Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wit and Wisdom of Yogi Berra

For youngsters and non-baseball fans, Yogi Berra was one of the greatest major league catchers of all time.  He spent  19 years with the Yankees beginning just after the war.  During that time the Yankees went to 14 World Series and won 10 of them.

Partly because he quit school during the 8th grade and partly because he was Yogi, he became famous for his usage of the English language. In no particular order:

  • If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.
  • You give 100 percent in the first half of the game, and if that isn't enough in the second half you give what's left.
  • If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.
  • I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.
  • This is like deja vu all over again.
  • You can observe a lot just by watching.
  • I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.
  • I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
  • If the fans don't wanna come out to the ballpark, no one can stop 'em
  • Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.
  • I didn't really say everything I said.
  • It ain't over 'til it's over.
  • No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded.
  • The future ain't what it used to be.
  • Ninety percent of all mental errors are in your head.
  • Go to other people's funerals or they won't come to yours.
  • If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
  • If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be.
  • A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.
  • You guys over there, pair up into groups of three.
  • Buy a stock, if it goes up, sell it, if it goes down, don't buy it.
  • If this was easy it wouldn't be so hard.
  • We made too many wrong mistakes.


  1. An amazing collection of Yogi-isms.

    One thing I did not know until fairly recently is that he also was listed as a right fielder. Yogi out in right field? Stretches the imagination.

    Here's another: "I'm not in a slump; I'm just not hitting."

  2. Fodder, would you please delete that comment of mine.

    I don't know how I sign with the name I shouldn't have!

  3. Done. Thanks for liking Yogi. He was one of the reasons I cheered for the Yankees in my youth.

  4. There is a bunch I haven't heard before. What makes them so funny is he was serious when he said them.

  5. "I didn't really say everything I said." I guess Yogi was right about that - my daughter sent me the following correction:

    "Now I know why nobody ever comes here; it’s too crowded."

    Yogi Berra had a gift for pronouncements that are nonsensical in literal terms yet make perfect sense. This one is included in several Internet compilations of his aphorisms—but its first use was in 1941, when Yogi was only 16. It appeared in the Helena Independent, a Montana newspaper; the writer attributed it to a "flutterbrained cutie named Suzanne Ridgeway."



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