Yogi Berra Was A Philosophical Genius

picture of yogi bera
Yogi Berra

Am I the only one who does not laugh at the witty and wise sayings of Yogi Berra? He is accused of being the master of malapropism, but I say  that he was a genius. Not only was he good at baseball, but unlike other baseball players, he was an intelligent person.

Some of his more famous sayings convey more meaning in one fractured sentence than Presidents of the United States can do in four years. Of course, Presidents don’t play in the world series, and Yogi was in several.

First, I want to start with one of my favorites, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Laugh if you will, but there is wisdom and good advice in that little sentence.

When I first became a salesman, I was taught that if you find yourself in a loosing situation, don’t give up. Even after the order has been let to the competition, there is always a chance you can rescue the business. By observing this wisdom and not giving up,  I got business I otherwise would not have had because I knew, that, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over“. Just like the Delta’s  in Animal House, it ain’t over until I say it’s over.

My other favorite is, ” When you come to a fork in the road, take it “.

Only a real simpleton would look at that phrase and say, “How can you take a fork in the road without choosing left or right? What a dimmwit.”  If that’s the way you think, you haven’t been drinking the right adult beverages.

When Yogi made that statement, he knew that smart people would know that the fork in the road represented much more than just a simple choice. He wanted people to think. He wanted you to consider the REAL MEANING of forked roads.

When you approach a fork in a road, and do not know to what destination either of the choices will take you, smart becomes important. Consider the alternatives of which there are four in the physical world. We will leave alternate universes out of this discussion.

1, You can stay where you are.
2. You can go to the right.
3. You can go to the left.
4. You can turn around.

Yogi’s advice depends on the situation that you will not, or cannot, stay where you are, or turn around. You are faced with a decision on which road to take. This choice is not unlike decisions we make everyday, and here’s where we can learn from Yogi.

No matter which fork you take, your life will never be the same. A fork in the road can be viewed as a singularity, a point in time where everything changes. You cannot see beyond this point, and you have no knowledge of what to expect. You have to take one direction or another. Period.

It may not even matter which fork you take.  No matter what you do, your life will change, if even minutely.

You see, Yogi knew all this and that you had to go forward, no matter what direction you took. When you got to the fork in the road, you had to take it. Life is all about forking decisions.

So, whenever those ignorant souls laugh at Yogi’s sayings, you can smile, knowing that forking is much more involved.

11 thoughts on “Yogi Berra Was A Philosophical Genius”

  1. “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” actually makes perfect sense since baseball is the only major sport which doesn’t have a clock, making it the only major sport in the contest truly is never over “til it’s over. But my favorite Yogi quote has to be one concerning a restaurant that several of the players frequented, when he said, “no one goes there anymore, it’s always too crowded.”

  2. Actually, that’s a great observation. I was speaking truth about not giving up, even though everybody thought everything was over. I love Yogi’s sayings, and I don’t think he was stupid, at all. He managed some Yankee teams to the World Series, and I don’t think you can get by with being stupid in that job.

    BTW, I am really hesitant about calling you , “idiot..”

  3. I think it’s a great observation, too………I have said that about restaurants, meaning that MY FRIENDS don’t go there anymore because it’s too crowded, but I do see how wierd that wounds!
    I love the fork in the road line..’take it’…brilliant!
    And yes, he was one talented guy when it came to managing baseball!!

  4. Yeah, Z. Yogi has been a source of laughter for a long time. Sometimes, what he said was funny, but we thought we knew what he meant.

  5. “people who have never met me and women”.

    That’s funny. Guess I will have to call you , ‘pruf.

  6. Interpret him as a genius if you’d like but…”ninety percent of the game is half mental”…Yogi was a dumbass

  7. Why, of course, Mr Anonymous. Yogi may have been a dumbass, but he didn’t feel guilt when he reviewed his bank statements. Besides, who among us has left as colorful a legacy as Yogi? My motto is, “It ain’t over ’til its over.” Such wisdom…

  8. The Idiot also said something like [unlike football] “You can’t make up no trick plays.” An idiot in the English grammar department. Helloooooooooooooooooooooo…didn’t you ever hear of the “hidden ball TRICK?”
    So many of his “genius” quotes have also been used as blonde jokes.
    Probably his brain is still mush because he continues to whine about Jackie Robinson’s steal of home. He continues to whine and insist that Jackie was out. Hey! The UMPIRE called him OUT! Probably expected the usual from a NY Junkee: The umps must favour the Junkees…

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