A lot of people are called legends, often because a writer can’t think of anything else to call them. But Yankees catcher Yogi Berra really is a legend and it’s not just because of his Hall of Fame baseball career.
He also contributed so many great lines to the English language. Lines like, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded” and “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
The last one gives a new documentary its title. “It Ain’t Over” was directed by veteran filmmaker Sean Mullin and executive produced by Yogi’s granddaughter, Lindsay Berra.
“It’s really strange, especially in this day and age, to find someone who always did the right thing,” Mullin told the PIX11 Morning News in describing why he was interested in doing the film about Yogi.
Lindsay concurs about her grandfather’s character.
“If you had a problem and you went to grandpa, he would just right away point out what you were supposed to do,” she said. “And you’d be like, ‘oh snap, he is totally right. That is not the easy choice. It’s the right one but it’s the hard choice.'”
The film premiered at the Tribeca Festival, giving viewers insight into an American icon.
Lindsay said her grandfather really did talk the way he’s been portrayed, coming up with so many witticisms, or colloquially, “Yogiisms.”
As for his baseball exploits, Lindsay said Yogi was proud of catching Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He won the series ten times with the Yankees. But the World Series ring he wore was from 1953. The Yankees won their fifth series in a row, something that had never been done before, nor since.
There is one play that apparently stuck with Yogi all his life.
Jackie Robinson stole home in the 1955 World Series and Yogi always maintained Jackie was out at the plate. Lindsay related that she once arrived at her grandfather’s home when he “had a little dementia” and hadn’t quite been with it. But they were watching a show about the implementation of the new rule permitting for video review of disputed plays in Major League Baseball. Lindsay explained to her grandfather how the rule worked.
And, as she told PIX11, Yogi suddenly was on the ball: “He goes, so you ‘mean Jackie would have been out?’”
Despite that play, Lindsay Berra says her grandfather and Jackie Robinson were good friends and their families are still in touch.