Yogi Berra is going to be missed

Baseball Digest, front cover, September 1956 issue

Baseball Digest, front cover, September 1956 issue

Many of the younger generation don’t know who Yogi Berra was and probably don’t care much. This old mountain man remembers him, though.

Yogi Berra was a catcher and outfielder for the American baseball team, the New York Yankees. He began playing in the major league in 1946 and as it happens, his first game was played on September 22. That was sadly the day that he passed away this year, 2015. In his 18 years in the league, he had an incredible 10 World Series wins and his team was in the World Series 14 times. That gave him the distinction of having played in more World Series than any other player.

I barely remember hearing his name in baseball, though, since he retired in the mid 1960s. However, Yogi had an amazing knack of coming up with funny, though often nonsensical quotes and quips. I always loved those silly statements he made. Here are a few, all made by Yogi:

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

“You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”

“Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

“I wish I had and answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.”

“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.”

“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

“I never said most of the things I said.”

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

“It gets late early out there.” (I use a similar phrase quite often.)

“Pair up in threes.”

“I usually take a two hour nap from one to four.”

“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

“If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.”

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”

And one that I’ve heard repeated by many people; “It ain’t over till it’sover.”

Yogi Berra actually signed to play with the Yankees in 1943, but didn’t play until September of 1946 because he served in the US Navy during World War II. He was distinguished while serving in the Navy, too.

Still, it is his baseball that gave him the accolades he received. In his career, he had 358 home runs and 1, 430 runs batted in. Interestingly, he was a left handed batter but he threw the ball right handed. The last game he played in was on May 9, 1965. Yogi didn’t get away from baseball completely, though. He spent time as both a manager and as a coach.

On September 22, 2015 at the age of 90, Yogi Berra passed away of natural causes. I would like to extend my condolences to his family. Though I’m not nearly as good at it as he was, just let me say, “Yogi, you didn’t know what you never knew, but you were so great at baseball because you were good at it.”

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