By all accounts, Lawrence Peter Berra led a charmed life, which ended last year at the age of 90. He was on the invasion force at D-Day. He played for the New York Yankees as they built a dynasty. His hitting and catching skills won him three American League MVP awards in the early 1950s. He stayed in the game as a manager and coach.
The nickname “Yogi” evolved during his teenage years in a section of St. Louis known as Dago Hill (how un-PC). It seemed more appropriate as he was recognized as an American philosopher.
Yogi’s legend was at first burnished by his Dago Hill pal Joe Garagiola, whose budding pro career was curtailed by injury. Joe became a TV announcer who tried to be funny all the time and usually wasn’t.
Meanwhile, Yogi’s wisdom is still dissected. The latest effort is by Ric Edelman at CNBC.com.
Yogi: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Ric’s take: “You don’t need to choose between owning stocks and bonds. You should own both.”
Yogi: “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.” Ric: “If you’re wondering if this is the time to get out of the market, just sleep on it.”
Yogi: “I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia; let them walk to school like I did.” Ric: “Don’t make life too easy on your kids – because their college professors, employers and spouse won’t. Prepare them for life instead of letting them think they’ll be able to coast through it.”
Yogi never needed a financial adviser; he knew the biggest secret of all. He and his wife of 65 years, Carmen, lived within their means. As for the quotes, remember this: “I really didn’t say everything I said.”