YOGI: It Ain't Over. . . by Yogi with Tom Horton Berra

YOGI: It Ain't Over. . .

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Everybody's favorite goofy ballplayer tells is like it was--with a little help from his friends--in this goofy, chatty, entertaining autobiography. Here is the life and thought of the man who said, ""Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel,"" and, ""No one goes there any more; it's too crowded."" In fact, Berra devotes his lead-off chapter, ""Sayings,"" to his reputation for scrambled talk, confirming some bons mots, denying others. Behind his seemingly pinhead comments, however, lies a sawy baseball mind that has led its owner through a Hall-of-Fame career as a catcher and three managerial stints with the Yankees. In brief testimonials, a host of celebrities--Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Catfish Hunter, Billy Martin, Angle Dickinson, etc.--pay tribute to that savvy, and to Berra's humaneness (""It was an honor to say I played for Yogi Berra,"" says Don Mattingly). All this good feeling cushions Berra's own words, which are a near stream-of-consciousness rush of simple but often tart commentary about baseball subjects as varied as Babe Ruth's charisma, the (Ted) Williams Shift, Casey Stengel, ballplayers and drinking, and the difficulties of managing (""A player who did not think, and I had to think about his not doing it, was Joe Pepitone. . .""; ""You have to think to manage. You also have to think about what you are thinking""). There are some childhood memories tossed in too (""Playing sports gave me a happy childhood. At least I think it was happy, but I sure did not like school""), and a glimpse of Berra storming the Normandy beach on D-Day, but mostly there's the sunny baseball life that's led Berra to conclude, ""Most everything is all right with me."" Coauthor Horton does a fine job of helping to convey Berra's inimitable voice, glowing with warmth and skewed common sense. Readers who insist on linear, logical talk may balk at Berra's merry-go-round mind, but the man's many fans may snatch this up--and they'll be glad that they did.

Pub Date: April 17th, 1989
Publisher: McGraw-Hill