Yogi Berra: The man behind baseball’s biggest shots

Yogi Berra took a lot of ribs when she joined the New York Yankees in the 1940s. The Pinstripes were the main baseball organization in the Major League, and their new defense team was told it was too ugly to be a Yankee. However, he continued his extraordinary career at MLB, first as a player and then as a manager, making peculiar and often sharp observations throughout, including “It’s not over until it’s over” (although there are doubts whether he ever uttered the phrase). The new documentary about Berra refers to this “drinking” in its title – It Ain’t Over, directed by Sean Mullin.

The film is a sweet tribute to Berra, who died in 2015 at the age of 90. The world premiered recently at the Tribeca Film Festival and will also be screened at the Nantucket Film Festival, which begins on June 22nd. Bersay’s grandson Lindsay Berra, who is in the film, praises her grandfather’s response to his teammates’ jokes about his appearance.

“He had a witty response, ‘I’ve never seen anyone hit him in the face,'” says Lindsay Berra.

Yogicisms have become part of American culture, with the last volume of quotations familiar to Bartlett containing eight, more than any, US president. Among them: “Mass? I’m not in the lurch. I’m just not hitting. “As a tester of Yoo-Hoost’s Aflacin products, he played against that person, confusing Aflac’s party with claims like,” and they’ll give you money that’s as good as money. “

The film’s panels connect a variety of drinks and testimonies from other sages throughout history, from Confucius to Einstein. “If you come to a fork in the road, take it,” says Robert Frost.

Asked which grandfather’s quotes are his favorites, Lindsay Berra replies that she likes existential quotes such as “The future is not what she was” and “If the world were perfect, it would be no more.” He notes that the Berra family has embraced the philosophy of the road branch, originally described as Montclair in New Jersey, where both branches took the Yogi home. The family uses Berra’s statement as a reminder to stop the delay.

The family took part in a documentary, joining forces with West Point graduate Mullin, who served on the National Map as a first responder on 9/11. At Ground Zero, he was the officer in charge for several months, performing stand-up comedy in the evenings. His multifaceted career gave him perspective. In addition to quotes and other unusual moments, the film tries to portray Berrat as a Yankees manager on a team bus due to a loud mouthpiece session or his concern about the emergence of a certain cartoon character named Yogi Bear.

“It’s something that is very personal to me,” says Mullin. “It’s very hard for society to let someone be both funny and good. You could be one or the other. I was a standup comedian for a while, then I went to West Point. People didn’t know how to put me. If you can’t fit in the box, people will get nervous. .

He was born in Lorenzo Pietro Berrana in 1925 and grew up in the Italian-American department of St. Louis. When Berra sat cross-country watching the games with her arms and legs, it invited her to compare to yoga. During World War II, Berra took part in a dangerous task for the navy on D-Day. A devoted father, he exchanged sharp love letters with his wife, Carmen, whom he met as a waitress at a Biggie restaurant in St. Louis. The restaurant inspired his quote, “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded,” while Yogi and Carmen’s 64-year marriage made him think, “We’re together even when we’re not together.”

Yogi Berra shares a gift he received during the day before the Yankee Stadium in 1959.
Yogi Berra shares a gift he received during the day before the game at Yankee Stadium in 1959. Photo: I Collection / Diamond Images / Getty Images

As a player, Berra was really good. His 1430 hits are the most catcher. He excelled at hitting bad balls and going through the clutch. He and his Yankees teammate Joe DiMaggio are the only players to have hit 350 or more home runs in their career, knocking out less than 400 times. Between 1946 and 1963, Berra won three American League MVP awards and a record 10 World Championship titles. As the film notes, he crossed various eras from Babe Ruth to DiMaggio to Mickey Mantle.

“Even now, I think he’s underestimated as a player, and I want the documentary to make people remember how good he was,” says Lindsay Berra.

And it’s not just his family that recognizes his size. “We were lucky enough to interview so many incredible people in the film,” says Mullin, who was particularly moved by the opinion of one of the experts: “John Thorn is an official MLB historian and we have it written … saying that Yogi is the biggest catcher to ever play the game.” “

Berra still did well after the days of play. He added three championship rings as a coach – one with the New York Wild during the 1969 miracle season and two with the Yankees reviving in the mid-1970s. As a manager, he led two different teams in the World Championships, the 1964 Yankees and the 1972 Forests. Although both lost, the rise of the 72-year-old Forest team to the National League pennant inspired another yoga ism – “You’re not out before math,” which turned out to be over until it’s over. “

Referring to Berra’s longtime Yankee manager, Lindsay Berra says, “One of the things Casey Stengel said about his grandfather was that he could fall into the sewer and come out with a golden watch … I know the players enjoyed playing for him and that he was very good to put boys in positions for success.

However, his second job as Yankees manager ended in just 16 games in the 1985 season, when he was fired by owner George Steinbrenner through his subordinate. Berra’s son Dale was a player on this team. Shooting was a difficult stretch for both father and son. Yogi promised never to visit Yankee Stadium again, while Dale was later involved in a drug scandal. Dale got rid of drugs after his father’s harsh love and published a memoir of his experiences. As for Yogi, he and Steinbrenner finally agreed to motivate the team’s broadcaster Suzyn Waldman. As the reunion stormed, Carmen Berra intervened to ease tensions. In 1999, Yogi ended his 14-year-old exile and returned to Yankee Stadium for Yogi Berra Day, where Larsen, a world-class thrower, took part. Hit the square? Another perfect game by Yankee David Cone against Montreal Expose.

“I think Bob Costas said it best in the documentary,” says Mullin. “George Steinbrenner was a polarizing figure, but he obviously loved yankees and yoga, and their relationship was tense.” He adds: “The big stories involve difficult situations. I think the way it finally turned out was great and the best.

How to summarize Yogi Berra? Well, among the savages, he once noticed a rising player, Ron Swoboda, trying to defeat Frank Robinson. Drink Tip: “If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.” Yogi Berra was truly inimitable.

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