Yogi Berra

The Economy:  Yogi Berra’s passing, yesterday, trumps the economy. So annotated from Wikipedia, “Here’s Yogi!” Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) catcher, manager, and coach. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career (1946–65) for the New York Yankees. He is widely regarded as one of the best catchers in baseball history. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

Berra was an All-Star for 15 seasons. He is one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times and is one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. As a player, coach, or manager, Berra appeared in 21 World Series and won 13 of them. He was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in a voting of fans in 1999.

Berra, who quit school after the eighth grade, was also known for his pithy and paradoxical quotes, such as “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”, while speaking to reporters. Simultaneously denying and confirming his reputation, Berra once stated, “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

Yogi Berra was born in a primarily Italian neighborhood of St. Louis called “The Hill”, to Italian immigrants Pietro and Paolina (née Longoni) Berra. Pietro, originally from Milan in northern Italy, arrived at Ellis Island on October 18, 1909, at the age of 23. In a 2005 interview for the Baseball Hall of Fame, Yogi said, “My father came over first. He came from the old country. And he didn’t know what baseball was. He was ready to go to work.

He began playing baseball in local American Legion leagues, where he learned the basics of catching while playing outfield and infield positions as well. He received his famous nickname from his friend Bobby Hofman who said he resembled a Hindu yogi whenever he sat around with arms and legs crossed waiting to bat or while looking sad after a losing game.

Yogi served in the US Navy during World War II. He participated in the Normandy invasion during D-Day.

In 1958 Yogi Bear and his side kick Boo Boo appeared as Hanna-Barbera (H-B) cartoon characters. Yogi’s name was similar to that of Yogi Berra, who was at the height of his fame. The H-B management team claimed that the similarity of the names was just a coincidence. but the defense was considered implausible and sources now report that Berra was the inspiration for the name.

Food for Thought: Yogiisms:
“It ain’t over till it’s over.”
“It’s déjà vu all over again.”
“You can observe a lot by watching.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”
“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”