A baseball great who became known as much for his tortured use of the English language as for his exploits on the field has died.
Yogi Berra, recognized for popularizing a string of “Yogi-isms” such as “It’s deja vu all over again” and “It ain’t over till it’s over,” died Tuesday at 90, according to media reports. He reportedly died in his sleep of natural causes at an assisted living facility in New Jersey.
Berra was not only one of baseball’s greatest characters but also one of its greatest players. As a catcher he was a part of 10 New York Yankees championship teams, including catching the only perfect game ever thrown in the World Series, by Don Larsen in 1956.
Recognized as one of the greatest catchers ever to play the game, Berra was an 18-time All-Star during a career spanning 1946-1965, playing all but his final season for the Yankees. He’s one of only four players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
He continued his success as a manager, becoming the only manager ever to take both the Yankees and the Mets to the World Series.
In later years, Berra became known as a witty elder spokesman for baseball, widely associated with his malapropisms, or “Yogi-isms.” Among the examples of phrases attributed to Berra:
- 90% of the game is half-mental.
- When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
- You can observe a lot by watching.
- Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.
Here’s a clip posted today by Major League Baseball in which Berra talks about his Yogi-isms: