A nice man once said: ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’
That man was Yankees legend Yogi Berra, who passed away last week, at the grand old age of 90. And while baseball fans will always remember the All Star’s talent, for the rest of us, there’s another reason his legacy won’t soon be forgotten. His words.
Better known as his ‘Yogi-isms,’ these are the tautological nuggets and often contradictory, yet genius, pearls of wisdom he threw out over the years – to his friends, in interviews, in conversation with fans after a game.
They range from the ridiculous to the strangely insightful and many of them have made their way into common usage.
To mark the World Series champ’s passing, I’ve listed some of my favourites below – many of which I didn’t realise actually came from him until this week.
Some you’ll have heard before, others you won’t, but they’re all guaranteed to give you a smile over your morning coffee...
* When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
* You can observe a lot by just watching.
* It’s like déjà vu all over again.
* No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
* Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.
* Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
* Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.
* You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.
* Never answer an anonymous letter.
* The future ain’t what it used to be.
* It gets late early out here.
* Pair up in threes.
* Be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.
* Even Napoleon had his Watergate.
* It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
* I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
* I never said most of the things I said.
* The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
* I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.
* If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.
* In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
* I wish I had an answer to that because I’m tired of answering that question.
Ahh Yogi, as a lover of words, I would argue that these are your true legacy. We salute you.