The Yogi Book: "I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said

Yogi Berra

Published by Workman Publishing Company, 1998
ISBN 10: 0761110909 / ISBN 13: 9780761110903
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Synopsis: "It's déjà vu all over again"—only better. The Yogi Book, the New York Times bestseller, now has a fresh new design throughout, new photographs, a career timeline, and all-new appreciations by some of his greatest fans, including Billy Crystal. And it's timed to coincide with the 85th birthday of this American legend who's more beloved than ever.

As for the quotes, well, Yogi Berra's gift for saying the smartest things in the funniest, most memorable ways has made him a legend. Or, as The New Yorker put it, "Hardly anybody would quarrel that . . . Winston Churchill has been replaced by Yogi Berra as the favorite source of quotations." The Yogi Book brings all of his famous quotes together in one place—and even better, gives the story behind them. "It ain't over 'til it's over."—that’s Yogi's answer to a reporter when he was managing the Mets in July 1973, and they were nine games out of first place (not only quotable, but prophetic—they won the pennant). "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."—Yogi's comment to Stan Musial and Joe Garagiola about Ruggieri's Restaurant in St. Louis 1959. "It gets late early out there."—Yogi describing how shadows crept across Yankee Stadium's left field during late autumn afternoons.

Review: If the subtitle of this delicious collection of Yogi-isms has you scratching your head, it has done its job as stunningly as Berra used to do his behind the plate at Yankee Stadium. The Hall of Fame MVP catcher for the pinstriped dynasties of the late 1940s through the '50s and into the '60s, Berra was about as quick with his witticisms as he was with his bat and glove. But if his observations hit the heart of the plate, his grammar tended to pop out of left field, hence the creation of a unique mode of malapropism dubbed the Yogi-ism. To truly understand the title, you need to know that not every mot ascribed to Yogi actually emanated from his mouth--they only sounded like they should have. Thus, he really didn't say everything he said, which makes The Yogi Book absolutely necessary (see page 10).

To the things that Yogi did say, The Yogi Book does both service and justice. It gathers the witticisms in a single convenient volume, adds a scrapbook of photos, then lets their progenitor riff, filling in color commentary on what was happening beyond his mind and what was going through it when the famous phrases were dispatched into the public domain. He deservedly takes credit for such immortal pronunciamentos as "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." (page 16); "It's deja vu all over again." (page 30); "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." (page 48); "The future ain't what it used to be." (page 118); "It gets late early out there." (page 64); and "Ninety percent of this game is half mental." (page 69). All, like the sacred texts they happen to be, are appropriately parsed for your edification, as is the greatest Yogi-ism of them all: "It ain't over 'til it's over." (page 121).

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Title: The Yogi Book: "I Really Didn't Say ...
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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