25 Funny Quotes of Yogi Berra
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You can vote for your favorite articles to be featured. In what way is Snickers satisfying? Is a Raven Like a Writing Desk? Does Mads Mikkelsen not speak one line of dialogue in Valhalla Rising?
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Did I really move to LA? Gee, the mannequins at Old Navy sure are hot! I’m a kite, and I will ruin your day! Ich Bin Ein Celebrity Juden, Get Me Out Of Here! What’s a nigga gotta do to get a Pee Review around here? Do I need to provide this?
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The top 25 Bushisms of all time. The 43rd president’s accidental wit and wisdom. Read more of Slate’s coverage of the end of Bush’s presidency. I started gathering Bush’s verbal slip-ups while covering his first presidential campaign. From the first one we published in Slate in October 1999—”The important question is, how many hands have I shaked? Since then, I’ve collected—with help from Slate readers—more than 500 Bushisms.
What follows is a list of my 25 favorites. There were many to choose from, but in my opinion, the greatest Bushism of all was delivered on Aug. 5, 2004, when the president declared: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we. Jacob Weisberg is chairman and editor-in-chief of The Slate Group and author of The Bush Tragedy. People often assume that because I’ve spent the past nine years collecting Bushisms, I must despise George W.
It helps his case that Bush, like Yogi Berra, is in on the joke. This was clear from the first White House correspondents’ dinner, in March 2001, when the new president read from the first collection of Bushisms, which he described as like Mao’s “little red book,” only not in Chinese. Now ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “you have to admit that in my sentences I go where no man has gone before. Being able to laugh at yourself is a rare quality in a leader.
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Bush can do that Bill Clinton couldn’t. Unfortunately, as we bid farewell to Bushisms, we must conclude that the joke was mainly on us. Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family. Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning? Too many good docs are getting out of the business. GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.
Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican. You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test. I’m the decider, and I decide what is best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense. See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.
I’ve heard he’s been called Bush’s poodle. And so, General, I want to thank you for your service. And I appreciate the fact that you really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who are trying to defeat us in Iraq. We ought to make the pie higher.
There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again. And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it. We’ll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers.
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It’s important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It’s not only life of babies, but it’s life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet. One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures. People say, ‘How can I help on this war against terror? Well, I think if you say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, that’s trustworthiness. I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep on the soil of a friend. I think it’s really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive.
The best way to do it is to convince little kids how to—the beauty of playing baseball. Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream. You know, when I campaigned here in 2000, I said, I want to be a war president. No president wants to be a war president, but I am one. I see it all the time when people come up to me and say, ‘I don’t want you to let me down again. I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office. Please forward this error screen to 209.
I really didn’t say everything I said. You guys are trying to stop Musial in 15 minutes while the National League ain’t stopped him in 15 years. From the kids on the neighborhood Stag Athletic Club baseball team on the Hill. We went to a movie one afternoon, and there was one of those yogi characters in the picture. Coming out of the joint, one of the kids looked at me, started laughing, and said: “Hey, Berra walks just like that yogi in the movie.
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What’s wrong with readin’ comic books? I don’t understand this kiddin’ about readin’ comic books. When I get through with ’em the other players on our club borrow them from me. Nobody makes a fuss about that.
Before the payoff game in a World Series with the Dodgers in Brooklyn, Casey Stengel said in the clubhouse, “Well, this is it. Now who do you want to pitch? The 40 guys in the clubhouse shouted “Raschi! Dodgers must have heard it across the way. Lopat was the cutest of the gang, the easiest to catch because he had almost perfect control of every pitch at different speeds.
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They couldn’t wait for what looked so easy to hit and they’d swing at his motion. I never yet saw anybody hit the baseball with their face. When they stop kidding me, I’m in trouble. As quoted in “Stupid, You Say? My ambition is to hit . I gotta shake hands with himǃ That’s one guy I know I’m better lookin’ than. This game is getting funnier and funnier.
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We do everything but punch ’em in the nose and here we are all tied up in the Series. We flatten ’em by scores of 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0 and we still need one more to win. Don’t write this, but even if they beat us tomorrow, we’re the better club. Sometimes I think there must be two Yogi Berras. There is the one who grew up on the Hill in St, Louis, who’s been playing ball for the Yankees for fourteen years, has a beautiful wife named Carmen and three boys, Larry, Timmy, and Dale, and lives in a nice house in Montclair, N.
Then there’s the one you read about in the papers who is a kind of a comic-strip character, like Li’l Abner or Joe Palooka. I don’t know that Yogi at all, because he doesn’t exist. People seem to find it hard to believe, but I’m a very serious person. It wasn’t luck that I became a ballplayer.
I never wanted to be anything else and I never considered anything else and I worked my tail off for it. To say that I don’t have any worries or nerves is the opposite of the truth. I worry about not being able to get around on the fast ball any more, I worry about getting hurt and having to quit playing before my time. For a while, he was far better than the team around him, and he could give me fits. Nicholas Acocella and Donald Dewey, p.
It’s unbelievable that Phil had to wait so long to get in to the Hall of Fame. Maris’s home run record in 1961 has become something of a curse. It ain’t over till it’s over. The origin and date of first occurrence for most Yogiisms is unknown. These quotes from his writings are listed here alphabetically.
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When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It! He’s learning me all of his experience. I knew the record would stand until it was broken. The Yogi book: I really didn’t say everything I said! Workman Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0761110909, p. Originally from a congratulatory telegram to Johnny Bench on breaking his record for home runs by a catcher. I looked like this when I was young, and I still do.
Then again, I might have said ’em, but you never know. If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball’s Greatest Heroes, Hyperion, 2002, ISBN 0786867752, p. If you ask me a question I don’t know, I’m not going to answer. Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p.
If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him. If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there. Variant: You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going because you might not get there. Variant: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else.
It gets late early out there. Variant: It gets late awfully early around here. Referring to the adverse sun conditions in left field at Yankee Stadium. Thank you for making this day necessary. Said on Yogi Berra day in 1947 in St.
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By his account, he asked a teammate to write a speech, and he misspoke, saying “necessary” instead of “possible. We made too many wrong mistakes. On why the Yankees lost the 1960 series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. You can observe a lot by watching.
He was on a passenger jet at the time, so he was not sure in which time zone he was. If people don’t want to come to the ballpark how are you going to stop them? The quote “If people don’t want to come, nothing will stop them” first appears in 1952, credited to music impresario Sol Hurok. It was first attributed to Berra in 1962. It’s déjà vu all over again. Found in a poem by Jim Prior published in a Florida newspaper in 1962. Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.
This line has been attributed to Berra and also to Philadelphia Philles manager Danny Ozark. Variant: Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical. The earliest known appearance of this quote in print is Walter J. 11, but later embraced it in The Yogi Book: I really didn’t say everything I said!
Quote Investigator traces this saying to the 19th century. The future ain’t what it used to be. The future, like everything else, is no longer quite what it used to be. It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future The earliest citations of this proverb, from the mid-twentieth century, refer to it as Danish in origin.
Variant: It’s so crowded, nobody goes there. Found in newspapers from the early twentieth century. Not attributed to Berra until 1962. When you come to a fork in the road, take it. Also in What Time Is It? Berra says this is part of driving directions to his house in Montclair, New Jersey.