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You Can Observe A Lot By Watching: What I've Learned About Teamwork From the Yankees and Life Paperback – April 1, 2009


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You Can Observe A Lot By Watching: What I've Learned About Teamwork From the Yankees and Life + When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It!: Inspiration and Wisdom From One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes + The Yogi Book
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470454040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470454046
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #515,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Notorious for his run-ins with the English language, baseball great Berra has become an improbably prolific author. He and coauthor Kaplan follow up 2002's What Time Is It? You Mean Now? with this charming, if meandering, book about teamwork. In anecdote after anecdote about his legendary career with the Yankees, his not-so-legendary career as a manager, and his days growing up on the streets of St. Louis, Berra shows how respect and cooperation made him a success on the field and in life. Lessons include the importance of punctuality, owning one's mistakes, and a positive attitude. For better or worse, nuggets of wisdom ("Never give an opponent added motivation") are buried beneath a mountain of less-than-insightful sports ephemera (Derek Jeter is "a good leader because he always knows and does what's right"). Still, Berra's optimism and wry, absurdist sense of humor make it a fast read that should resonate with fans; as one would expect, Berra includes plenty of well-meaning advice in his signature, well-near-meaningless style: "Unless you have an excuse, there's no excuse."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Notorious for his run-ins with the English language, baseball great Berra has become an improbably prolific author. He and coauthor Kaplan follow up 2002’s What Time Is It? You Mean Now? with this charming, if meandering, book about teamwork. In anecdote after anecdote about his legendary career with the Yankees, his not-so-legendary career as a manager, and his days growing up on the streets of St. Louis, Berra shows how respect and cooperation made him a success on the field and in life. Lessons include the importance of punctuality, owning one’s mistakes, and a positive attitude. For better or worse, nuggets of wisdom (“Never give an opponent added motivation”) are buried beneath a mountain of less-than-insightful sports ephemera (Derek Jeter is “a good leader because he always knows and does what’s right”). Still, Berra’s optimism and wry, absurdist sense of humor make it a fast read that should resonate with fans; as one would expect, Berra includes plenty of well-meaning advice in his signature, well-near-meaningless style: “Unless you have an excuse, there’s no excuse.” (May) (Publishers Weekly, June 2008)

"...[it] offers nearly half a century's distilled wisdom on the subject of teammates and the value of team play from the biggest winner (14 pennants and 10 World Series rings) in baseball history..." (YouCanObserveSyn, April 13, 2008)

"...[it] offers nearly half a century's distilled wisdom on the subject of teammates and the value of team play from the biggest winner (14 pennants and 10 World Series rings) in baseball history..." (Post Dispatch (St Louis), April 6, 2008) --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.


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Customer Reviews

This is a very well written book and I found it really enjoyable.
P.Kelly
The material is pretty basic, lacking depth, mainly because Berra appears to see the good in everyone or at least is not prepared to rip on too many people.
Conor Cunneen
It is a great book for a Yankee fan like me who followed and watched the great Yankee teams of the 50s and 60s that Yogi played on.
Michael R. Chernick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. Chernick on September 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is a little different. It is not filled with Yogi quotes like in the book "I Never said half the things I said" but it does have his typical humor. It is a great book for a Yankee fan like me who followed and watched the great Yankee teams of the 50s and 60s that Yogi played on. The theme of the book is that too many modern players are selfish and that no matter how great an individual player might be it takes team work and unselfishness by the whole team to make a champion. Yogi describes this in players like Mantle, Ford, Reynolds and DiMaggio from his era but he also sees it in guys like Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius from the 1998 Yankees, perhaps the best baseball team ever! I wasn't expecting it but Yogi also saw it in the 2004 Red Sox and pointed to an unselfish act by Tim Wakefield that he thought was the key to their comeback against the Yankees. It was not something that many fans or broadcasters would have noticed but Terry Francona and his Red Sox teammates did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ronald W. Belscher on July 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We need to have every young ballplayer read, and hopefully understand the message that Yogi is passing on based on his years of experience! Team work is as important now as it was back "in the day" and the young individuals of today need to understand that.

It is a great book, well worth the time to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Conor Cunneen on November 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This will never enter the pantheon of great books, but it is a fun enjoyable read. When growing up in Ireland and before I ever became a humorous keynote business speaker and motivational humorist, I thought the humorous references attributed to Yogi Berra actually related to that well known inhabitant of Jellystone National Park - Yogi Bear. Hey, baseball meant as much to us as cricket means to most US residents.

The subtitle `What I've learned about Teamwork from the Yankees and Life' is the primary rationale for the book. The material is pretty basic, lacking depth, mainly because Berra appears to see the good in everyone or at least is not prepared to rip on too many people. Lessons mentioned in the book include Find your Role, Making Everyone Better, Respect your Team and Not Over Till It's Over. All the lessons are supported by hagiographic examples and references to his almost universally wonderful Yankee team mates.

One of the surprising things about the book is its general lack of humor. My favorite lesson in the book refers to an exchange Yogi had with baseball legend Joe DiMaggio who seeing the author down on himself during a game shouted, "Get running, Yogi, start running. Always run out to your position, it doesn't look good otherwise. Can't get down on yourself. Can't let the other team think they got down on you." One good lesson per book makes a book worthwhile. A pleasant light read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ink & Penner on November 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
To like this book, you gotta' really like Yogi Berra a lot...or never heard of him. This is an unusual one. Why would this famed, long-time catcher for the powerhouse New York Yankees, come up with a dime-store-psychologist's book about teams, team practice, team play, teammates, teamwork, "teamness," team ego, team unity? He's played on or managed several major league baseball teams, so nobody disputes he's learned something about it along the way. -But what makes Berra so skilled in "teamwork" beyond all others who could have easily written the same kind of feeble book as this one?

Spot the book's cover, and you see vintage Yogi, all smiley...and holding a (National League yet!) baseball. You quickly figure this book's going to be about Berra's brand of baseball: inside the game, the outside, the players, the stories, what's bad about today's baseball, what's good. But no! He's mostly held his tongue and delivered Baseball Lite.... Now, I don't want to be too hard on him, but Yogi tells us about a myriad of "team" players and managers who, over the years, learned "playing as a team" probably as well as Berra ever did. Was he some kind of standout "teamer"? -Never noticed.

Amid all the "team" clutter, gone are the sharp Berra witticisms, Berra game insight, and his unchecked (sometimes convoluted) commentary that we've come to know and love. -And expect. He settled, instead, for a washed-out book about "team unity." Indeed, the inside skinny on childhood-hero teamwork is not quite what most baseball fans long for.

It's not exactly a sports book, although the setting is clearly baseball. So, it's an easy-reader, but Yogi's overdone it with his mind-numbing, over-use of the word "team" [and all its possible variants!]...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Fisher on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If everyone dealing with sports, professional or kids, were to read this, then perhaps the world of sports wouldn't be in the mess it is today. Yogi Berra deals out something the world has been short on for a long, long time . . . common sense. And it's refreshing to read. His other books are chock full of it, and this one deals in particular with the necessity of teamwork as only Yogi can tell it. And no one knows the importance better than Yogi, who has more World Series rings than anyone and is a D-Day survivor. We need to do more than read his books, we need to learn his lessons. Yogi is a Hall of Famer in baseball, true, but his books prove to us that he is a Hall of Famer in life as well, and a life's model to us all.
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