The Tao of Yogi: A Compilation of Berra’s Wisdom
By K. Allen;; 9/24/15

New York Yankees incredible Yogi Berra passed away Tuesday at age 90. Since resigning from baseball as a player in 1965, Berra has been known for his witty colloquialisms, warmly known as Yogiisms.

Columnist Phil Pepe, who reported for the Yankees amid Berra's tenure, maybe summed up Berra's knowledge best: "He has a local insight, a characteristic intelligence, and a great method for slicing through all the folderol and getting to the heart of a matter," Pepe stated. "When he says something that appears to be amusing, it truly isn't funny; it is insightful."

Berra himself constantly appeared to be a hesitant logician, and he told a correspondent whence his witticisms came:

“You see, I break up the English a little bit. I don’t mean to do it, but it just comes out that way.”

Here’s a collection of some of our favorite quotes that are attributed to Berra:

In giving directions to a former teammate who was coming to visit him at his home in Montclair, New Jersey, Berra accidentally injected a profundity that even made it into one of George W. Bush’s State of the Union addresses:

“When you come to a fork in the road: take it” ~ Yogi Berra Berra is the only man to manage both Yankees and Mets to the World Series. — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 23, 2015 Some advice on being attentive:

"You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra #RIPYogiBerra — Jay Harris (@JayHarrisESPN) September 23, 2015 One of his Berra’s most repeated quotes (and a fine Lenny Kravitz song), was uttered in 1973 when a reporter asked him whether the New York Mets, which he was managing at the time, were out of the pennant race:

“It ain’t over til it’s over” - Yogi Berra, a legend & ambassador to the game of baseball #RIPYogi — ABCA (@ABCA1945) September 23, 2015 He was known for uttering unintended paradoxes:

Yogi Berra once said,"If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be." I think the world just became a little less perfect. R.I.P., Yogi. — Adam Lewis (@AdamLewisPI) September 23, 2015

My favorite quote: "No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded." #YogiBerra — H Polley (@sfphotogirl) September 23, 2015

“If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.” #RIPYogiBerra — Jay Caruso (@JayCaruso) September 23, 2015

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. #YogiBerra — Scott Nicholson (@scott_nicholson) September 23, 2015

"Always go to other people's funerals. Otherwise they won't come to yours." RIP, Yogi. — Chris Wood (@ChristophrWood) September 23, 2015 When it came to baseball, reporters loved getting quotes from Berra because he had a way of capturing the game’s subtleties as few could:

“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” RIP Yogi Berra, St. Louis native and one of the all-time greats — Ann Wagner (@RepAnnWagner) September 23, 2015

“We made too many wrong mistakes.” - Yogi Berra (this actually makes a lot of sense to experienced coaches & athletes) — Tom Chorske (@hockeylogic) September 23, 2015

It's like deja-vu, all over again. - Yogi Berra — Randy Dang (@rdang13) September 23, 2015 The New York Post captured the phenomenon behind Berra’s off-field persona well:

But what made Berra a cultural icon was his way to put things in a way no one else quite could. And even if he mixed up his words, they still added up to a sound point.

A warning though—even Berra was skeptical about whether all these quotations should be attributed to him. As he once put it, “I didn't really say everything I said.”




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by Dr. Leo J. Borrell, featured in Assisted Living Consult for November/December 2006. A HealthCom Media Publication