What Yogi Berra and Copywriting have in Common

I was listening to sports radio last night – it helps me unwind and recalibrate my brain after a full day of writing – when I heard the news that Yogi Berra had passed away.

While I’m old enough to remember WHO he was, I’m not quite old enough to remember seeing him play.

But I got to thinking about what a legend such as Yogi Berra and copywriting might have in common. And, surprisingly, I came up with several different thoughts.

First, whether on purpose or just because he had a quirky personality, he made himself stand out. His wacky quotes, his small stature and his ability to play the game he loved so much all set him apart from other baseball players of his era – even his more talented teammates.

Good copywriting stands out – but in a way that supports the sales process just as Yogi supported his team.

Second, he quietly went about his job. And what a job he did. 18 seasons as a catcher for the New York Yankees, 10 World Series rings, 14 Series appearances, 15 All-Star Games and three most valuable player awards. There’s never been a career like it, before or since. He was humble, did his job and let the stats do the talking for his work.

The same could be said about copywriting. Make the product the star – the writing should be able to tell the story without being the center of attention.

Third, he didn’t take himself too seriously. His “yogisms” were always delivered with a twinkle in his eye – like he was letting us in on the joke. His easygoing ways made him instantly likeable – and forever remembered.

Copywriting that talks conversationally, lets the reader peek behind the curtain a bit and get to know, like and most importantly TRUST the writer is exactly like that.

I guess for me, I’m a bit nostalgic for a by-gone era. An era that seemed so much more innocent. Happily the legend of Yogi Berra can live on forever.

My favorite Yogi-isms:

  • You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.
  • I never said most of the things I said.
  • I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.
  • It ain’t over till it’s over.

RIP Yogi