Yogi Berra became famous for his career and achievements in American baseball including the positions of manager and coach. He played for the New York Yankees for 19 years.
Berra was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 in recognition of his ability as one of the supreme catchers in baseball history. As Berra once said, “Baseball is 90% mental; the other half is physical.”
In 1973, when in the role of coach for the Mets baseball team, Yogi responded to a reporter’s question in the middle of the season about the future of the Mets. The Mets at the time were positioned last. Yogi’s famous reply was, "It ain't over till it's over.”
Berra’s ‘Yogi-isms’ became as famous as his baseball achievements. “You can observe a lot just by watching,” and the observation “the future ain’t what it used to be” are amongst his most well-known quotes. When asked why he had stopped visiting a St.Louis restaurant, Yogi responded to the question by saying, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.”
In January 2005 The Economist magazine named Yogi Berra the ‘Wisest Fool of the Past 50 years’ because of his manner of speaking – a unique way of combining humour with wisdom. Berra, however, did question some of the quotes attributed to him saying, “I never said most of the things I said.”
Following Yogi Berra’s death on 22 September this year the New York Empire State Building was illuminated with blue and white vertical stripes as a tribute to him. In New York City all flags were lowered to half-mast in his honour and on 23 September a moment of silence was held in his memory before the start of baseball games.
Finally, the last quote must surely belong to the late great Yogi Berra himself, “You should always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”