Seems fitting with the 2015 World Series under way this week that I take the time to mention the passing of Yogi Berra, two weeks ago at age 90. What was the secret to his longevity?
Never having met the man, I can’t say for sure, but it strikes me (no pardon on the pun) that he simply loved what he did all the way – playing baseball. In addition to that, it can be said that he naturally projected his colourful, happy and humorous disposition, someone who didn’t take himself too seriously. Unique, one of a kind.
As a boy, my one season little league baseball career was abysmal and in large part due to the fact that I couldn’t hit the ball. Turns out it was determined that was because – I didn’t see the ball, until it was at my nose. After I got my first pair of glasses, I became no better at the game even though in my little Walter Mitty world I thought I was – guess who? Yogi Berra. Every boy collected baseball cards and you either wanted to be Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris or Yogi Berra.
Years later, after those baseball cards got lost in the shuffle, whenever I prepared content and slides for seminars or speaking engagements on career management and entrepreneurship, I found Yogi Berra helpful again, if not for improving my boyhood RBI, for another reason. Among many things, he well known for his “Yogi-isms”, which as he once said, “… get to the truth in a hurry”.
Wit and a slightly irreverent sense of humour can go a long way. Maybe that was his longevity not so secret formula.
So in these closing weeks of the baseball season, when the crack of the bat hits the autumn air, maybe we can gamely try to run for the bases, not worry about the odd foul ball and think of it this way – the Yogi way…
“When you come to the fork in the road – take it.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”
Let’s play ball. Long Live Yogi Berra!