This is the third in a series of inspirational books by ex-Yankee catcher and manager Yogi Berra. A three-time MVP and Hall of Famer, Yogi played and managed in a record-setting seventy-five World Series games during a career that spanned a total of thirty-eight years.
Fans will point to Berra as one of the all-time greats of baseball, but he is probably better known among the general public for his wacky off-field comments to reporters. Yogi could string together a sentence that made absolutely no sense, but still said it all. His mangled maxims became known as Yogisms, and many of them are recorded in this slim volume of essays written by Yogi in collaboration with Dave Kaplan.
"The future ain't what it used to be."
That's certainly true when it comes to recounting Berra's rise to stardom in the big leagues. Few of us today can imagine our sons dropping out of school after eighth grade, going to work in a shoe factory, and then at age seventeen landing a job as catcher for the New York Yankees. But that's the path Yogi took, and while he admits that quitting school left "a void in my life," he advises readers to trust their instincts and never look back once a life-altering decision has been made.
"We have a good time together, even when we're not together."
Berra's recollections of his youthful days in The Hill neighborhood of St. Louis include numerous stories of his family and his childhood buddy and fellow baseball player Joe Garagiola. He devotes one chapter of the book to his wife, Carmen, whom he met when she was waitressing in a St. Louis restaurant. After fifty years of marriage, Yogi's advice to young couples boils down to this: keep a sense of humor, and build your marriage on trust.
"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."
Yogi's association with the most successful franchise in baseball history ended in 1985 when he was fired by outspoken Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. The ex-catcher has a lot to say about loyalty in professional sports and the business world. He urges readers to retain a sense of trust in themselves and others. "If people trust you,there's nothing you can't accomplish."
"It's déjà vu all over again."
Although the essays are all new, it's the same old Yogi still telling it like it is. Fans of baseball will appreciate the candor and style of one of the greatest "boys of summer" in this entertaining and thought-provoking little book.