I wasn’t feeling it today, didn’t really find anything I was all that interested in to write about in this Popcorn Stand when I came across this date in history in 1990 when Mary Robinson became the first woman to be elected president of Ireland. So I thought to myself this would be a great excuse to write about one of my favorite people, Yogi Berra.
Yogi died a couple years ago and of course he’s remembered for hundreds of things he said or as Yogi put it, “I didn’t say all the things that I said.” That’s an actual quote of Yogi’s when he tried to point out many of the quotes attributed to him weren’t actually comments he made.
But when I read about the first female president of Ireland that reminded me of another thing Yogi actually said when reacting to a Jewish man, who was elected mayor of Dublin, Ireland: “Only in America.”
My favorite Yogi story happened on a hot day at Yankee Stadium when he was well-dressed in a nice suit. The mayor’s wife told Yogi, “you look pretty cool in that suit” to which Yogi replied, “you don’t look so hot yourself.”
Yogi was actually a smart man who knew just when it was the right time to negotiate his contract with Casey Stengel. Even as a young boy when all the kids were asked what position they wanted to play, Yogi noticed nobody was choosing the position of catcher, so he ran as fast as he could to home plate.
And the reason why Yogi’s quotes are so memorable is because there’s actually truth to them. Like “You can observe a lot by watching” or “this game is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.” Yogi’s math may have been off, but Yogi still made a good point about how important the mental approach to baseball was.
And, of course, the day Yogi died the first thing that came to mind was when Yogi said, “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
So on a day when I wasn’t feeling it, thank you Yogi for reminding me I can only write what I write.
— Charles Whisnand