Yogi Berra: “What I’ve learned”

The Yankee great on baseball, Yogi-isms and, well, the moniker “Yogi.”


  • If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’. I didn’t like to work.
  • For Christmas, I asked dad, “I want a baseball bat, a glove, and a ball.” He said, “Which one of the three do ya want?”
  • I told my dad, “Dad, you realize if your other two sons had played ball, you’da been a millionaire.” He said, “Blame your mother.”
  • You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.
  • It don’t have to be a perfect pitch. If you see it good, swing at it. But if you can’t hit it, lay off it.
  • New York is always the place to play.
  • When I caught, I’d look at the hitter, the way he strides. He strides in, then ya get the ball inside to him. I watched ‘em pretty good.
  • Joe was the best player I ever saw. He didn’t do anything wrong. DiMaggio I never saw slide. He just was there. It’s funny – I never seen him slide for a ball. He run the bases good. Every damn thing…
  • I was playin’ American Legion Baseball. Bobby Hoffman, used to play with the Giants, we were on the same team. We never had dugouts. We’re sittin’ on the ground. I always had my legs crossed and my arms folded. Bobby said, “You look like a yogi.” And it stuck.
  • My wife, she calls me Yogi. If she calls me Lawrence, I know she’s mad at me.
  • A lot of guys go, “Hey Yogi, say a Yogi-ism.” I tell ‘em, “I don’t know any.” They want me to make one up. I don’t make ‘em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.
  • I get a kick out of some guys. They look at ya and say, “You look like Yogi Berra.” I say, “Yeah, a lotta people tell me that.”


From a 2001 Esquire magazine column “What I’ve learned”

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

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