Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 - September 22, 2006) was an American Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career (1946–1965) for the New York Yankees. Berra was one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times, and was 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. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
Berra was widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. He was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in a voting of fans in 1999. According to the win shares formula developed by sabermetrician Bill James, Berra is the greatest catcher of all time and the 52nd greatest non-pitching player in major-league history. (Click for full Wikipedia article.)
For those who compile quotations, Yogi Berra is both a delight and a nightmare.
There's absolutely no doubt that Berra uttered every comment listed below. The problem is in determining whether the comments were original, or attributed remarks he later "adopted." As he confessed in The Yogi Book, "I really didn't say everything I said."
Consider one of Berra's most frequently repeated comments:
"It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future."
That quote is variously attributed to Berra, Casey Stengel, Will Rogers, Mark Twain, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, and many others. Software architect Larry Denenberg maintains a page on his website with links crediting the line to over two dozen sources.
Some of Berra's verbal contortions ("He's a big clog in their machine.") are called malapropisms, a word with an interesting- and eminently traceable- etymology.
It's directly derived from the word-mangling Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Richard Sheridan's 1775 English comedy The Rivals, which in turn was based upon the word malapropos, an antonym of the far more commonly used apropos. (In French, "à propos" means, literally, "to the purpose." The prefix mal means "badly.")
Note the two words are not interchangeable. A malapropism is "the unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar," while malapropos, when used as a noun, is "something inopportune or inappropriate."
Also note the majority of Berra's memorable comments aren't malapropisms, they're malaphors- a portmanteau of malapropism and metaphor coined by writer Lawrence Harrison,
But I digest. It was not my detention to rambulate.
A home opener is always exciting, no matter if it's home or on the road.
A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.
All pitchers are liars or crybabies.
Always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't go to yours.
Anyone who is popular is bound to be disliked.
Don't count on me. I'm playing way over my mind.
Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.
He's a big clog in their machine.
I can't concentrate when I'm thinking.
I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.
I knew the record would stand until it was broken.
I looked like this when I was young, and I still do.
I really didn't say everything I said... Then again, I might have said 'em, but you never know.
I usually take a two hour nap from one to four.
I'm a lucky guy and I'm happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.
I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.
If people don't want to come to the ballpark how are you going to stop them?
If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be.
If you ask me a question I don't know, I'm not going to answer.
If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.
If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
It ain't over 'til it's over.
It ain't the heat, it's the humility.
It gets late early out there.
It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
It's déjà vu all over again.
It's not too far. It just seems like it is.
It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future
Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.
Little things are big.
Mantle can hit just as good right-handed as he can left-handed. He's just naturally amphibious.
Never answer an anonymous letter.
Ninety percent of putts that are short don't go in.
Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.
Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.
Pair up in threes.
Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting.
Swing at the strikes.
Texas has a lot of electrical votes.
The doctors x-rayed my head and found nothing.
The future ain't what it used to be.
The other teams could make trouble for us if they win.
The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.
There are few folks who, if they don't already know, you can't tell 'em.
Think? How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?
We made too many wrong mistakes.
We were overwhelming underdogs.
What time is it? You mean now?
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.
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 is left.