Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Yogi Berra’s famous quotes: ‘Baseball is 90 per cent mental. The other half is physical’

New York Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra watches players during a workout at the team's spring training camp at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, February 24, 2011.

Steve Nesius / Reuters

Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra is perhaps best known for being an All-Star catcher, but his quips have garnered plenty of attention throughout the years, too. Whether it was his use of double negatives or a cleverly misused word – e.g. "Pair up in threes" – Berra's "Yogi-isms" revealed his true personality. Below are selected quotes highlighting the former New York Yankees and Mets manager's witty outlook on the game he loved and life in general:

On baseball:

"It ain't over till it's over."

Story continues below advertisement

"It's déjà vu all over again."

"If the people don't want to come out to the ballpark, nobody's going to stop them."

"Baseball is 90 per cent mental. The other half is physical."

"You give 100 per cent in the first half of the game, and if that isn't enough in the second half you give what's left."

"Pair up in threes."

"Bill Dickey is learning me his experience."

"He hits from both sides of the plate. He's amphibious."

Story continues below advertisement

"I always thought that record would stand until it was broken."

"I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won 25 games. What I don't understand is how he lost five."

"I think Little League is wonderful. It keeps the kids out of the house."

"Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets."

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

"All pitchers are liars or crybabies."

Story continues below advertisement

(On the 1973 Mets) "We were overwhelming underdogs."

"I never blame myself when I'm not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn't my fault that I'm not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?"

"So I'm ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face."

"In baseball, you don't know nothing."

"I'm a lucky guy and I'm happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this day necessary."

"I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I'd never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field."

"Slump? I ain't in no slump. I just ain't hitting."

"If you don't catch the ball, you catch the bus home."

"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future."

"A home opener is always exciting, no matter if it's home or on the road."

"It ain't the heat, it's the humility."

"It gets late early out here."

On life:

"You can observe a lot by watching."

"We're lost but we're making great time!"

"The future ain't what it used to be."

"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else."

"Take it with a grin of salt."

"You should always go to other people's funerals, otherwise, they won't come to yours."

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did."

"We made too many wrong mistakes."

"A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore."

"I wish I had an answer to that, because I'm tired of answering that question."

"We have a good time together, even when we're not together."

"If you don't set goals, you can't regret not reaching them."

On golf:

"Ninety per cent of short putts don't go in."

"Eighty per cent of the balls that don't reach the hole don't go in."

"I think they just got through marinating the greens."

On travel gear:

"Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel."

"The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase."

On naps:

"I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four."

On "fan" mail:

"Never answer an anonymous letter."

On his own words:

"I never said most of the things I said."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
We have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We expect to have our new commenting system, powered by Talk from the Coral Project, running on our site by the end of April, 2018. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.