If he had gone by the name his parents gave him—Lawrence Peter—we probably would not have remembered him as much. But in addition to being an excellent catcher and hitter for the New York Yankees ‘Yogi’ Berra could fracture the English language as well as he could hit baseballs outside of the strike zone.
He got his nickname from a minor league teammate who commented he looked like a Hindu yogi whenever the team lost.
Berra died Sept. 22 at age 90. And left us with a lifetime of yogi-isms…his wacky way with words… that maybe he said, maybe he didn’t but took credit for all the same.
“I really don’t know why I say them,” he once told a reporter. “It just comes out.”
But here are some of his most memorable Yogisms that are attributed to the Hall of Famer:
“It ain’t over till it’s over.”
“It’s déjà vu all over again.”
“When you come to a fork in the road… take it.”
“I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.”
“Never answer an anonymous letter.”
“I always thought the record would stand until it was broken.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“You can observe a lot by watching.”
“The future ain’t what it used to be.”
“If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”
“Pair up in threes.”
“Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.”
Concerning a popular restaurant, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
“If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him” he told a player trying to emulate Frank Robinson.
“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.”
“I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.”
“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”
“You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn’t enough, in the second half, you have to give what’s left.”
“He must have made that before he died.”
“Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”
But perhaps his most truthful malapropism: “I never said most of the things I said.”