Most Yankees fans probably remember Hall of Famer Yogi Berra for his personality. His quirky quotes, or “Yogi-isms,” we know all too well.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
It’s like déjà vu all over again.
Perhaps the most famous of all: It ain’t over till it’s over.
A new documentary from filmmaker Sean Mullin, “It Ain’t Over,” pulls back the curtain to view the man behind Berra’s personality. Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra was not only a reliable quote, but easily one of the best baseball players and managers/coaches that nobody’s ever noticed.
A unique cast of characters gathers to tell this story. Berra’s children and grandchildren lead the way. Former teammates and players he coached fondly recall the man dubbed “too clumsy, too slow” by Hall of Fame executive Branch Rickey. What’s a Yankees documentary without award-winning comedian and Bronx Bombers superfan Billy Crystal?
Above all, “It Ain’t Over” tells the story of a man who wanted to be appreciated. And why wouldn’t he? Berra played alongside greats like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle in his prime, two of baseball’s greatest. His winning three MVP trophies seems almost shocking.
Except it isn’t. Berra, as the film educates, was a great “bad ball” hitter who slugged 358 home runs in 19 years. Better yet, he only struck out 414 times in 2,120 games. That’s almost 300 less than Ted Williams accumulated in the same number of seasons.
Fans will also get the full story behind Berra’s messy divorce from the Yankees when he was fired as manager in the 80s, a decision compared to “firing Winnie the Pooh” according to comedian Robert Klein.
For Yankees fans young and old, “It Ain’t Over” will be a welcome trip back in time and ripe with some nostalgia. For the average baseball fan, the film is a delightful tale of baseball and humanity they might otherwise have missed.
“It Ain’t Over” opens in theaters in New York and the general tri-state area and Los Angeles on May 12, what would have been Berra’s 98th birthday.
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