When I posted #37 way back in the countdown, I decided to share some funny Casey Stengel quotes. Now that we are up to #8, there was no way I could post about Yogi Berra and not include his more famous quotes. Right?
Well, I’ve done that and I included a brief piece I wrote about Yogi last July.
“Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.”
“All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” Source: Baseball Digest (June 1987)
“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
“I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won twenty-five games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.”
“I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.”
“If people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?”
“How can a you hit and think at the same time?”
“I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.”
“I’m a lucky guy and I’m happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.”
“I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”
“In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”
“I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?”
“I never said most of the things I said.”
“I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I’d never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field.”
“Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.” Source: Catcher in the Wry (Bob Uecker)
“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”
“It gets late early out there.”
“I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house.”
“Ninety percent of this game is half mental.” Source: Sports Illustrated (May 14, 1979)
“Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”
“So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.”
“Take it with a grin of salt.”
“The game’s isn’t over until it’s over.”
“The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
“You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.”
And here’s the piece I wrote about Mr. Berra back in July on Graham Womack’s site, Baseball: Past and Present.
Until I was about five, I thought that the adorable, older man who played with the New York Yankees when my dad was growing up, who I always saw on television or heard stories about and who was famous for his silly quotes was actually named Yogi Bear. Unfortunately, my parents never corrected me because they thought my mistake was cute and it wasn’t until I arrived in kindergarten that I learned the error of my ways. It was 1979 and I figured I’d impress the boys with my baseball knowledge until one of them said to me rather obnoxiously, “His name isn’t Yogi Bear! It’s Yogi Berra!!”
As a young child, I didn’t quite understand just how good the man, Yogi Berra, actually was. And I think because he played in an era that is now so long ago, a lot of baseball fans still don’t know the greatness of Berra. So here are some facts about Yogi that everyone should know.
He has won more World Series championships than any other player in the history of Major League Baseball – he has enough rings for all of his fingers. He also appeared in 14 World Series, 14 All-Star games, was a three-time MVP, and was in the Top 30 in MVP voting every year from 1947-1961.
Berra had a long, consistent career, finishing with a .285/.348/.482/.830 line and 358 home runs. And while his batting average may not have been as high as Ted Williams (.344) and his home run total wasn’t exactly world beating like Mickey Mantle’s 536, his numbers are still impressive considering he played the majority of his career at catcher.
One more thing to know about Yogi Berra is that on October 8, 1956 he caught the only perfect game in World Series play. And as his battery mate Don Larsen walked off the field, Berra ran up to him, jumped into Larsen’s arms and wrapped his legs around him. For his part, Larsen didn’t miss a beat and kept on walking toward the victor’s dugout with Berra latched onto him. That iconic film image is still shown regularly today.