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Yogi Berra, Hall of Fame Catcher and Memorable-Phrase Coiner, Dies at 90

Yogi Berra, a 10-time World Series champion and the man who first said “It ain’t over till it’s over,” has died at age 90, due to natural causes.

Known simply as “Yogi,” Lawrence Peter Berra was one of the great catchers in baseball history, winning three MVP awards, making 15 all-star teams, and achieving Hall of Fame induction in 1972. He is generally regarded as one of the top two or three backstops of all time, overcoming his slight 5-foot-7-inch frame to pound out 358 home runs during his 19-year career, almost all of which he played with the New York Yankees.

His family issued a statement via the Yogi Berra Museum in Little Falls, N.J., saying: “While we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with Mom. [Berra’s wife, Carmen, died in March 2014.] We celebrate his remarkable life, and are thankful he meant so much to so many. He will truly be missed.”

In addition to all his on-field records, Yogi became a cultural icon, due to his easygoing personality, massive ears and knack for coining memorable, albeit head-scratching sayings, often called “Yogi-isms.” Along with “It ain’t over till it’s over,” some noteworthy Yogi-isms include:

  • When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
  • You can observe a lot by just watching.
  • It’s like déjà vu all over again.
  • No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
  • I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.
  • Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.
  • A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
  • We made too many wrong mistakes.
  • Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.
  • If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.
  • It gets late early out here.
  • If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.
  • Pair up in threes.
  • Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.
  • The future ain’t what it used to be.
  • Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

No one’s really certain whether Yogi came up with all of those on his own, not even Yogi himself. As he put it, “I never said most of the things I said.”

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