I have a diverse and eccentric reading appetite and one of my latest was a book by Yogi Berra, title “When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It.” Yogi Berra’s wit made him an unique and unforgettable character in baseball and in American culture. The son of Italian immigrants, he dropped out of school in eighth grade and worked part time jobs while he played ball. He was a catcher with the New York Yankees and a manager who played in a record 75 World Series games.

“When I was about fourteen, my family and the parish priest were real worried about me. I was lousy in school. I didn’t want to work. I wanted nothing more than to play sports. … I loved baseball. That’s all I wanted to do. Pop didn’t know baseball; he was from the Old Country. He didn’t think you could make a decent living from it. My three older brothers, Tony, Mike, and John – who all would’ve been better than me if they didn’t have to work to support the family – finally convinced Pop to give me a chance to become a professional ball player. My brothers never got their chance, but they knew how much it meant to me. I owe everything to them. Without my brothers, I never would’ve gotten the chance. “

He is a delightful combination of the practical, the whimsical, the shrewd and the innocent. His quotes can be real mindbenders at the same time they make complete sense. Here are some of my favorites.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.

We have a good time together, even when we’re not together.

Public speaking is one of the best things I hate.

He’s learning me all his experience.

If people don’t want to come out to the park, nobody’s going to stop them.

Don’t get me right. I’m just asking.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.

Ninety percent of the game is half mental.

Why buy good luggage when you only use it when you travel.

You can observe a lot by watching.

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Never answer an anonymous letter.

Little league baseball is a good thing because it keeps the parents off the street and kids out of the house.

A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

It gets late early out here.

If you don’t set goals, you can’t regret not reaching them..

If I didn’t wake up, I’d still be sleeping.

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.

Most people know me by my face.

I love movies when I like them.

If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.

The future ain’t what it used to be.

Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.


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