Yogi’s ‘It Ain’t Over’ Saying Marks 40th Anniversary

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most beloved, frequently quoted of our lifetime

ABOVE VIDEO: The legendary Yogi Berra tells his own story, “In His Own Words,” in an excerpt from this critically acclaimed national television special.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In a recent article excerpted below, my brother Tom’s and my second cousin, MLB.com multimedia correspondent Lindsay Berra, provides a unique perspective into the life of her famous grandfather, not as the three-time American League MVP Hall of Fame Yankee catcher, but as coach and manager of the Mets during their “Amazin’” stretch from 1965 to 1975.   

MLB.com multimedia correspondent Lindsay Berra, right, provides a unique perspective into the life of her famous grandfather, not as the three-time American League MVP Hall of Fame Yankee catcher, but as coach and manager of the Mets during their “Amazin’” stretch from 1965 to 1975.  About those years, Lindsay writes, “But I also heard stories about the 10 years my Grampa spent coaching and managing the Mets, years my Gram (Carmen Berra, above left) refers to as 'just plain fun.'"

MLB.com multimedia correspondent Lindsay Berra, right, provides a unique perspective into the life of her famous grandfather, not as the three-time American League MVP Hall of Fame Yankee catcher, but as coach and manager of the Mets during their “Amazin’” stretch from 1965 to 1975. About those years, Lindsay writes, “But I also heard stories about the 10 years my Grampa spent coaching and managing the Mets, years my Gram (Carmen Berra, above left) refers to as ‘just plain fun.'” (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

About those years, Lindsay writes, “But I also heard stories about the 10 years my Grampa spent coaching and managing the Mets, years my Gram (Carmen Berra) refers to as ‘just plain fun.'”

Over the past 30 years, we’ve had the pleasure of spending time with Uncle Yogi and Aunt Carmen, both here in Florida during their annual Spring Training trips, and at their home in Montclair, New Jersey.  It never ceases to amaze that, although still one of the most recognizable celebrities in the country, he remains one of the most modest, genuine, good-hearted and affable individuals you could ever meet.

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair chronicles those incredible Yankee teams from the 40s, 50s and 60s, and his truly amazing career as a player, coach, manager and now American cultural icon.  It is regarded as one of the best baseball museums in the country, and provided a great venue for us to showcase the Palermo family’s exceptionally rare MLB game-used bat collection from the mid-50s.

‘WHEN YOU COME TO THE FORK IN THE ROAD…’

During one of our trips to Montclair, we were driving back to his house from the museum when he stopped and said, “Right here is the famous fork in the road.”

Yogi Berra, above with Jim Palermo, left, and Tom Palermo, is as an honorary member of the SCSHOF nominating committee.

Yogi Berra, above with Jim Palermo, left, and Tom Palermo, at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair, New Jersey. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Tom and I gave each other the puzzled look and asked Yogi what he was talking about.  He pointed out to us that the street into his neighborhood ended in a “T” so that you had to go either right or left.  It just so happens that both streets merge after making a wide circle through the neighborhood and Carmen and Yogi’s home was equidistance around the circle from the T.  After the “Aha” moment sunk in, Yogi’s oft-quoted direction to friends coming to his house, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it,” made perfect sense to both of us.

If we add very analytical and logical (in his own way) to modest, genuine, good-hearted and affable, we start to understand why he is one of the most beloved and frequently quoted persons of our lifetime – perhaps in history.

Remembering ‘Grampa’ Yogi’s Mets Career

By Lindsay Berra, Multimedia Correspondent for MLB.com

NEW YORK – Saunter on by the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center’s booth at the 2013 T-Mobile All-Star FanFest at the Jacob Javitz Center, and you’ll learn about the place built in honor of Lorenzo Pietro Berra.

YOGI BERRA: It’ Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

YOGI BERRA IN ’73: It’ Ain’t Over ‘Till It’s Over. (Image for SpaceCoastDaily.com)

The Museum is on the campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls, N.J. There, you can see the 10 glittering World Series rings Berra won as a Yankees player, take a gander at one of the 35-inch, 35-ounce Louisville Slugger R43 bats the 5-foot-8 Berra routinely wielded, and read the love letters he wrote to wife, Carmen, as a rookie. The whole place is a testament to the life and career of the Greatest Living Yankee.

Which is why everyone always forgets he was also a Met.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Mets, who Berra managed to a National League pennant. It was during the ’73 season that he spawned his now famous saying, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

In 1974, Berra managed the NL All-Star team to victory in Pittsburgh as a Met. That ring, along with the World Series ring Berra earned as the first-base coach of the 1969 “Miracle Mets,” is on display at the Museum, too.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY ON MLB.com.


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