Lawrence Peter (“Yogi”) Berra, who died on September 22nd at the age of 90, was a happy guy. He loved to play and didn’t like to work. He also had a sense of humor and had fun with the English language (“It ain’t over til it’s over”, for example). He especially liked playing sports, being exceptionally talented at hitting and catching a baseball. At one point he was rated the best Yankees’ player next to Joe Dimaggio. What other catcher but a 7-Adventurer in the Enneagram personality system would chat away behind the plate, trying to distract the hitter and throwing dirt on the guy’s shoes? Once he jumped like a baby into the pitcher’s arms after catching a perfect game, where no runner reached base. Yogi appreciated what he had and wasn’t greedy for more. He thanked God for all the fun he had. He drove a small Corvair and carefully made his bed every morning (his 1-Perfectionist arrow, no doubt).
The nickname “Yogi” came from the way he sat on the ground between innings with his legs crossed.
Some facts about Yogi
- He appeared in 14 World Series and won ten of them.
- He played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1946-65.
- He made the All-Star team in 15 straight seasons and was a World Series champion ten times, more than anybody else.
- He was one of only four players to hit at least 300 career home runs while playing catcher; and threw out nearly half of opposition base-stealers.
- He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame (he’d been told he would never make it into the major leagues).
Quotes by Yogi
“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.”
“Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half is physical.”
“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
“I don’t know (whether they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.”
“If people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?”
“I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”
“I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats.”
“I never said most of the things I said.”
“It gets late early out there.”
“It’s like deja vu all over again.”
“Nobody goes there anymore because it’s too crowded.”
“The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.”
“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going because you might not get there.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Quotes about Yogi:
“He’d fall in a sewer and come up with a gold watch.” – Casey Stengel
“He seemed to be doing everything wrong, yet everything came out right. He stopped everything behind the plate and hit everything in front of it.” – Mel Ott
“Why has our pitching been so great? Our catcher that’s why. He looks cumbersome but he’s quick as a cat.” – Casey Stengel
“Yogi (Berra) had the fastest bat I ever saw. He could hit a ball late, that was already past him, and take it out of the park. The pitchers were afraid of him because he’d hit anything, so they didn’t know what to throw. Yogi had them psyched out and he wasn’t even trying to psych them out.” – Hector Lopez