Yogi Berra (1925-2015)
September 23, 2015 1:55 AM   Subscribe

 
Well, many supposedly reliable news sources claimed it was Yogi Bear who had just died.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:04 AM on September 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


In a way, he did, too.

They both came to that fork in the road.

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posted by GenjiandProust at 2:09 AM on September 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by bjgeiger at 2:11 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Gelatin at 2:17 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by zaelic at 2:23 AM on September 23, 2015


"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."
posted by HuronBob at 2:30 AM on September 23, 2015 [60 favorites]


I was just a tiny little thing, never interested in sports but "It's déjà vu all over again" meant much to me.

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posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:36 AM on September 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


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posted by frijole at 2:47 AM on September 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by Joey Michaels at 2:54 AM on September 23, 2015




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posted by Cash4Lead at 3:07 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Smart Dalek at 3:11 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by SPrintF at 3:28 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by tommasz at 3:54 AM on September 23, 2015


"Berra, survived by three sons – Larry, Tim and Dale – as well as 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, was once asked by Carmen: “Yogi, you are from St. Louis, we live in New Jersey, and you played ball in New York. If you go before I do, where would you like me to have you buried?”

Berra replied: “I don’t know, surprise me.”

Guardian Notice
posted by C.A.S. at 3:56 AM on September 23, 2015 [38 favorites]


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posted by lazycomputerkids at 4:03 AM on September 23, 2015


He'll be remembered mainly for his wit

But it's nice to see his obituary focuses on his career as a ball-player.

"On defense, he certainly surpassed Mike Piazza, the best-hitting catcher of recent vintage — and maybe ever. Johnny Bench, whose Cincinnati Reds teams of the 1970s were known as the Big Red Machine, and Berra were comparable in offensive production, except that Bench struck out three times as often. Berra whiffed a mere 414 times in more than 8,300 plate appearances over 19 seasons — an astonishingly small ratio for a power hitter."
posted by three blind mice at 4:05 AM on September 23, 2015 [8 favorites]




Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:06 AM on September 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by eclectist at 4:07 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:07 AM on September 23, 2015


⚾️ used to see him on TV all the time. My parents were big baseball fans. I didn't know he was even still alive until I found out he died.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 4:09 AM on September 23, 2015 [24 favorites]


I didn't know he was even still alive until I found out he died.

That sounds like something Mr. Berra himself might have said.

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posted by TedW at 4:13 AM on September 23, 2015 [50 favorites]


Oh, crap. Great catcher, great hitter, great personality.

RIP, Yogi.
posted by jonmc at 4:19 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:34 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by drezdn at 4:35 AM on September 23, 2015


Nobody goes to Metafilter anymore. It's too crowded.

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posted by Xavier Xavier at 4:43 AM on September 23, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 4:47 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Thorzdad at 4:52 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by MrBobaFett at 4:57 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by condour75 at 5:01 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by vrakatar at 5:18 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by kinnakeet at 5:23 AM on September 23, 2015


Yogi was a cool guy. I had the great pleasure of meeting him a few times, and my family's business was commissioned to do some very cool work for the Yogi Berra Museum at Montclair State University in NJ. For those of you that have seen or been to the stadium, there's a distinctive facade that runs around the perimeter of the grandstand. The museum wanted to recreate that frieze, so my family used a waterjet to cut white-painted aluminum into the correct shape, which was then installed at the museum.

In person, he was friendly, kind, and it seemed like he wanted to give everyone the time of day to feel appreciated for being a fan.

All of that, on top of an illustrious, legendary career.

As a lifelong Yankee fan, I will genuinely miss him.
posted by rachaelfaith at 5:30 AM on September 23, 2015 [11 favorites]


Berra was before my time as a player but I definitely remember his entry as one of the best in the Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Berra's quotability and likeability and interesting appearance made him a great personal story which completely eclipsed his on-field performance. People really did not generally appreciate that before Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra was like the greatest catcher in the history of baseball.
posted by bukvich at 5:34 AM on September 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


In my opinion, he was the best catcher of all time.

Rest in peace Yogi, you earned it.

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posted by Sphinx at 5:43 AM on September 23, 2015


I love Yogi in this old Pringles commercial. He looks like some dumpy old guy, and then they toss him the Pringles can at about 10 seconds in, and the way he catches it, you're like, woah, this guy could play.
posted by JanetLand at 5:48 AM on September 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


He was from a different era. To think that there was a time when players had offseason jobs.

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posted by 4ster at 5:50 AM on September 23, 2015 [1 favorite]



posted by notsnot at 5:57 AM on September 23, 2015




Without sports his quotable lines might have been enough for us to remember him, and his career on the field put him in the Baseball Hall of Fame; together, they made up a really wonderful character. When you remember he was also on an LCSS, just off Normandy Beach on D-Day, he really was in the middle of an awful lot of history.

RIP, Mr. Berra
posted by wenestvedt at 6:11 AM on September 23, 2015 [5 favorites]




Chavenet: He'll be remembered mainly for his wit but his stats, oh boy.

In 19 seasons, he struck out in only 5.5% of his at-bats! WOW. In comparison:
• Yogi Berra - 414 K's in 7555 AB's (5.5%)
• Mike Piazza - 1113 K's in 6911 AB's (16.1%)
• Johnny Bench - 1278 K's in 7658 AB's (16.7%)
• Pudge Fisk - 1386 K's in 8756 AB's (15.8%)
• Pudge Rodriguez - 1474 K's in 9592 AB's (15.3%)

Yogi Berra was a helluva ballplayer.
posted by zooropa at 6:14 AM on September 23, 2015 [10 favorites]


414 career strikeouts? That is just fucking nuts
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:15 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


He didn't really say everything he said.

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posted by duffell at 6:19 AM on September 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's fewer career strikeouts than Tony Gwynn, although Gwynn's had about 2000 more at-bats.

Hopefully they're talking shop.
posted by dismas at 6:22 AM on September 23, 2015


> To think that there was a time when players had offseason jobs.

I've never been able to find the story online, but when I was a kid I had a book about various hockey stars and I remember reading about Rocket Richard showing up for a game and telling his teammates not to expect much from him that night because he'd spent the day helping a friend move into his new apartment. Then, of course, he scored five goals. Even in the 1980s it was pretty much impossible to imagine Mike Bossy or Wayne Gretzky lugging a couch up a flight of stairs.

Anyway, RIP Yogi.

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posted by The Card Cheat at 6:27 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Elly Vortex at 6:33 AM on September 23, 2015


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I use "nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded" all the time and think of him often. Yogi and Joe DiMaggio after winning the world series.
posted by jimmythefish at 6:34 AM on September 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


More ballplayers to compare against (not just catchers):

• Joe DiMaggio - 369 K's in 6821 AB's (5.4%)
• Yogi Berra - 414 K's in 7555 AB's (5.5%)
• Reggie Jackson - 2597 K's in 9864 AB's (26.3%)
• Mike Schmidt - 1883 K's in 8352 AB's (22.5%)
• Mickey Mantle - 1710 K's in 8102 AB's (21.1%)
posted by zooropa at 6:37 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is sad news. As with one or two other people above, because his era of prominence is so far past, I believed he was gone decades ago.

My first major exposure to him was in a book of quotations on Zen: in the midst of observations by Shunyru Suzuki, Alan Watts, and Rinzai, there were such incisive Berra quotations as
Tom Seaver: Hey, Yogi, what time is it?

Yogi Berra: You mean now?

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Interviewer: I've got lots of questions to ask you, Yogi.

Yogi Berra: If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer.

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Ken Boswell: I can't break myself of the habit of swinging up at the ball.

Yogi Berra: Then swing down.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:38 AM on September 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


When he was honored in his hometown, he went up to the microphone and said "I want to thank everyone who made this night necessary."
posted by Melismata at 6:46 AM on September 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


He got his name from his penchant to sit crossed legged during games at an American Legion field that didn't have a bench to sit on. A teammate saw news reel about people from the far east meditating and said the way they were sitting reminded him of Berra so they started calling him Yogi.
posted by any major dude at 6:48 AM on September 23, 2015 [5 favorites]



posted by ursus_comiter at 6:51 AM on September 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by allthinky at 6:57 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by joedan at 7:00 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by ocschwar at 7:11 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by foodbedgospel at 7:14 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by oceanjesse at 7:21 AM on September 23, 2015


Wow. What a life. It's like the American 20th Century died today.

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posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:32 AM on September 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


He and Abe Vigoda are drinking in heaven.
posted by I-baLL at 7:41 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by dogwalker at 7:43 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by maryr at 7:44 AM on September 23, 2015



posted by blurker at 7:44 AM on September 23, 2015


For the life I me, I cannot remember the exact circumstances of why he was there, but Yogi was at a little league game of mine. It must have been opening day as he made a short speech and then shook hands. I was about 8. I was a catcher. I had all my gear on but my mask. We were lined up along one of the baselines, my whole team. Yogi walked along the line shaking hands and saying one or two things to some of the players. When he got to me, he looked at me with all my gear, gear that was too big for me, and asked, "What position do you play?" I stammered, "Catcher." He replied back, "Yeah, me too."


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posted by AugustWest at 7:44 AM on September 23, 2015 [45 favorites]




Hell of a player, endlessly quotable, had a decades-long feud with Steinbrenner. What's not to like?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:46 AM on September 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by Kangaroo at 7:51 AM on September 23, 2015


Well, I guess it's over. ⚾
posted by dirigibleman at 7:57 AM on September 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Splunge at 7:58 AM on September 23, 2015


He and Abe Vigoda are drinking in heaven.

What?
posted by jedicus at 8:03 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by brecc at 8:28 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by talking leaf at 8:30 AM on September 23, 2015


Yogi Bear, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character, made his debut in 1958 during Berra's active playing career. Berra sued for defamation, but Hanna Barbera's defense was that it was just a coincidence. Berra eventually withdrew the suit, which probably created nice publicity for both Berra and Bear. It has generally been assumed, ever since, that the cartoon character was a conscious play on the ballplayer's name.
posted by beagle at 8:50 AM on September 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


He was a great garbage hitter. If his bat could reach it he could hit, whether it was over his head or 2 inches off the ground. Early baseball broadcasts were mostly major eastern clubs so I got to see a lot of Yankee games. It was fascinating to watch him work a pitcher like Whitey Ford via that center field telephoto lens. He was definitely a memorable part of my Saturday afternoons as a kid...

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posted by jim in austin at 8:54 AM on September 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by Flood at 8:55 AM on September 23, 2015


35 of Yogi Berra’s most memorable quotes
“Never answer an anonymous letter.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“You can observe a lot by watching.”
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posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:02 AM on September 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by ahimsakid at 9:02 AM on September 23, 2015


So, today I learned that Yogi Bear and Yogi Berra is not the same thing. Huh. RIP good man and sorry I thought you were a cartoon bear.
posted by kariebookish at 9:04 AM on September 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by mistersquid at 9:17 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Superfrankenstein at 9:20 AM on September 23, 2015


He was a common presence in Geico commercials until a couple years ago. I'm guessing a lot of people had no inkling he was a real guy, let alone a hall of fame baseball player.

And it was only last year that he was in the news when he had some World Series rings and MVP plaques stolen from a museum in his honor.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 9:24 AM on September 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a Dodger fan, I can say two things for sure about Yogi.

One, Jackie was safe. ;)

And two, for a Yankee, he was all right.

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posted by Celsius1414 at 9:54 AM on September 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


{ .

(Catching a low fastball from Don Larsen).
posted by jabo at 9:58 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


It has generally been assumed, ever since, that the cartoon character was a conscious play on the ballplayer's name.

Well it had to have been, come on, even before the lawsuit. I mean, Yogi Bear, it's too perfect a pun, and there is nothing otherwise Indian about the character. Berra shouldn't have sued for defamation, but he might have had something if it were argued from trading on his name.
posted by JHarris at 10:01 AM on September 23, 2015


Great ballplayer. Never out of the MVP conversation throughout his career. In one seven-year stretch, he was AL MVP three times, finished second in the voting twice, third once, and fourth once.
posted by Right On Red at 10:07 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by wanderingmind at 10:13 AM on September 23, 2015


Half of the quotes he made up, he never invented.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:29 AM on September 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by theartandsound at 10:40 AM on September 23, 2015


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posted by alms at 11:10 AM on September 23, 2015


“The future ain’t what it used to be,” indeed, now that Yogi is gone.

My favorite quote of his – supposedly said to a waiter: “You’d better cut my pizza into six pieces; I don’t think I can eat eight.”
posted by LeLiLo at 11:43 AM on September 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK I have to plug the one single greatest Yogi quote.

Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.

The Yogi Berra wikiquote page is possibly the single greatest web page on the entire internet.
posted by bukvich at 12:34 PM on September 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Yogi Berra wikiquote page is possibly the single greatest web page on the entire internet.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
...
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.
I imagine the city planner calling him up and saying, "So, here's a crazy idea..."
posted by Etrigan at 12:39 PM on September 23, 2015


• Joe DiMaggio - 369 K's in 6821 AB's (5.4%)
• Yogi Berra - 414 K's in 7555 AB's (5.5%)

Yeah, but the thing about those two stats that you don't see is that Berra would swing at anything he could hit whether or not it was in the strike zone. He swung at a lot of bad pitches way out of the strike zone - which DiMaggio's eyes would let pass - and he hit a lot of them. They guy must have had some unbelievable bat control and forearms stronger than Popeye after a can of spinach.
posted by three blind mice at 1:20 PM on September 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't forget he was also a very serviceable left fielder late in his career.

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posted by Calloused_Foot at 2:28 PM on September 23, 2015


O


A fastball to Yogi in his day.
posted by sfts2 at 5:08 PM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Kevin Street at 6:02 PM on September 23, 2015


Great ballplayer, a memorable and endlessly quotable character, and by all accounts, a very nice man as well.

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posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 6:05 PM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Chichibio at 6:56 PM on September 23, 2015


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posted by Pouteria at 5:15 AM on September 24, 2015


Yogi: What did Berra say, when did he say it and what does it all mean?
Robert Burnes, a St. Louis baseball writer, once went with Berra to a church father-and-son banquet. Every son received a bat and a ball and came up to have Yogi autograph them. At a corner table were some kids from a local orphanage. They sat there with no balls or bats. "Aren't they getting anything?" Yogi asked. An organizer of the banquet told him that a couple of balls were being sent to the home for the orphans' use. "We think it's enough of a thrill for them just to be here," the man added.

Yogi got up from the head table, went to the orphans' table, sat down and began autographing whatever the orphans had. Someone at the head table finally said, "Yogi, we'd like you to come back up here and say a few words."

"Go on with the program," Yogi snapped. "I'm busy. I'm talking to some friends." And he stayed with the orphans the rest of the evening. As he and Burnes left, Yogi said, "I'll never forget that as long as I live."
He once said, "little things are big." And he was without a doubt the biggest to ever play the game.

Rest in Peace, Yogi.
posted by zarq at 10:55 AM on September 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


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posted by LobsterMitten at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2015


I found this googling for pseudo-yogiisms after a friend of mine said yesterday, "that was a sub-conscious no-brainer" which seemed to me a decent fit for a pseudo-yogiism.
posted by bukvich at 2:34 PM on September 24, 2015


In Memoriam: Yogi Berra
As a boy of 8 and 9 and 10, growing up in the Bronx, I was a big New York Yankees fan. When you grow up in the Bronx, that’s really all there is to brag about. A zoo and the Yankees.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:04 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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