A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 23, 2019
“If you know how to cheat, start now”

When pitcher Ross Grimsley was with the Baltimore Orioles (1974-77), he had a very bad outing. Either Orioles Manager Earl Weaver (1930-2013) or Orioles Pitching Coach George Bamberger (1923-2004) went to the pitching mound and told Grimsley:

“Son, if you know how to cheat, start now.”

The incident was described by a Baltimore Orioles player in The Sun (Baltimore, MD) on March 14, 1979. He said that Bamberger had told Grimsley, “Son, I don’t know if you can cheat or not, but if you can, I wouldn’t wait one more pitch before you start.”


Wikipedia: Earl Weaver
Earl Sidney Weaver (August 14, 1930 – January 19, 2013) was an American professional baseball player, Hall of Fame Major League manager, author, and television broadcaster. After playing in minor league baseball, he retired without playing in Major League Baseball (MLB). He became a minor league manager, and then managed in MLB for 17 years with the Baltimore Orioles (1968–82; 1985–86). Weaver’s style of managing was summed up in the quote: “pitching, defense, and the three-run homer.” He did not believe in placing emphasis on “small ball” tactics such as stolen bases, hit and run plays, or sacrifice bunts. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.

Wikipedia: George Bamberger
George Irvin Bamberger (August 1, 1923 – April 4, 2004) was an American professional baseball player, pitching coach and manager. In Major League Baseball, the right-handed pitcher appeared in ten games, nine in relief, for the 1951–52 New York Giants and the 1959 Baltimore Orioles. He later spent ten seasons (1968–77) as the Orioles’ pitching coach and managed the Milwaukee Brewers (1978–80; 1985–86) and New York Mets (1982–83).

Wikipedia: Ross Grimsley
Ross Albert Grimsley III (born January 7, 1950) is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Cincinnati Reds (1971–73), Baltimore Orioles (1974–77 and 1982), Montreal Expos (1978–80) and Cleveland Indians (1980). His father, Ross II, pitched for the 1951 Chicago White Sox.

14 March 1979, The Sun (Baltimore, MD), “Grimsley surprised many when he won 20” by Bob Maisel, pg. C7, col. 2:
But he looked so bad that first spring, one Oriole recalled a great line George Bamberger used on him.

“We thought he might get better when we got back north in the regular season,” the man recalled with a laugh.

But he didn’t. Not for a while, anyway. One time, when he was getting shelled again, George went to the mound and said, ‘Son, I don’t know if you can cheat or not, but if you can, I wouldn’t wait one more pitch before you start.’”

9 December 1984, Daily Record (Morristown, NJ), “Stealing the spotlight” by Roger Farrell, pg. C10, col. 2:
“Ross Grimsley was pitching for us in Baltimore one spring and he was getting killed,” the Cubs manager (Jim Frey—ed.) said. “Earl (Weaver) went out and said, ‘Son, if you know how to cheat, I wouldn’t wait any longer.’ And the next time out, Grimsley is great. He gets everybody out and goes on to pitch the best of his career.”

12 December 1985, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, “Baseball owners give blessing to sale of Pirates” by Bruce Keidan, pg. 28, col. 2:
(Spoken by Chicago Cubs Manager Jim Frey.—ed.)
“{Manager] Earl Weaver had seen enough. He told [pitching coach] George Bamberger, ‘George, you better go have a talk with that guy.’

“George went out there and said, ‘Son, if I was you and I knew how to cheat, I wouldn’t wait one more minute to do it.’ His (Ross Grimsley—ed.) pitching improved real quick after that.”

6 August 1987, Hartford (CT) Courant, “A revival of cheating in baseball: Scuffing or corking, it’s ‘make them catch you’” by Thomas Boswell (Washington Post), pg. G4, col. 2:
In our time, sports is one of the preserves within a civilized society where scofflaw emotions can feel at home and not be run entirely off the turf. We love to hear the story of Earl Weaver visiting a struggling Ross Grimsley at the mound and saying to the much suspected lefthander, “If you know how to cheat, start now.”

Google Books
The Gigantic Book of Baseball Quotations
Edited by Wayne Stewart
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2007
Pg. 257:
If you can cheat, I wouldn’t wait one pitch longer.
-- Orioles pitching coach George Bamberger to pitcher Ross Grimsley, in a jam (also attributed to Earl Weaver telling pitcher Ross Grimsley, “If you know how to cheat, start now.")

Google Books
The Baseball Codes:
Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The unwritten rules of America’s pastime

By Jason Turbow and Michael Duca
New York, NY: Anchor Books
2011
Pg. 185:
Or take it from Orioles manager Earl Weaver, who, upon visiting the mound to talk to pitcher Ross Grimsley during a bases-loaded situation, offered a simple suggestion: “If you know how to cheat, this would be a good time to start.”

Twitter
Super 70s Sports
@Super70sSports
My favorite thing a manager has ever said to a pitcher during a mound visit was by Earl Weaver to Ross Grimsley:
“If you know how to cheat, start now.”
10:40 PM - 23 Mar 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, March 23, 2019 • Permalink