‘It Ain’t Over’ overview: The wit, coronary heart and soul of Yogi Berra, baseball large

With a load of family love and cooperation, the documentary “It Ain’t Over” celebrates the accomplishments of St. Louis-born, New York Yankees-bred Lawrence “Yogi” Berra (1925-2015), whose experience for phrasemaking and so-called Yogi-isms had a nagging tendency to outshine his slugging and catching and managing prowess.

Downside was, he talked about loads of memorably humorous points, though he was no comedian and the furthest doable distance from anyone’s considered an insult comic. Berra exemplified coronary coronary heart, an identical to the monitor from “Rattling Yankees” put it. He was an real delight with a large, generous ticker, given to aphorisms and phrases of information much like:

“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

“All the time go to different individuals’s funerals, in any other case they gained’t come to yours.”

“You may observe loads simply by watching.”

With supplies like that (though loads of the Yogi-isms received right here from advert copywriters and sportswriters and the like), already you’re in legend territory, even with out Berra’s exact, formidable statistics on the diamond. The higher of the Berra traces transcended punchlines, albeit some good ones on the order of, “Ninety % of baseball is psychological. The opposite half is bodily.” They’re eloquent pretzel-logic pearls of information.

Yogi-isms inevitably take up a certain amount of writer-director Sean Mullin’s taking part doc, hosted and voice-overed by sports activities actions columnist, broadcaster and sports activities actions and well being expert Lindsay Berra, the oldest of Yogi’s 11 grandchildren. Throughout the 2015 MLB All-Star Recreation, Berra and her grandfather watched the “best dwelling gamers” exhibits chosen by fan vote, honoring Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and Johnny Bench. “Are you useless?” Lindsay recollects asking her grandfather, kidding nevertheless solely half. The place was Yogi in that lineup?

The stats spoke for themselves: Solely Joe DiMaggio and Berra hit better than 350 homers and struck out fewer than 500 events all through their respective careers. Berra sported 10 World Collection rings. New York and most of America appreciated the person. Like Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, one different important, compact emblem of twentieth century New York life, Berra’s humble stature belied the wiles so many underestimated.

As broadcaster and MLB veteran Vin Scully says throughout the film, he represented “the stickball youngsters on the street.” Each Scully and New Yorker creator Roger Angell died remaining yr; interview footage of every males waxing rhapsodic about Berra is included proper right here. Angell’s deft shorthand description of the particular person: “Every thing about Yogi was spherical … the entire construction was round.”

The movie itself is additional of a sq. than a circle — straightforward and honorific, peppered with outdated and newer archival footage. The dugout and backroom melodrama of Berra’s up-and-down-and-up career rises generally to operatic heights, as a result of the soundtrack pumps it up with music from “The Magic Flute” or the “Peer Gynt Suite.” But Berra’s ground-level enchantment retains the documentary from getting too filled with itself.

As baseball fan Billy Crystal says on digital digital camera: He was “probably the most ignored celebrity within the historical past of baseball.” Nobody 90-minutes-and-change doc can deal with anyone’s whole story. Think about “It Ain’t Over” an easygoing primer regarding the Navy man injured at Omaha Seashore, who didn’t put in for a Purple Coronary heart because of it could worry his mother; the soul of the Yankees’ golden age; and the inventor of “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

“It Ain’t Over” — 3 stars (out of 4)

MPA rating: PG (for smoking, some drug references, language and non permanent warfare photos)

Working time: 1:38

Easy methods to observe: Opens in theaters Could 19

Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic.

[email protected]

Twitter @phillipstribune


Originally posted 2023-05-19 10:18:26.