RIP, Yogi Berra

 

66653Yogi Berra — one of the greatest catchers in Major League Baseball history, and one of its wittiest sages — has died at 90, exactly 69 years to the day after his major league debut with the Yankees. Since then, he became a 15-time All Star, three-time American League MVP, and led teams from both leagues to the World Series as a manager. In all, he either played or managed 21 World Series, thirteen times for the winning team.

Berra was a beloved figure for the sayings he offered which came to be known as Yogi-isms, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” probably being the most famous.  He once gave directions to his house as “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”

One of the iconic images of his career is him hugging Don Larsen after Larsen threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Not as widely known, is that Berra called the perfect game; Larsen didn’t shake him off once.

RIP Yogi. The game isn’t as colorful without you.

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  1. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    I was just about to write a post about Yogi Berra.  You beat me to it.

    My favorite Yogi-ism: “When you get to this level, half of this game is ninety percent mental.”

    • #1
  2. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Nobody goes there any more its too crowded.

    RIP Yogi you will be missed.

    • #2
  3. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    And there was this AFLAC commercial from nine years ago:

    • #3
  4. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Yogi had a later gig as a movie reviewer where he made hilarious comments in the same vein as his baseball bon mots.

    • #4
  5. Mike LaRoche Inactive
    Mike LaRoche
    @MikeLaRoche

    Another one:

    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

    • #5
  6. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    Whiskey Sam:

    I missed your post on Yogi before I put mine up. Sorry. Frankly, Yogi’s death has shaken me up a bit. The loss of a childhood hero, I guess.

    • #6
  7. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera
    @TitusTechera

    I think this is the wrong time to say, Deja vu all over again!, but it’s too good not to repeat-

    • #7
  8. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

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

    What a gem he was. Thanks for letting me know this news Whiskey Sam.

    • #8
  9. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Mike Rapkoch:Whiskey Sam:

    I missed your post on Yogi before I put mine up. Sorry. Frankly, Yogi’s death has shaken me up a bit. The loss of a childhood hero, I guess.

    Yogi engendered that kind of response.  I’m not old enough to have seen him play, but he always felt like Baseball’s Kindly Grandfather to my generation.

    • #9
  10. Illiniguy Member
    Illiniguy
    @Illiniguy

    Whiskey Sam:

    Mike Rapkoch:Whiskey Sam:

    I missed your post on Yogi before I put mine up. Sorry. Frankly, Yogi’s death has shaken me up a bit. The loss of a childhood hero, I guess.

    Yogi engendered that kind of response. I’m not old enough to have seen him play, but he always felt like Baseball’s Kindly Grandfather to my generation.

    The first baseball game my dad ever took me to was to see the White Sox play the Yankees in Chicago. Yogi was behind the plate. Those are the types of memories that compensate one for getting older. Rest in peace.

    • #10
  11. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    “You can observe a lot by watching.”

    • #11
  12. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    This seems silly, but somewhere deep in my little child baseball heart I believed Yogi would be with us forever.

    Every Pittsburgher’s favorite Berra play:

    Yogi’s assessment of his team’s Series loss:  “We made too many wrong mistakes”

    Goodbye, Yogi.  Don’t let the devil block the plate on your way home.

    • #12
  13. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    We obviously love Yogi-isms for their tautological and humorous nature, but some of them are brilliant.

    “It ain’t over till it’s over” will still be used long after we are all dead because it summarizes never giving up so perfectly.

    • #13
  14. Tommy De Seno Contributor
    Tommy De Seno
    @TommyDeSeno

    More rings than Liberace…

    • #14
  15. Dave L Member
    Dave L
    @DaveL

    My dad was an avid baseball and Yankee fan, thus I was born a Yankee fan. Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s Yogi was one of my heroes along with Mantle and others. Yogi’s passing brings back fond memories of trips to Yankee Stadium with my dad, of hot dogs and sodas and later beer. Why do hot dogs always taste so much better at a ball game? One of the commenters on the Times site said that rather than being sad, he wanted to stand and applaud with a big smile.  I would suppose to honor a life lived fully and well.

    RIP Yogi.

    • #15
  16. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Heard reported today a hilarious Yogi-ism I hadn’t heard before…

    On a sweltering summer day, Yogi was introduced to the mayor of NY ( mayor Lindsey? ) and his wife. Mayor’s wife, making smalltalk says to Yogi -“You look remarkably cool.”

    Yogi replies – “You don’t look so hot yourself.”

    Only Yogi. RIP

    • #16
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Tom Seaver: Hey Yogi, what time is it?

    Yogi: You mean now?

    • #17
  18. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    90. It should happen to all of us.

    Yogi was a lifer, a guy like Don Zimmer who was infinitely more comfortable in uniform than out. He never went to the booth and spent the rest of his life talking about himself.

    Baseball at its best in an unbroken string of knowledge and love for the game passed down from one generation to another. Yogi is a vital thread in that string.

    • #18
  19. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    I’ll have to make it over to the Yogi Berra Museum at Montclair State college soon. I won’t go this weekend though. No one will to go this weekend, it will be too crowded.

    • #19
  20. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Ekosj:Heard reported today a hilarious Yogi-ism I hadn’t heard before…

    On a sweltering summer day, Yogi was introduced to the mayor of NY ( mayor Lindsey? ) and his wife.Mayor’s wife, making smalltalk says to Yogi -”You look remarkably cool.”

    Yogi replies – “You don’t look so hot yourself.”

    Only Yogi.RIP

    I first heard this one as a very young man and didn’t understand the hilarity contained within, but as always it is classic Yogi.

    • #20
  21. MikeHs Inactive
    MikeHs
    @MikeHs

    Could there ever be a major league baseball player like Yogi Berra again?  The guy outwardly looked and talked like the butcher in the old neighborhood or the guy with the trucking company; a regular guy. You know, one of dad’s war buddies from the unit. But, what a great baseball player he was, and a clutch hitter.  I really wish I could have watched him play in his prime.  There will never be anyone remotely like him again.  Rest in peace, Yogi, and thank you for all the great memories.

    His Stats:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/berrayo01.shtml

    • #21
  22. MikeHs Inactive
    MikeHs
    @MikeHs

    Here’s video of Don Larsen’s 9th inning of his perfect game against the Dodgers, in the 1956 World Series, with Yogi’s famous bear hug at the end (Vin Scully with the call):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=11&v=bC5-tTxxlpU

    • #22
  23. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    I had no idea he was still alive.

    • #23
  24. Johnny Dubya Inactive
    Johnny Dubya
    @JohnnyDubya

    RIP.

    I had always assumed many if not most of the “Yogi-isms” were apocryphal.  Can anyone shed some light on this?

    The way I see it, there are several possibilities as to the origin of any given Yogi-ism:

    1. It was something Yogi was documented as saying spontaneously, for example, in a pre- or post-game interview, in the clubhouse, etc.
    2. It was something Yogi said that was written ahead of time by him or someone else for humorous intent, for example, for a commercial or TV show.  (This would include the written word, for example, a book or article written by Yogi.)
    3. It was something Yogi never said that was wrongly attributed to him.

    My guess – and it’s only a guess – is that Yogi made a few choice #1’s.  He was therefore encouraged to do #2’s, which were greater in number.  People came up with their own #3’s, and these are by far the greatest in number.

    • #24
  25. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    He really was a beloved figure, especially in the New York area.  I hate and have always hated the Yankess, but I loved Yogi Berra.    I bet he’s telling Jesus right about now, “The ball parks here are like a small part of heaven.”  May the Lord shine eternal light upon him.

    • #25
  26. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I like the one where he badgers one of his teammates to drive him to some great ice cream shop many miles away. He told him they had a hundred flavors . When they finally got there Yogi ordered a vanilla.

    • #26
  27. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Johnny Dubya:RIP.

    My guess – and it’s only a guess – is that Yogi made a few choice #1′s. He was therefore encouraged to do #2′s, which were greater in number. People came up with their own #3′s, and these are by far the greatest in number.

    The Yogi Book

    Page 39: Nolan Ryan on Yogi Berra: “If Yogi had gone to college they would have made him talk clearer, but not better.”

    • #27
  28. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    MikeHs:Could there ever be a major league baseball player like Yogi Berra again? The guy outwardly looked and talked like the butcher in the old neighborhood or the guy with the trucking company; a regular guy. You know, one of dad’s war buddies from the unit. But, what a great baseball player he was, and a clutch hitter. I really wish I could have watched him play in his prime. There will never be anyone remotely like him again. Rest in peace, Yogi, and thank you for all the great memories.

    His Stats:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/berrayo01.shtml

    People forget that Yogi was a truly great player. Nearly 60 WAR.

    • #28
  29. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore
    @Eeyore

    Just saw a quick tribute. The voice-over at the end was Yogi: “It was fun. If I had it to do all over again, I’d do it again.”

    • #29
  30. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    NPR had a nice tribute/obit.   They recounted that Yogi had a conversation with his wife several years ago, in which they were discussing choices that they had over which cemetery to choose.   She asked “So, where do you want to be buried?”

    “I don’t know;  surprise me.”

    • #30
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