Today, the United States lost a legend.
Yogi Berra was a catcher, manager, and coach who played 19 seasons of professional baseball – most of them with the New York Yankees. He was one of only four players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Yogi Berra will always be remembered as a baseball legend, but he was also an American hero. In 1943, the 18 year old Berra enlisted in the US Navy, and participated in the D-Day invasion and Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946, after which he returned to baseball.
But Berra will perhaps be most remembered for his witty and wise sayings which embody American ideals and the American spirit. Here are 10 of our favorites:
1. It ain’t over til it’s over. Lenny Kravitz song aside, if that’s not the most American thing you’ve ever heard, then you need to get out more. And listen to more music…
2. The future ain’t what it used to be. This one’s our “sad but true” entry. America has been hailed throughout history as a land of freedom and opportunity, where each generation looked forward to leaving a better country to their children than the one they found. For the first time in our history, most Americans now believe their children will not be better off than they were. Time to turn this ship around…
3. I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. ‘Merica.
4. Take it with a grin of salt. No matter what happens, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Americans have always come out on top. And we always will.
5. I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself? AKA, if it’s not working, fix it. If you can’t fix it, throw it away and get a new one. Capitalism rocks!
6. You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go. Work smarter, not harder. If you’re good at what you do, you WILL get ahead. Whining doesn’t count, though.
7. You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there. Carefree? This is America. You go or don’t go where you want, and nobody gonna tell you any different.
8. If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them. Again, this is America. Carry on.
9. Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting. Since he brought it up… Our country isn’t going down the drain. We just ain’t hitting right now. Stay tuned the game isn’t over (see #1).
10. If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. And it will never be, which is why the world will always need America; they’ll always need this shining city on a hill.
RIP Yogi Berra. America misses you.