Yankees fans who want to enjoy a Double-A game Friday night on Aug. 5 need to head to TD Bank Ballpark. The Somerset Patriots are holding Yogi Berra Day.

The first thousand fans receive a Yogi Berra Bobblehead.

Gates at 6:00. Around 6:40, a pre-game ceremony will have Berra family members including his sons Dale and Larry and his granddaughter Lindsay. The concourse will have Yogi Berra memorabilia. The night includes a scavenger hunt and Berra’s Italian roots will also be celebrated with Italian-American night.

That means one of his favs, toasted ravioli, will be on the menu, along with grilled Premio rope sausage and Rita’s Italian Ice. This sounds like a fun night.

The National Italian American Foundation East Coast Gala
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To a casual fan, Yogi Berra is an old guard ball player who said all those funny malapropisms. (See the list of his greatest quotes at the end of this piece.)

To a true fan, he’s a Hall of Famer who had incredible stats. When he retired he held the record for most plate appearances (8,359), hits (2,150), home runs (358), runs (1,175) and RBIs (1,430) by a catcher.

In a 17-year stretch from 1946 to 1963 with the New York Yankees, he won 10 World Series championships. He was the AL MVP three times. Was picked for 18 All-Star games. He later played for the Mets. Still later he was a manager for both teams and as manager saw both teams back to World Series appearances.

The list of his accomplishments proves he was far more intelligent than he gets credit for. Yogi’s colorful verbal gaffes painted an unfair picture of one of the true greats of the game. But they were also so charming and so often funny they only make him more of a legend. Or maybe also a bit of mythology, because a few famous quotes are debated if he really ever said them at all. Which led to him once saying, “I never said most of the things I said.” A memorable quote about his memorable quotes.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
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Sportswriters loved the guy. There were so many gems.

Such as …

“Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.”

“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”

“I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.”

“Never answer an anonymous letter.”

“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

“Even Napoleon had his Watergate.”

“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”

Once, when streakers were on the field and Yogi was asked if they were naked men or naked women, he allegedly said, “I don’t know. They had bags over their heads.”

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”

“No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.”

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

And one that was suddenly less funny and more poignant when Yogi Berra died in 2015, “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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