Recommended Reads: Book highlights words of wisdom from Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra was a 15-time All Star baseball catcher, winning the American League MVP three times. He played in 14 World Series and holds numerous World Series records including most games by a catcher (63), hits (71), and other records in his stellar career. His “Yogi’ism” sayings are as famous as his gleaming performance on the baseball diamond.
In this quick read, Yogi Berra’s favorite phrases are related to optimistic, helpful, everyday life wisdom. He explains the wisdom behind his humorous sayings. The common sense remains relevant, beyond the historical time frame, and the insights about teamwork relate well beyond sports. Berra’s stories and writing style entertain.
At face value you’ll read some of these sayings and shake your head with a laugh, but there is almost a Zen-like wisdom to many. “You can observe a lot by watching.” “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.” “Little League baseball is a good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets and the kids out of the house.”
Yogi Berra expands upon many of the principles, and provides interesting insights into baseball in his time. For example, he mentions that to pigeon hole a person into one thing creates staleness. He notes that Casey Stengel always felt ballplayers should be versatile and able to play other positions. Business people and other professions should also have versatility and different skills. Regarding being a team player Yogi Berra discusses that people should always be reassuring when someone fails, because you may need that person to perform tomorrow. Everybody has a bad day; the idea is not to dwell on it so the person can bounce back.
Berra optimism shines through, essentially believing that things will always work out for the best. He explains that the title of the book simply means that when you have a choice to make, make a decision and stick with it. In the long run, your decision will be beneficial. Berra mentions a few life decisions that he made which may not have been the best, but he doesn’t dwell on them, moving forward from the son of an immigrant laborer to a Hall-of-Fame ballplayer.
This book will appeal to baseball fans, especially Yankees fans, but don’t expect to hear gossip about other players. He tells a few stories about his teammates and other ballplayers, but those are notable exceptions rather than the rule.
If you can’t get enough of Yogi’isms after this book, check out Yogi Berra’s other books You Can Observe a Lot by Watching and also The Yogi Book, because “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
Thereby hangs a tale. . . .
Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager, wedding officiant and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. She’s enjoyed living in Edmonds for over 20 years