Any way you slice it, Yogi Berra was our treasure

It’s over.

Yogi Berra left our world, the news show told me this morning.

Yogi Berra and his wife, Carmine, parading in 2009. (Photo by Tom Honan)

Yogi Berra and his wife, Carmen, parading in 2009. (Photo by Tom Honan)

To generations of New Yorkers, the man born Lawrence Peter Berra on May 12, 1925 was forever endearing.

For the way he looked, squatted square behind home plate with the gated mask over that likeable mug and lefty stance dangerously over that same plate. For the way he talked, a pleasing Italian-life-taught-tangle of words tumbling from his brain in such intriguing and entertaining strings of thought that they had to be named. Yes, Yogi-isms were born. You can look ’em up. For the way he acted, a caring sort devoted to his wife Carmen and their home in New Jersey, married to her 65 years before she passed in 2014, proud parents to children Larry, Time and Dale, Dale himself briefly a major-leaguer with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ah, yes, team loyalt. Yogi was a New York Yankee, yes, as a player and manager twice and Hall of Famer inducted in 1972. But, too, at the tail end of his career, he was also a member of my squad growing up, the New York Mets. And he managed them, too, in the year they reached the World Series the unlikely second time, 1973. And so he was able to win over the whole dang Big Apple.

The rest of the country, they likely caught on as much for those Yogi-isms as his career faded into memory.

My personal favorite is the one where Yogi told the waitress to cut his pizza pie into four slices because he couldn’t eat six. He’s the one who nobody goes to a certain joint anymore because it’s too crowded.

How wise was Yogi?

You can observe a lot by just watching.

It’s deja vu all over again.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

From Twitter

From Twitter

The Yogi Berra Museum announced that he died with a Tweet at 2 a.m. Yes, his grasp had reached all generations.

To honor Yogi this morning, enjoy his sayings from Brainy Quote.

And a here’s YouTube clip featuring two vintage black-and-white TV commercials, for those of you unfamiliar with his voice and mannerisms. Yeah, in the 1960s, Yogi pitched Camel cigarettes. And after that, he talked with a cat for Puss N Boots pet food.

Are you fond of a particular Yogi Berra story to share? Do use any Yogi-isms in your life? Which is your favorite Yogi saying, and why?

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66 thoughts on “Any way you slice it, Yogi Berra was our treasure

  1. I am too young to have seen him play but being from NY(albeit Western NY) I have always been around Yankee fans and have a great appreciation for their history and success. People today seem to remember him first for his Yogi-isms rather than for the player he was. And he was a great player. He was there to not only play with so many of the greats of the game, he saw so much of what we consider today as great baseball history as it was happening and was an important part of the a few historical moments fans today revere and hold in high regard. My personal favorite Yogi-ism is ‘You can observe a lot by just watching’. It sounds obvious but some people needs to have that fact pointed out to them. I use that when talking to my nephews. And the looks I get when they put the concept together is priceless. His expressions make you laugh and think at the same time.

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  2. To say nothing of his baseball stats. Look them up, he was amazing. Sirius radio was honoring him this morning on my commute. He played in something like 77 World Series games. One amazing stat from my commute: 600 at bats in one season with only 12 strikeouts. With his batting average, I suspect some of the walks that year were intentional.

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    • Yes, Craig, incredible indeed. I linked to his Baseball Almanac player page in the post, Watching Mike and Mike on ESPN this morning, one guest pointed out: To reach Yogi’s career, take Buster Posey’s statistics right now and triple them.

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      • They rambled off a bunch of stats for just one year that would have put someone in the Hall of Fame. Then mentioned that same year he came in third on the MVP ballot. I should have slowed down so I could find out who was ahead of him.

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  3. I just wrote my own YB post on a few of his Yogi-isms, but the love and baseball one is my favorite.

    I was awake when I got the CNN notification in the middle of the night. I love that even non-baseball fans “know” him, even if they don’t realize it πŸ™‚

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  4. Met Yogi twice he was a man of the people. Just one of us. His kind generous heart and sense of humor made you instantly feel like a friend. And yes I remember your jubilation when Yogi took your Metsies to the series. How crazy is it that he passed on the 69th anniversary of his first MLB game? He is missed. My favorite wisdom of his was “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

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    • Good memory of my happy time in 1973 on our block on Long Island, my friend, when Yogi managed my Mets to meet Oakland in the Series. I like your Yogi-ism, too. Yes, to pass on the anniversary of his first major-league game is quite fitting.

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  5. Oh and on your 10 World Series rings stat Mark only Yogi’s Yankees and his hometown St Louis Cardinals have won that many titles in MLB history as a team. Rather fitting

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  6. I nearly evoked his name in my post this morning but opted for a different gag instead. So I was quite shocked when I saw the announcement shortly thereafter since Yogi had just been on my mind. RIP Yogi, I hope heaven isn’t too crowded…

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  7. I really didn’t say everything I said.” Ya know bro Mark, Yogi must have known I would be around needing that remark in the future.. He was actually 4 + years younger than my Mom, so he must have had some real kind of foresight, just to know I would need that remark some day. Sadly missed, because even tho” I never cared for the Mets, I was the designated Yanks fan, because my older brother always wanted the Dodgers, and told me I HAD to be a Yanks fan. He’s a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than I am now, and back in the day, he still towered over me and could take me down without breaking a sweat — as long as Mom wasn’t around to see what was going on.

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  8. A wonderful tribute Mark. Love the vintage commercials you shared. So weird, though to see a cigarette commercial in today’s world though, eh? My sympathies and thoughts are with everyone who knew and loved Yogi. ❀
    Diana xo

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  9. Pingback: Paying tribute to Yogi « MLB.com Blogs

  10. Beautiful tribute, Mark. Yogi Berra was greatly admired and rightfully so. His quotes make me chuckle. My favorites were: “It ain’t over til it’s over” and “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Humorous and philosophical at the same time.

    But what I loved most about Yogi was what I learned after he died. When Phil Rizzuto was hospitalized, Yogi visited him daily and stayed to comfort him until Phil fell asleep. What a pal. Here’s the link – http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/one-of-the-greatest-yogi-berra-stories-you-might-not-have-heard-193333507.html

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