What if Yogi was a Mechanic?
For those who never took an interest in baseball, let me tell you about one of the greats. Lawrence Berra, better known as Yogi. He played almost his entire professional career (1946-1965) with the New York Yankees. After his playing years ended with the 1963 World Series, he was hired as the manager for the same team. Yogi was known for his uncanny way of covering the strike zone (as well as outside of it) with extreme reaches or golf club style swings for low balls. As a catcher he made running down those foul balls look easy. He even managed to have more home runs in one season than strike outs, which made him the go-to clutch hitter in a tight game. (Only 414 strike outs over his entire career of 7555 at bats.)
Berra, may have been one of the most outstanding players of all times but what he’s most noted for is his mangled quotes, such as "It ain't over 'til it's over", while speaking to reporters. His reputation for obscure quotes didn’t go unnoticed by the great Yogi Berra himself, he once stated, "I really didn't say everything I said." For me, and I know I’m not alone on this one. There have been times I’ve blurted out the wrong answer or said something that just didn’t come out right to a customer. You know, you’d like to take it all back, but what you end up trying to do is correct your latest flub without making it any worse.
Now with Yogi, well, it was his nature to say things that just didn’t seem to make sense. You sort of knew what he meant, even if it didn’t sound right at first. I sometimes wonder if he knew he flubbed a statement to a reporter and wishes he could have taken it all back. Most of the time, he would just throw out another off the cuff quote that would go down in baseball history with the rest of his jagged quotes of quotes.
What if instead of career in professional baseball Yogi was an auto mechanic or repair shop owner? Can you imagine the quirky quotes that would have been possible? Here are a few actual quotes from Yogi that all you have to do is imagine him standing at the service counter telling a customer just how it is. Just add the word mechanic, automotive, wrench, or any other phrase that comes to mind that would fit in one of his famous quotes instead of being baseball related. I’m sure it’ll put a smile on your face.
“You can observe a lot by watching”
“The future ain't what it used to be”
“If the world were perfect, it wouldn't be”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up some place else.”
“Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.”
“90% of the game is half mental.”
"I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early."
"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."
"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six."
"I take a two hour nap, from one o'clock to four."
"I made a wrong mistake."
"Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel."
"Think! How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?"
"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
"Nobody goes there anymore; it's too crowded."
"It ain't the heat; it's the humility."
"You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."
"90% of the putts that are short don't go in."
"Do you mean now?" – (When asked what time it was.)
Yogi Berra's second claim to fame is by far for being one of the most quoted figures in the sports history, and there’s no doubt why. I suppose somewhere in the world of automotive there’s a Yogi Berra type individual with the same gift of gab. In the meantime since I don’t where that guy is Yogi will do as a great substitute.
I even find myself slipping into a Yogi’ism when I least expect it. You know, the old foot in mouth syndrome when you’re trying to explain something to a customer and you get all tongue tied and what you wanted to say isn’t really what you said. Yea, I’ve been there… done that. I’m sure Yogi had a quote for a situation like that. Thankfully, there are no cameras and reporters around to record all my flubs and guffaws like old Yogi had to deal with. Me, I’ll just dust myself off and eat a little crow while I apologize and rethink how I’m going to properly say what I wanted to say. It’s not first time that I’ve had to back track something I’ve said, and I’m sure it won’t be last time either.
Like Yogi said to a reporter after a game, "This is like deja vu all over again." Hopefully we can all laugh at our own flubs and take things in stride just like Yogi did. Cause ya know, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”