Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest old time catchers, managers, and one of the famed quotemen of baseball, died on September 23rd at the age of 90. Berra, whose career was spent entirely in New York playing and managing for both the Yankees and Mets, as well as coaching the Houston Astros, was considered one of baseball’s legends.
Yankees fans remember Berra as the great offensive catcher and manager who was one of the major cornerstones of the Yankees’ era of dominance from the 1940’s to the 70’s. Mets fans remember Berra as the man who took over at manager after Gil Hodges died of a heart attack and took them to the 1973 World Series. But everyone remembers Yogi for his otherworldly sense of logic, which came in the form of ridiculous quotes.
Such gems included, “You can observe a lot by watching”, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” and my personal favorite. “A lot of guys go, ‘Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, ‘I don’t know any.’ They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.”
Yogi’s spontaneity and his ability to turn a routine phrase into a laugh made him one of the more endearing and beloved characters in the game. And the fact that he found humor in all walks of life made him that much more fun as a personality. When his wife asked him where he wanted to be buried if he died before she did, (she ended up passing the previous year) he quipped, “Surprise me”. It’s the fact that Yogi has found humor even in death that makes him almost immortal, even in death.
Yogi Berra will be missed. The baseball world has lost a great individual. RIP.