by Todd Hawley
Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Well, it must be baseball season again because people are moaning about the Giants and it's also time for more of my baseball book reviews. This one is on the book titled The Yogi Book: I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said. Now Yogi's playing career was mostly a bit before my time, but growing up I must have heard plenty of Yogiisms, pearls of wisdom like, "It ain't over till it's over," "You can observe a lot by watching," "When you come to a fork in the road, take it," and so forth. Well, I remember seeing this book a while back at the local Barnes & Noble but never got around to buying it. Whether it was due to my long time hatred of the Yankees or of huge corporate monoliths like Barnes & Noble, or my being broke at the time, I'm really not sure.
So when I saw a copy fall off the shelf on the floor at the local used book store recently, I realized it was my cue to grab it, and I raced home to read it. The book is actually a very fast and fun read, as Yogi explains the origins to many of his famous sayings. When I was younger, I derived hours of laughter from his sayings; now that I am older (and supposedly wiser), I realize that while Yogi's grammar may tempt English teachers to jump out the nearest window, there is also a tremendous amount of sense to what Yogi is saying. "It ain't over till it's over," for example: What he's saying is, don't ever give up until it really is over. When he describes the 1969 Mets as saying "They were overwhelming underdogs," he wasn't kidding! Or telling his Yankee players during a 1964 game when most weren't paying attention, "You can observe a lot by watching," he was politely telling them to watch the game they were in.
One of his most telling quotes is a comment he made to Bud Selig. Fans weren't going to games because of the 1994 strike and he told ol "Bud Lite," "If people don't want to come to the ballpark, how are you going to stop them?" Good point. Reading through this book made me realize truly what an intelligent man Yogi really is and what a joy that baseball had him around for so long. And if you're looking for an alternately hilarious and also thought-provoking look at a legend, this is a good place to start. Yogi just published another book about his philosophies. Just as soon as I string together a few bucks, I'll grab that one too.
Copyright © 2001 by Todd Hawley.Last updated 6/6/01
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