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The Yogi Book Hardcover – Unabridged, April 1, 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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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). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Hardly anyone would quarrel...that Winston Churchill has been replaced by Yogi Berra as the...favorite source of quotations. (The New Yorker)

"Yogi Berra was one of the first guys to allow himself to be kidded by his teammates. A shrewd move--they made him one of the most famous personalities in America." (Tim Mccarver)

"Yogi's son Larry and I played on the Montclair High School Basketball team together. At the time, Yogi represented Yoo-Hoo soft drinks. When we'd win, Yogi would bring the Yoo-Hoo to

the locker room. When we'd lose, we got nothing. Prior to the games, Yogi would tell us, "If you win, you get the Yoo-Hoo, if you lose you get the Boo-Hoo!" (Leonard S. Coleman Jr.)

"Yogi came back to my dressing room after our show at the Garden State Arts Center in New Jersey. He has always been one of my heroes. I felt like I was in the locker room after hitting a home run and winning the World Series. Yogi looked at me and said, "Wow, kid, I wouldn't want to do what you do...the work's too hard!" ( "Talking to Yogi Berra about baseball is like talking to Homer about the gods." (Bart

Giamatti)

"When I was on Saturday Night Live, Yogi played himself in a mock documentary called 'Ballplayers.' Christopher Guest and I played 75-year-old black ballplayers talking about the old days. We acted our hearts out. Yogi had one line and stole the movie. I'll never work with him again!" (Billy Crystal)

"A conversation with Yogi Berra is as memorable as seeing a game in Yankee Stadium in its heyday." (Frank Sinatra)

"I was standing at home plate and the announcer said, 'Now catching for the Yankees, Yogi Berra.' I'd never heard of him and there he was--his shin guards and chest protector were too long--and I thought, 'Who are they trying to kid with this guy?' Well, I played against him for ten years and I appreciated his abilities more and more and more. He made the pitchers pitch. And he was a damn good hitter!" (Ted Williams)

"I make a lot of speeches. Often, to illustrate a point, I reach back for a Yogi expression because Yogi can sum up a situation like nobody else. Thanks, Yogi." (Brendan T. Byrne)

"Yogi Berra is a national treasure. I've been using his remarks to close all my speeches and they always bring huge laughs. I love Yogi--always have, always will." (Larry King)

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761115684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761115687
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has a lot of Yogi's famous sayings and how they first originated. While I was too young to see Yogi play, I've always admired him. Not just because of his apparent intent to destroy the English language with all of his malaprops, but also because of his Hall of Fame baseball career and his overall intelligence. When I was young and first heard some of his now famous quotes, I used to derive hours of giggles from them. Now that I am much older and hopefully wiser, I realize that Yogi makes a tremendous amount of sense with his observations. Essentially he's saying things in a short sentence that most of us spend an hour saying.
For example, "When You Come To a Fork in the Road, Take it," he's saying if you have a great chance for something, go after it and don't look back. Or when he says "It Ain't Over Til It's Over," he's saying the game is never over until the final out or the clock runs out on you. Or "You Can Observe A Lot By Watching," he's telling his former Yankee players to pay attention to the game they're playing in! After having read this short but fascinating and at times hilarious book, I've gained a new respect for Yogi as one of the truly great minds and people major league baseball has ever been lucky enough to have. While his quotes may prompt English teachers to jump out windows, I hope we get to hear a lot more of them.
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By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I knew that Yogi was full of great sayings, and this book has them all! Not only does it tell you what Yogi said, but he explains the situation and the people involved. It's great reading, and there are insites on Yogi from his celebrity friends and family. You'll enjoy it!
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Format: Paperback
This small book contains many of Yogi Berra's humorous, and sometimes thought-provoking, statements. I added over 30 to my quotes collection. He explains how many originated and that he did not say some of the sayings attributed to him (p. 9: I really didn't say everything I said). Quite a few of them have been quoted so often as to have become part of our culture:

p. 30: It's dèja vu all over again!

p. 95: You can learn a lot by watching.

p. 118: The future ain't what it used to be.

But some were new to me:

p. 64: It gets late early out here.

p. 73: Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours.

p. 93: Never answer an anonymous letter.

Finally, Yogi's family contributed some of their own:

p. 125: Tim-I knew exactly where it was, I just couldn't find it.

p. 125: Betsy-Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself.

p. 125: Mario-I've double checked it six times.
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Format: Paperback
You always hear yogiisms pop up like "you can observe a lot by watching" - they combine homespun wisdom, unique humor, and gramatical error. In this book, Yogi puts it all together in a wonderful excursion into his life and mind, and the result is very very fun and funny. He is really from a less cynical time, when it was easier to believe in heros and you could take things more at face value. I love this book and have perused it many times for a chuckle as well as a good quote to post around the office. Great gift book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great, but short read. It has most of Yogi's famous quotes and some that are not so famous, like something he may have said to his wife. If you are a Yogi Berra fan from way back or you just like him because of his different way of putting things, this is a must have. I got it yesterday and I finished it in a half-hour or so. So like I said it is not a long read but very enjoyable and will make you chuckle.
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Format: Hardcover
While Yogi may not have intended it, some of his statements are absolute gems in a business setting. For example, "When you reach the fork in the road, take it" is very useful in explaining the importance of making decisions. I use Yogi quotes all the time in speeches on serious subjects and they work very well.
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Format: Paperback
What I liked about The Yogi Book is that it was a book about the man, by the man and for the man. It is a very simple book with a promising concept that had great pictures and timeless memories. The cut and dry attitude answers and explains the questions about his famous quotes in a way that is most delightful. The lack of nonsense and filler made the experience much more enjoyable and, combined with the fact that it was actually Yogi talking, made everything feel much more authentic and pure.
The one factor that seems to be a downside of the book is that is a very quick read. I was able to finish it in one hasty sitting and, being about as cheap as the day is long, I saw no need to purchase the book. For those that are fans as frugal as myself, I would recommend not purchasing but definitely reading.
Don't get me wrong, sure I'm a cheap [expletive], but that doesn't take away from this great read. You will be smiling the entire time you are reading and will be pleased that you took the time to go through all the classic quotes and great memories. Short and sweet, there's nothing wrong with that.
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Format: Paperback
Even people who don't care for baseball love Yogi Berra and his way with words. For years I've hoped that someone would do a book like this one, and here it is at last. Not only does it collect and present the best comments of baseball's great philosopher -- it provides background and context for every Yogi-ism. Those who complain that the book has big type and lots of pictures just don't get the point. Sometimes there's a lot in a little book, and this is one of those books. Highly, and delightedly, recommended. -- Richard B. Bernstein, Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School
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