You'd be hard pressed to find a more popular retired baseball player than Yogi Berra. The 86-year-old Yankees Hall of Fame hero is diamond royalty. But what does the master of homespun hardball wisdom think of Hollywood's latest baseball film? One sportswriter wanted to find out, and he took the Yankees legend to the movies.
Berra and his wife of 62 years attended a late afternoon showing of Brad Pitt's Moneyball with writer Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal at a theatre in New Jersey. After all, one of his famous quotes is "you can observe a lot just by watching." The film details Oakland GM Billy Beane using a low payroll to build consistent winners.
Although Yogi enjoyed most of the movie, he had a problem with the portrayal of A's manager Art Howe by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Berra and Howe were coaching colleagues with the Astros and wasn't pleased with Hoffman's appearance on camera.
"Art's a good guy," Yogi said. "And I never saw him that fat. He's thin."
In addition to being unhappy with Howe's rendering in the film, Berra also says he'd "almost forgotten," that his 1947 Yankees were the last team to win 19 games in a row before the A's broke that streak during the
Richard Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe in Moneyball.
Moneyball days. "You get old, you know?" he said. "But we did win 19 in a row."
Yogi enjoyed the scene from the movie where David Justice's character bellyaches about the A's charging players to buy soda in the locker room. Berra says the Yankees players in the old days received coffee and a donut as a meal. Between games of a double-header, Berra said, they would be given "A hard-boiled egg."
Following the movie, Berra, his wife, and a group of friends walked across the street to have dinner and tell old stories. Yogi had a vodka with extra ice and scallops before telling his tales about his time as an actor with teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in in the 1962 comedy "That Touch of Mink," starring Hollywood legends Cary Grant and Doris Day.
Yogi Berra in his own words.
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