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Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra

Quotations



Lawrence Peter Berra usually known by his nickname "Yogi" Berra, is an American Baseball player and team manager.

Sourced

The origin and date of first occurrence for most Yogiisms is unknown. These quotes from his writings are listed here alphabetically.

  • Always go to other peoples' funerals; otherwise they won't go to yours.
    • When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes, Hyperion, 2002, ISBN 0786867752, p. 163

  • The future ain't what it used to be.
    • When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes, Hyperion, 2002, ISBN 0786867752, p. 159

  • I knew the record would stand until it was broken.
    • The Yogi book: I really didn't say everything I said!, Workman Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0761110909, p. 91

  • I really didn't say everything I said. [...] Then again, I might have said 'em, but you never know.
    • The Yogi book: I really didn't say everything I said!, Workman Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0761110909, p. 9

  • If people don't want to come to the ballpark how are you going to stop them?
    • The Yogi book: I really didn't say everything I said!, Workman Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0761110909, p. 36

  • If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be.
    • When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes, Hyperion, 2002, ISBN 0786867752, p. 154
  • If you ask me a question I don't know, I'm not going to answer.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 101

  • If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 15

  • If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
    • When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes, Hyperion, 2002, ISBN 0786867752, p. 53
    • Variant: You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going because you might not get there.
      • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 39
    • Variant: If you don't know where you're going, you'll wind up somewhere else.

  • It gets late early out there.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 27
    • Variant: It gets late awfully early around here.
    • Referring to the adverse sun conditions in left field at Yankee Stadium.

  • It's déjà vu all over again.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 137
    • Variant: It's like déjà vu all over again.

  • It's so crowded, nobody goes there.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 81

  • Little things are big.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 69

  • Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 45. This version is also attributed to Philadelphia Philles manager Danny Ozark.
    • Variant: Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical.

  • Pair up in threes.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 123

  • Thank you for making this day necessary.
    • The Yogi book: I really didn't say everything I said!, Workman Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0761110909, p. 10.
    • Said on Yogi Berra day in 1947 in St. Louis. By his account, he asked a teammate to write a speech, and he misspoke, saying "necessary" instead of "possible."

  • We made too many wrong mistakes.
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 75
    • On why the Yankees lost the 1960 series to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
    • When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes, Hyperion, 2002, ISBN 0786867752, p. 1
    • Also in What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 33
    • Berra says this is part of driving directions to his house in Montclair, New Jersey. There is a fork in the road, and whichever way you take, you will get to his house.

  • You can observe a lot by watching.
    • You Can Observe a Lot by Watching: What I've Learned About Teamwork From the Yankees and Life, John Wiley & Sons, 2008, ISBN 9780470079928

  • [What time is it?] You mean now?
    • What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532
    • He was on a passenger jet at the time, so he was not sure in which time zone he was.

Unsourced

Many of the malapropisms now attributed to Yogi Berra were from stories originally told by former ballplayer-turned-broadcaster Joe Garagiola, Berra's childhood friend, who loved to tell stories about Berra's accidental humor. Other quotes have been misattributed to him because they seem characteristic of his style. Referring to the numerous "Yogiisms" circulating, Berra wrote, "I didn't really say everything I said."


  • 90 percent of putts that fall short don't go in.

  • A good ball club. — when asked what makes a good manager of a baseball team

  • A home opener is always exciting, no matter if it's home or on the road.

  • Don't get me right; I'm just asking!

  • No one goes there any more; it's too crowded.

  • A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.

  • Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

  • Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.

  • He's a big clog in their machine. — referring to Ted Williams

  • I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

  • I'm as red as a sheet.

  • I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did!

  • I couldn't tell if the streaker was a man or a woman because it had a bag on its head.

  • I guess that's the earliest I've ever been late. — on arriving five minutes late to an interview rather than his usual half-hour

  • I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early.

  • I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat, and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

  • I think they just got through marinating the greens. — commenting on his performance after playing a poor golf game

  • I usually take a two hour nap from 1 to 4.

  • I wish I had an answer to that, because I'm tired of answering that question.

  • I'd find the fellow who lost it; and, if he was poor, I'd return it. — when asked what he would do if he found a million dollars

  • If I didn't wake up, I'd still be sleeping.


  • It ain't over 'til it's over.

  • It's never happened in World Series competition, and it still hasn't.

  • It's not too far; it just seems like it is.

  • It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
    • A variant of this has also been attributed to physicist Niels Bohr, and others.

  • It was hard to have a conversation with anyone; there were so many people talking.

  • Little League baseball is a good thing 'cause it keeps the parents off the streets, and it keeps the kids out of the house!

  • Most of his home runs were hit on artificial turf. — when asked why Johnny Bench hit more home runs than he did

  • Never answer an anonymous letter.

  • Overwhelming underdogs. — describing the 1969 New York Mets

  • Pitching always beats batting — and vice-versa.

  • Slump? I ain't in no slump! I just ain't hitting.

  • Steve McQueen looks good in this movie. He must have made it before he died.

  • Surprise me! — when his wife, Carmen, asked where he would like to be buried

  • The only reason I need these gloves is 'cause of my hands.

  • The other team could make trouble for us if they win.

  • The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

  • The wind always seems to blow against catchers when they're running.

  • There are some people 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 have a good time together, even when we're not together. — talking about his wife, Carmen. He implied he likes to have some time away, but also likes to get back together.

  • We're lost, but we're making good time.

  • When the duck walks in, you know it's alive. — on whether the AFLAC duck is real or mechanical

  • Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel.

  • You better make it four. I don't think I could eat eight. — at a dinner in an Italian restaurant, when asked into how many slices his pizza should be cut

  • You don't hit with your face. — Yogi's standard response whenever someone told him he wasn't handsome

  • You don't look so hot yourself. — reply when told he looked cool in his summer suit by the New York Mayor's wife

  • Yogi's teacher: You don't know anything, do you Berra?
Yogi: I don't even suspect anything, sir.

  • 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.

  • The similarities between me and my father are completely different.
    • (Dale Berra said this when asked if he took after Yogi.)

  • I can't concentrate when I'm thinking.

  • And they give you cash, which is just as good as money. — in his appearance in an AFLAC commercial when explaining the cash back policies of the company.

About Yogi Berra

  • Fans have labeled Yogi Berra "Mr. Malaprop," but I don't think that's accurate. He doesn't use the wrong words. He just puts words together in ways nobody else would ever do.
    • Joe Garagiola, foreword to The Yogi book: I really didn't say everything I said!, Workman Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0761110909

External links