Saturday mornings, waiting for Mom and Dad to wake up, were a cartoon-fest in my home when I was a boy. Among others, one of my favorite shows was Yogi Bear. Because he was “smarter than the average bear.”
So it was with disbelieving shock that I eventually heard of a Yankees baseball player, Yogi Berra, apparently named after the cartoon star. What parent would play such an awful trick on their child?
Of course, later I discovered it was the other way around; Berra was such a successful ball player (eventually playing in 14 World Series, guiding his team to win 10 of them) that his name was adopted for the star of Saturday mornings.
Today I learned that Berra passed away at the age of 90. His sports accomplishments may never be repeated. But it was his unique way of twisting the English language that was truly one-of-a-kind.
Some examples as summarized by the Associated Press:
On selecting a restaurant: “Nobody goes there any more. It’s too crowded.”
On travel directions: “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”
On being told he looked cool: “You don’t look so hot yourself.”
On seemingly repeated events: “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
On economics: “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
On being asked what time it was: “You mean now?”
His approach toward baseball: “90% is mental. The other half is physical.”
On his team’s diminishing pennant chances (and now, his life): “It ain’t over til it’s over.”
On death: “Always go to other people’s funerals. Otherwise they won’t go to yours.”
Yogi’s spontaneous comments were bewildering, hilarious and insightful all at the same time. He was smarter than the average bear.
There will never be another quite like him.
My greatest joy in life is my family. I know, that sounds like the comment you’re supposed to make as a man and father. All I can say is I literally shake my head in wonder at the family I have: my wife Beryl; my daughter Barclay and son-in-law Vince, their four daughters, Bella, Brynn, Brooke and Blake; my son Alec, my son Conor and daughter-in-law Bonnie, and their daughter Gemma. Every one of them is a genuine gift. Beyond that, I have a calling that I live out through Peregrine Ministries. It is to help men: Understand their identity in Christ, Embrace their role as men, and Live out their God-given calling in life. Bottom line is I’m convinced men matter and I want to help them live life on purpose.