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Yogi Berra : The Ever Quotable Philosopher Of Baseball And Life



Yogi Berra was a legendary catcher and manager in the New York Yankees organization. He's one of my all time favorite sports personalities. Not only did he have a brilliant insight into the game, he aslo possessed a wicked wit. To Yogi, baseball was a pretty simple game, nothing scientific. He also had a great self - depracing sense of humour. He knew that baseball was just a game, and always deflected the most obvious of questions or found some silly way of stating what needing to be said offhandedly.

Many of the quotes attributed to Berra, come off sounding as though he were an uneducated or badly schooled man. He has in fact fooled more than one person in his day. The last thing Yogi would want to be known as, is an ecademic.

While managing the 1962 New York Mets, Berra was asked about a young first base prospect named "marvelous" Marv Thornberry. Thornberry was slow in coming around with his batting prowess and happened to be leading the league in errors at the time of the question - no mean feat for a 1st baseman. Yogi obviously didn't want to say he stunk. The '62 Mets were on their way to setting a Major League record as the worst team in history. When the reporter asked Yogi to speak of Thronberry's future, Berra simply said, "Well, Marvelous Marv is 20 years old, and if he sticks around the majors for then years he's got a good chance to be 30!"

Berra is likely one of the most quoted figures ever in the world of sports. He is credited with coining the deceptively simplistic observation, "It ain't over till it's over." He's also known for all sorts of malapropisms such as, "This is like deja vu all over again." Berra has often disputed that he said as many quotes. His observations on baseball and life were in fact drawn from many sources, most surely Groucho Marx. He has, unwittingly, and probably unwillingly, popularized more sayings than he realizes.

Berra is now an octagenerian, still employed in a public relations capacity with the Yankees. He is currently on a speaking tour, doing engagement at colleges and banquets. Here are a collection of his most notorious quotes.

"You can observe a lot just by watching."

"He must have made that before he died." -- Referring to a Steve McQueen movie.

"I want to thank you for making this day necessary." -- On Yogi Berra Appreciation Day in St. Louis in 1947.

"I'd find the fellow who lost it, and, if he was poor, I'd return it." -- When asked what he would do if he found a million dollars.

"Think! How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?"

"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

"I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."

"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else."

"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."

"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."

"Baseball is 90% mental -- the other half is physical."

"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much."

"Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting."

"A nickel isn't worth a dime today."

"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."

"It gets late early out there." -- Referring to the bad sun conditions in left field at the stadium.

Once, Yogi's wife Carmen asked, "Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?" Yogi replied, "Surprise me."

"Do you mean now?" -- When asked for the time.

"I take a two hour nap, from one o'clock to four."

"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."

"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."

"I made a wrong mistake."

"Texas has a lot of electrical votes." -- During an election campaign, after George Bush stated that Texas was important to the election.

"Thanks, you don't look so hot yourself." -- After being told he looked cool.

"I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."

"If the fans don't want to come out to the ball park, you can't stop them."

"Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel."

"It's never happened in the World Series competition, and it still hasn't."

"I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house."

"I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question."

"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did. "

"If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be."

"If I didn't wake up, I'd still be sleeping."

"If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be."

"If I didn't wake up, I'd still be sleeping."

"We were overwhelming underdogs."

"Pair up in groups of three."

"Everybody line up in a circle."

"Line up alphabetically by height."

"I don't know, I'm not in shape yet. " (When asked what size cap he wanted.)

"I don't remember leaving, so I guess we didn't go."

"No, you didn't wake me up. I had to get up to answer the phone anyway."

Carmen said "I took Tim to see Doctor Zhivago today." Yogi replied, "What the hell's wrong with him now?"

"If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer. "

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. "

"So I'm ugly. So what? I never saw anyone hit with his face. "

"Take it with a grin of salt. "

"The only color I don't have is navy brown. "

"There are some people who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em."

"We have deep depth. "

"I'd say he's done more than that." -- When asked if first baseman Don Mattingly had exceeded expectations for the current season.

"The other teams could make trouble for us if they win."

"He can run anytime he wants. I'm giving him the red light." -- On the acquisition of fleet Ricky Henderson.

"The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase."

"You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."

"Half of the truths about me are lies."

"I didn't really say everything I said."