John Kruk’s Exact Words

Does anyone know the exact origin and phrasing of this infamous John Kruk statement?

“I ain’t an athlete, lady. I’m a (professional) baseball player.”

I know he said this in some form, and the first sentence is the title of his autobiography. But the quote is different every place I look. If you have the book and can find the true statement, please let me know.

4 Responses “John Kruk’s Exact Words”

  1. J.S. Choe says:

    The title of his book comes from a time when a woman chided him for smoking and being overweight and being a poor example of a professional athlete. Kruk’s response: “I ain’t an athlete, lady, I’m a ballplayer!” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kruk)

    I read this book years ago. I don’t have it anymore though. I tried searching amazon.com, alibris.com, google.com, and finally wikipedia. The above quote is from Wikipedia. I’ve had success w/ Wikipedia, though I don’t trust info from Wikipedia 100%. There’s a copy in the Boston Public Library that I could borrow if you really, really want confirmation of the exact wording. Just say the word and I’ll check it out of the library for you. Email me at jschoe@alum.mit.edu.

  2. Matt says:

    I don’t have the book, but if I remember correctly, Kruk said that after a woman saw him smoking before/after a spring training game and expressed her dismay by telling him “athletes don’t smoke.”

    I’m sure those with the book have even more detail.

  3. kevin says:

    Exact words? – playing that game. It didn’t end well for Greg Brady and I’m not sure it will do you any good either.

  4. John Salmon says:

    The lady was right, of course. When Kruk came up he was a good outfielder with some speed, decent power and a high OBP; next he was a good first baseman with not much speed and that high OBP; then a lousy first baseman with OBP; then a DH with OBP but no power. He was a career .300 hitter with a .397 OBP, but he was out of the game at 34 because he didn’t take care of himself.