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Yankees legend Yogi Berra, who passed away last year, would have been 91 years old today. An 18-time All-Star, Berra appeared in 14 World Series as a member of the Yankees and won 10 of them.
Berra’s contributions to MLB history are incalculable, but his legacy might be even better remembered for what he contributed to American language. A sportswriters’ favorite, Berra had countless expressions and turns of phrase that were memorable because most of them didn’t make any sense. (At the same time, every one had some truth to it.)
Berra-isms (colloquial expressions that lack logic) are now countless, and many of them are just attributed to Berra, even if he never actually said them. As he so perfectly put it: “I never said most of the things I said.” Here are 50 of our favorites.
[Scott lists 50 beauties. Here are the first ten.]
1. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
2. You can observe a lot by just watching.
3. It ain’t over till it’s over.
4. It’s like déjà vu all over again.
5. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
6. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
7. A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
8. Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
9. We made too many wrong mistakes.
10. Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.
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No one ever accused Yogi Berra of being dumb.
Years ago, Joe Theisman became very upset when someone referred to athletes as dumb jocks. “Look, we can’t all be Fred Einstein.”