

 “We talk of showmanship-and headline stuff-

            We speak of color and of crowd appeal,

And some of it, perhaps, is partly bluff,

            And some of it, beyond all argument, is real;

But, now and then, a workman hits the road,

            Too little sung amid the jamboree,

Who knows but one plain, simple working code-

            To do his stuff from A on through to Z.

 I lift a humble song to one like this,

            Earle Combs of Old Kentucky and the Yanks-

Who, in a long career, has yet to miss

            The high plateau above the crowded ranks-

Keen-eyed, swift-footed, gentle as a child,

            Stout-hearted when the pinches come around,

He doesn’t need the loud bassoon gone wild

            To show the way he hits and covers ground.

Year after year he’s been around the front,

            Giving in full through every battle played,

The timely triple-or the lowly bunt-

            Unmindful of the crown or accolade-

His eye was on the ball-not on the slag

            That turned his charge into a crashing fall-

Cut down the hit or save the extra bag-

            What happens after doesn’t count at all.”


“I would rather keep the Yankee Stadium closed than to be ‘held up’ every year with unreasonable demands from disgruntled ball players who expect to receive their salaries in full no matter how badly they play or how far down the club finishes in the race”-  Jacob Ruppert, Yankee President, in a letter to Earle Combs dated February 10, 1928 objecting to Combs’ request for a salary increase for 1928.  Combs and the Yankees had just finished their storied 1927 season, winning 110 games during the regular season and sweeping Pittsburgh in four games in the World Series.  As leadoff hitter for “Murderer’s Row”, Combs hit .356 and led the American League in hits and triples. 


“..if young DiMaggio turns out to be as good a ball player as you were, everybody will be satisfied.”  --Ed Barrow, Yankee general manager/secretary, referring to Yankee rookie Joe DiMaggio in a letter to Earle Combs after his retirement as a player dated January 28, 1936.