The Wisdom-ism of Yogi-ism

Seventy years ago this week, Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra made his major league debut for the New York Yankees.

Yogi Berra was a fantastic baseball player, arguably the greatest catcher of all time. To give you a sense of his baseball résumé, Yogi played in 15 All-Star Games, won 10 World Series championships, and earned three American League MVP awards. He holds the record for most World Series games played – I considered including Yogi in my list of unbreakable records.

Despite his baseball skills, he might be better known for his wit and malapropisms. His most famous line is likely “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” which shows up repeatedly in popular culture, including a Lenny Kravitz song and the movie Rocky. The insurance company AFLAC even relied on Yogi-isms to create an award-winning commercial.

Here are some other witty lines from Yogi Berra:

  • If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.
  • When you come to the fork in the road, take it.
  • If I can hit it, it’s a good pitch.
  • Nobody eats there anymore; it’s too crowded.
  • Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

According to legend, the first Yogi-ism happened during a ceremony to honor him. He had planned to say “I would like to thank all the people who made this day possible” but instead ended up saying “I wanna thank everybody here for making this night necessary.”

After a while, people began to give credit to Yogi for things he probably didn’t really say. Many claim Yogi said “It’s deja vu all over again” and “It ain’t the heat; it’s the humidity” even though the source of these quotes is unclear. Or as Yogi really quipped:

I didn’t really say everything I said.

It’s been one year since Yogi Berra passed away. We definitely miss him.


3 Responses to The Wisdom-ism of Yogi-ism

  1. Morgan September 19, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    After reading this article it was “like deja vu all over again”! Great points as always

  2. Rajiv Nema September 19, 2016 at 12:55 am #

    Yogi-isms are certainly fun. I hadn’t read this one “I didn’t really say everything I said.”

    Attributing all such quotes to Yogi, reminds me of another favorite of mine: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. ABRAHAM LINCOLN”

  3. Laurence Diamond September 24, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    I was born in Queens, but moved to Boston as a boy and grew up a ‘Sox fan. I have tremendous respect for what Yogi gave to the game and acheived as an athlete. He was a treasure. Thanks for the tribute to one of the all time greats!

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