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If you like Yogi Berra's story, you might also like:
Hank Aaron,
Julius Erving,
Peyton Manning,
Willie Mays,
Pete Rozelle,
Bill Russell and
John Wooden

Related Links:
Yogi Berra - Official Website

Yogi Berra Museum

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Yogi Berra
 
Yogi Berra
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Yogi Berra Interview (page: 6 / 6)

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  Yogi Berra

Its been 40 years since you played your last game, but you're still held in enormous affection by the American public. How do you account for that?

Yogi Berra: I don't know. Maybe it's my Yogi-isms. I don't know.


You know, a lot of guys, I can walk down, sit at dinner, say, "Say a Yogi-ism." I say, "I don't even know I say 'em! I don't know. I can't say 'em." But my kids could catch me right away. Then, I could be at the museum, my museum in New Jersey, at Montclair State, they say, "Dad, you said another one." I didn't even know what the heck I said. Joe always tells me, he don't know, but he's got to think a little bit. But, then it comes out right, he says. But, it takes a little time. They just pop up, you know. And, I have fun. People come up to me, like at the airport. They look at you. "No, you can't be." You know, "You can't be Yogi Berra." Yeah, a lot of people tell me that in New York, I look like him. I have fun with the people at the airport, too, saying -- a lot of guys say, "You look like Yogi Berra." "Yeah, a lot of people tell me that."


Has it ever been difficult being Yogi Berra?

Yogi Berra: No, pretty good. I like it. I really do. Like I said, I met a lot of good people. And baseball, I've made a lot of friends. I love baseball. I still do. I go out and watch the Yankees. I'd go out to Shea once in a while. I like to see it. I watch it on television. I like sports. That's what I like. I like sports.

What it is about sports that you like so much? Why?

Yogi Berra: It's a good game. That's why I like it. It's a good conditioning game. Healthy game, you don't get hurt, you know. A little bit. And I've been very fortunate. At my age, I work out. I do. I still go work out. I like it. I don't lift weights. I don't know if the weights hurt them guys now today, I don't know. I like to stretch, do my walking, and do my exercise.

If a young person came to you for advice, and said, "Yogi, I'd like to be a professional ball player." What would you say to him?


Yogi Berra: Work hard at it. It's not easy. Anytime you got a chance to hit, hit! And, that's what we did. And, practice what you're doing. You know, fielding, whatever position you play. I never caught until I turned pro. I played second base, I pitched a little bit, and I played outfield. And, they thought I had a good arm, but I didn't know where I was going. That's when they got hold of Dickey. Like I said, I was a terrible catcher, but I had somebody to teach me.

[ Key to Success ] Preparation


What would you say to them if they asked you about steroids, and performance-enhancing drugs?

Yogi Berra: Oh, heck. I don't know. I don't even know what steroids look like, to tell you the truth. I really don't. The only thing that I took was a vitamin pill. Dunkin' Donuts and a cup of coffee in the morning, and playing ball.

What if they asked you about baseball today?

Yogi Berra: Well, it's changed a little bit.


They're making the parks small. They want to see home runs today. It seems like it, they want to do that and I get a kick out of them. You know, they run around the park. You know, they jog around the park. And, I used to tell them when I was coaching, I said, "Do you jog when you run to first base?" We used to do 20 laps, 100 yards, and walk back. A hundred yards. After every spring training game, we always did. Pitchers used to run from foul-line to foul-line, and they used to do it during the season while he wasn't pitching. The starters would do it. 'Cause they're all four bases. Running was a lot to us. They made you run.

[ Key to Success ] Preparation


Some kids today may not know what a "Yogi-ism" is. Do you have a favorite one that you would share?


Yogi Berra: "When you come to the fork in the road, take it." "It ain't over 'til it's over." "Nobody goes there, it's too crowded." "It gets early out here." But, like I said, they just come out. I wish I knew, though because I could make a million. But, I don't do it on purpose, that's the bad part about it. I don't do it on purpose. My wife tells me, "Say it right."


Is there anything in your career you'd like to do over again?

Yogi Berra Interview Photo
Yogi Berra: No. If I had to come back to life again, I'd like to be a ballplayer. Like I said, where could you make the money, working three hours and having fun?

There is no question about what you've accomplished in baseball; it's been a singular career. But did you ever think that you would be thought of as a philosopher, as a folk hero? A New York Times columnist called you that a couple of weeks ago.

Yogi Berra: I don't know. No, I don't know the name of the other thing. I don't know. But I got my museum. I have fun at the museum with the kids we have come there. You know, usually when you get a museum named after you, you're dead. And I'm still alive to see it. And I have my granddaughter, three months old, over there at the museum today. She come over. I got 10 grandkids. They're all good. And I've got a wife, I've been married 55 years. Not bad, either.

Not bad, either. All right. Thank you very much. It's been a pleasure and a privilege.

And, I thank you.

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This page last revised on Apr 28, 2008 09:12 EDT
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