Considering the incredibly impressive accomplishments of the athletic career of Yogi Bera, it is hard to believe how many times he was disrespected during his career with the Yankees and then the Mets. He was the baseball American League MVP 3 times in his career and won an incredible 10 World Series as a catcher with the New York Yankees. He is considered one of the greatest catchers in the history of Major League Baseball. Yogi hit 358 home runs with 2150 hits and 1430 runs batted in. Yogi was also the manager of both the Mets and The Yankees and almost won a world series with the Yankees in 1964, only losing in a game 7 heartbreaker to the Cardinals.
In addition to Bera’s hall-of-fame baseball career, Yogi also served in the Navy and was one of the thousands who landed on the beaches of Normandy during the invasion on June 6, 1944, and was posthumously honored for his military service by President Barack Obama. In order to get Bera honored, his grandaughter conducted an extensive social media campaign after the Federal Government suggested they had to find witnesses of Bera’s service during the Normandy invasion.
In 1984 Bera was named the manager of the Yankees along with a commitment of 2 years. Unfortunately, lowlife George Steinbrenner was still in charge of the Yankees, and after a slow start in the first 16 games, Steinbrenner fired Bera, once again putting Billy Martin back in charge of the team. It seemed back in those dark days of the Yankees, Steinbrenner, and his sick ego enjoyed firing people, just for the pleasure of showing that he was the boss. Due to his cruel dismissal in 1984, Bera refused to ever go to Yankee Stadium again, a boycott that lasted for 14 years until Steinbrenner finally apologized to him at a dinner attended by Bera’s wife.
This excellent documentary about one of the most beloved sports figures of all time included broadcaster Bob Costas, comedian Billy Crystal, all of Yogi Bera’s sons, and his granddaughter. Yogi’s son Dale, also made it to the major leagues and played for 10 years, including for the Yankees, before leaving the game due to drug and alcohol problems. One of the most memorable parts of this film was when Dale described his family’s intervention that saved his life from drugs and put him on the right path and he has been clean and sober ever since.
There are many references to Yogi’s many famous sayings throughout this movie and so many are now a permanent part of the American lexicon. His most famous saying of all time is “It Ain’t Over Until It’s Over”.
The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this excellent documentary is a very high 96% and I agree and rate this film a must-see.