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Corey Oswalt Jersey

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Corey Oswalt was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 MLB amateur draft out of Madison High School in San Diego California by the New York Mets. He made his Major League debut April 25th, 2018 against the St Louis Cardinals throwing 4.2 innings while allowing 2 earned runs, 2 hits while striking out 4 and walking none.

There is a chance and an argument that Oswalt has a future with the Mets. Although he has struggled in his limited time given in the majors with an ERA approaching 6.50, there is some hope he can turn that around. He has pitched in a small sample size of only 71 innings and is only in his age 25 season, so he does have time to find himself and turn it around.
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We could see Oswalt with the team sooner rather than later, too. Zack Wheeler will be a free agent this winter and it is hard to imagine they bring him back since they have a lot of money locked up to Jacob deGrom, Robinson Cano, and even Yoenis Cespedes for one more year. If they do bring back Wheeler it is unlikely they will have the money for Noah Syndergaard or Long Island native Steven Matz, not to mention any of the young position players. It is also hard to imagine they bring back Jason Vargas who has a team option for 2020 at $8 million, so that leaves two open spots in the rotation next year.
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Knowing all of these, we have to ask, is Oswalt a serious candidate for a rotation spot?

Oswalt has pitched pretty well during his career in the minors and he will not be a free agent until 2025. In 533.1 minor league innings, his ERA is a respectable 3.70. Oswalt obviously is not a 1 or 2 starter but he could slot right in the back end of a rotation.

The Mets do have some solid pitching prospects that are coming up and could pass Oswalt in the depth charts for the starting rotation in years to come, most notably Anthony Kay. Even though we could see Kay towards the end of the 2019 season, it is more likely we see him in 2020. This would still leave one spot in the rotation for Oswalt.

Assuming the Mets let Wheeler go this offseason when he becomes a free agent (or trade him beforehand) and decline the option on Vargas, they will still need another starter. As long as nobody is traded between now and Opening Day 2020, the Mets rotation will include deGrom, Syndergaard, and Matz. There is a good shot Kay could break the rotation, still leaving one spot open. If the Mets decide to spend money on the lineup or even extend some younger guys, that last spot could be filled for extremely cheap with Oswalt.

Even if the Mets decide to go a different route with their rotation next year or the next couple years, we could still see Oswalt in the rotation in the future since he is under control for so many years.

Oswalt could also be turned into a relief man. He has had a couple of relief appearances in both the majors and minors. We have seen the Mets turn starting pitchers into relief pitchers before, and successful ones at that. If the Mets do decide to add to their rotation without Oswalt, we could see him crack the bullpen in the next few years.

Since Oswalt is under team control for the next multiple years and at a relatively cheap rate, we could easily see him have a spot on the team for the next couple years. If he can translate his minor league success to the big leagues, he may find a permanent spot on the roster.

Chris Mazza Jersey

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Chris Mazza waited for the rain to stop. Then, his decades-long wait would be over.

Replacing starter Steven Matz after a 70-minute rain delay at Citi Field, Mazza made a strong major league debut in a 5-4 loss to the Braves, as the 29-year-old threw four innings, and was in line for Saturday’s win, before the Mets’ latest late-inning collapse extended their losing streak to seven.

Following an emotional call-up Wednesday, and three games spent watching from the bullpen, Mazza entered at the start of the third inning and allowed one run and five hits, with no walks and two strikeouts.

“For it to finally get here was amazing,” Mazza said. “It was a dream come true. I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life.”

Mazza, a former 27th-round pick, had labored in the minors since 2012 — also appearing in independent leagues — bouncing around the farm systems of the Twins, Marlins and Mariners. The Mets selected him in December’s Rule 5 Draft, starting him at Double-A Binghamton then promoting him to Triple-A Syracuse.
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With the Mets trailing 2-0 in Saturday’s second inning, the rain began to fall. When the tarp was introduced, the rookie knew his long-awaited moment might be on deck.

“When you’re in the position I’m at, they’re gonna use me as long relief, [so] once that tarp goes on, you have it in the back of your head and you gotta start getting ready just in case,” Mazza said.

The moment looked nothing like Mazza long envisioned. The right-hander’s second pitch resulted in a Ronald Acuna Jr. single. His third pitch became a Dansby Swanson RBI double.

“Two hits right away, not how I planned,” Mazza said. “I think [there was] a little bit of nerves and everything, and then once that went away … now it’s time to compete.”

Briefly looking like the team’s latest lackluster option out of the bullpen, Mazza instead became the first Mets pitcher to throw at least four innings and allow no more than one run in his debut since Jacob deGrom (May 2014).

In the bottom of the fourth, Mazza briefly felt the wrath of the boo-happy crowd when he popped up a bunt, but the California native — whose parents and girlfriend were in attendance — quickly won back the affection of the crowd.
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In the fifth, Mazza surrendered a one-out double to Acuna, but kept the Mets within one by retiring Swanson and Freeman. With two out and two aboard in the sixth, Tyler Flowers hit a pop-up in foul territory, sending Mazza sprinting towards the dugout, diving for the ball. He failed to secure the out but received enthusiastic applause from the crowd for his effort. Three pitches later, Mazza was screaming, fired up after recording an inning-ending strikeout.

“That’s just instinct, being as competitive as I am. I try to get everything I can,” Mazza said. “I fell a little short on it, but in the long run it felt really good to get that strikeout.”

Mazza, who threw 62 pitches (40 strikes), inched towards his first win when the Mets scored a pair in the bottom of the sixth, but Seth Lugo blew up again in the eighth, giving away the lead via back-to-back solo homers.

“He pitched good enough to get the win,” Mickey Callaway said of Mazza. “He did a great job. He was very impressive, so it’s a positive to take out of tonight. It was a good pitch mix, he went through some pretty good hitters and did a great job.”

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NEW YORK — One of the silver linings of the Mets’ season, pitching prospect Franklyn Kilomé, will miss the entire 2019 campaign. The Mets announced Thursday that Kilome, their fifth-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, underwent Tommy John surgery this week.
Part of the Mets’ next upcoming wave of pitching prospects, Kilome, 23, posted a 4.03 ERA at Double-A Binghamton, with 42 strikeouts in 38 innings after the club acquired him from the Phillies for second baseman Asdrúbal Cabrera in July. Overall, the hard-throwing Kilome produced a 4.18 ERA in 26 starts for the Mets’ and Phillies’ Double-A teams.
Four of the Mets’ top six pitching prospects have now undergone Tommy John surgery in the past two years. Seventh-ranked prospect Anthony Kay returned to the field this summer following his 2016 surgery, while ninth-ranked prospect Thomas Szapucki and 13th-ranked Jordan Humphreys have yet to do so after their 2017 operations.
Kilome profiles as the brightest of the bunch, capable of throwing consistently in the upper 90s. Tommy John surgery typically carries a 12- to 18-month recovery, putting Kilome on track to return to Minor League play in 2020.

• Mets outfielder Yoenis Céspedes delayed his second (left) heel surgery due to a scheduling conflict, but he expects to have it done by the end of next week, according to multiple sources. Cespedes remains on track to begin baseball activities in late February or early March, though he does not anticipate being able to run full-speed at that time.

Jeurys Familia Jersey

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Mickey Callaway isn’t willing to relegate Edwin Diaz into lower-leverage situations yet. But with Diaz still struggling, reliever Jeurys Familia’s sudden return to form couldn’t come at a better time for the Mets.

The Mets’ 7-4 loss to Washington on Sunday at Citi Field snapped an eight-game winning streak, but Familia’s dominant eighth inning was an auspicious sign and left Callaway suitably impressed.

“I really am. That was a hell of an inning,” Callaway said. “His effort level is right where you want it. He doesn’t have to throw 95, 97 [mph] every pitch, just control your effort level, keep your head on the target, and he did that [Sunday]. And the results are there.

“That’s a turbo sinker he’s throwing up there, and if he executes it you’re going to get swings like [Gerardo] Parra took off him. He’s making huge strides. He continues to work and continues to have faith in himself.”

It wasn’t just Parra that Familia put on the back foot. He struck out the side, fanning Parra, catching Kurt Suzuki looking and fanning pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson. And it continued a recent resurgence for Familia.

After struggling to a bloated 7.76 ERA through July 5, Familia has turned his season around and pitched to a solid 2.79 ERA in his 13 outings since, working alongside pitching coach Phil Regan, bullpen coach Ricky Bones and pitching strategist Jeremy Accardo.
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“[I] just continue working hard, getting here early working with Ricky, Jeremy and Phil going into my bullpen just working on different things, working on mechanics and just pretty much having confidence in my pitches,” said Familia, who has tossed three shutout innings in his last three appearances.

With Diaz mired in a horrible slump — and it got even worse after he coughed up two more runs in the top of the ninth inning on Sunday — the Mets are in dire need of another reliever to step up alongside Seth Lugo and Justin Wilson. Familia is making a bid, thanks to some mechanical tweaks suggested by Bones.

“Yeah, since Ricky’s gotten here he noticed that I was finishing a little bit short. So now I’m finishing a little longer, so now my arm has the opportunity to pretty much reach its point of the release,” Familia said through an interpreter, adding the adjustment has improved his control.

“Yeah, for sure it helps me to just kind of center the pitch, because I’m closer. Whenever I finish my pitch, it’s allowing me to throw strikes.”

Jacob deGrom Jersey

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WASHINGTON – Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets could not be more committed to one another. And yet they struggle to coexist.

See, deGrom and the Mets agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract extension in March, a just reward for a Cy Young Award-winning season. Yet as deGrom zeroes in on a second consecutive Cy Young award, a pattern that began in 2018 has only worsened this year.

It goes like this: DeGrom creates magic with his right arm, blazing 98-mph fastballs past hitters, carrying the Mets deep into games and landing near the top of every National League pitching leaderboard.

And the Mets do all they can to lose – or, at least, avoid victory – on nights he pitches.

A mysterious pattern took a turn for the macabre on Tuesday night, when deGrom – who has received the worst run support of any starter the past two seasons – enjoyed the rare gift of 10 runs from his offense.

No matter. The Mets merely suffered one of the worst losses in their history, giving up seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in falling 11-10 to the Washington Nationals.

Given that the Mets fell five games back of the second wild card slot with 23 games to play, this was not your average gut punch.

Fortunately for deGrom, the only thing better than his ERA, WHIP and FIP is his ability to keep a stiff upper lip.

The 31-year-old confirmed that the club definitely “let one get away” and “felt like we had it,” and in a sense, he could’ve been talking about how the Mets are wasting two fantastic years from their ace.

He leads the NL in strikeouts (220) and rank fourth in the NL in ERA (2.76) and second in Fielding Independent Pitching. Yet the 70-68 Mets are just 10-18 in games he starts.

If the Mets merely played .500 ball in deGrom’s starts, they’d be 74-64, and one game behind the Cubs for a playoff spot. Instead, they must make up five games and vault four teams merely for a shot at the second wild card berth.

Whether it’s the 3.67 runs of support per game he receives – third worst in the NL – or a Mets bullpen that can’t carry his handiwork across the finish line, deGrom has mastered the art of compartmentalization.

“He knows that all he can do is try to limit runs,” says Mets manager Mickey Callaway. “And he does that better than any pitcher in baseball.”

Callaway, though admitting bias, believes deGrom is “hands down” the favorite for the NL Cy Young, and he might be right. For one, the pack has come back to deGrom.

Dodgers lefty Hyun-jin Ryu has hit a late-season wall. Nationals ace Max Scherzer – who gave up four runs in six innings opposite deGrom Tuesday – is a game but limited version of his best self as he manages a back injury. Braves righty Mike Soroka has sterling peripherals but just 152 2/3 innings pitched in his first full big league season.

Yet deGrom has also gradually put his grip on the award. He’s posted eight 10-strikeout games and since late May has a 2.41 ERA, best in baseball.

Tuesday, he was at times dazzling, striking out six over seven innings and giving up just two runs through seven innings.

It was the 15th time in 28 starts he’d gone at least seven innings, but Callaway hoped to milk a few more outs from him. Alas, a dribbler single from Anthony Rendon preceded a two-run homer from Juan Soto, and deGrom’s night went from great to OK.

After the Mets scored five runs in the top of the ninth, the bottom fell out, and deGrom was left to ponder another no-decision, and another team loss on his night.

He remains 8-8 this season, one year after winning the Cy Young with a comically pedestrian 10-9 record that belied many of his historically dominant stats, including a 1.70 ERA and a 221 adjusted ERA.

His run support – 3.53 per game – was the very worst in the NL last year. Yet Mets coach Phil Regan, 82, believes an ace like deGrom can still derive pleasure out of his own greatness even when it doesn’t correlate to team success.

“Yeah, it’s a little disappointing when we mess up a game,” says Regan, “but when you do your job and know you’re doing your job, there’s a satisfaction to it. He never complains about the hitters or anything. That’s the game.

“He does his job. And does it real well.”

Even if his teammates can’t return the favor.

Pedro Martinez Jersey

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Pedro Martinez, born in Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic, on Oct. 25, 1971, grew up with five brothers and sisters in a one-room home on the outskirts of Santo Domingo. His talent – and that of his brother, Ramon Martinez – soon attracted pro scouts.

“Talent is God-given,” Martinez said. “I have my own style. And there have been many, many teachers.”

Ramon signed with the Dodgers on Sept. 1, 1984. Pedro followed Ramon to Los Angeles, signing with the Dodgers on June 18, 1988. By 1990, Ramon was a 20-game winner in the big leagues – and Pedro was one of the Dodgers’ top prospects, despite his 5-foot-10 frame that carried less than 150 pounds in those days.

“I know who I am and where I came from,” Martinez said in 2011. “And I will never forget.”

In 1993, Pedro got regular work in the Dodgers’ bullpen, posting a 10-5 record in 65 games while striking out 119 batters in 107 innings. But following the season, the Dodgers traded Martinez to the Expos for second baseman Delino Deshields. After harnessing his explosive fastball over the next two seasons – which included a June 3, 1995 game where he retired the first 27 Padres batters he faced before allowing a hit in the bottom of the 10th – Martinez was named to his first All-Star Game in 1996 and then exploded onto the national scene the following year. In 1997, Martinez went 17-8 with a National League-best 1.90 earned-run average and 13 complete games, striking out 305 batters en route to his first Cy Young Award.

His combination of a 97-mph fastball, devastating change-up and pinpoint control made Martinez nearly unhittable.

“Every fastball hurts, hurts badly,” Martinez told the New York Post in 2005. “Imagine throwing a ball at 90 miles an hour, over and over again. People don’t know that every time you pitch a ball, you break blood vessels. Which is why we get our arms iced – so that the circulation can continue.”

But the Expos, knowing Martinez could become a free agent after the 1998 season, traded their ace to the Red Sox just days after he won the Cy Young. The Sox immediately locked up Martinez for the next seven seasons, setting in motion a virtually unprecedented string of success for the team and the pitcher.

Martinez went 19-7 in 1998 and finished second in the American League Cy Young Award vote, then posted a season for the ages in 1999 – going 23-4 with a league-best 2.07 ERA and 313 strikeouts, winning the pitching Triple Crown. He became just the eighth pitcher to post two 300-strikeout seasons, set a new mark (since broken by Randy Johnson) with 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings and finished second in the AL Most Valuable Player voting.

By some standards, 2000 was even better. Martinez went 18-6 that year with a 1.74 ERA and 284 strikeouts. He allowed just 128 hits in 217 innings pitched en route to a WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) of 0.737 – by far the best single-season mark in big league history. He accomplished all this in one of the most prolific offensive eras in baseball history and pitching on a home field (Fenway Park) that ranks as one of the most hitter-friendly in the game’s history.

Martinez capped 2000 by winning his third Cy Young Award in four years. He battled shoulder problems in 2001, but rebounded in 2002 with a 20-4 record, again leading the AL in ERA (2.26) and strikeouts (239). He finished second in the Cy Young Award voting, becoming the first pitcher to lead his league in ERA, WHIP (0.923), strikeouts and winning percentage (.833) and not win the Cy Young.

After leading the league again in WHIP, ERA and winning percentage in 2003 en route to a 14-4 mark, Martinez began showing wear and tear in 2004 – posting a 3.90 ERA while going 16-9. But Martinez still finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting – and helped the Red Sox end 86 years of frustration when they captured the World Series title for the first time since 1918. Martinez’s seven shutout innings in Game 3 on the road in St. Louis gave the Sox a commanding 3-games-to-0 lead and effectively wrapped up the title.

Martinez signed a free agent contract with the Mets following the World Series, going 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA in 2005 while giving his new team – which lost 91 games in 2004 – instant credibility. The following year, Martinez battled a nagging toe injury and was eventually shelved with a shoulder injury while going 9-8 – but was instrumental in a Mets’ season that featured an appearance in the National League Championship Series.

After two more injury-filled seasons – including the 2007 campaign that featured his 3,000th career strikeout – Martinez sat out the first part of the 2009 season before signing with the Phillies to help their postseason push. He went 5-1 in nine regular-season starts – becoming the 10th pitcher to win at least 100 games in both leagues – then threw seven shutout innings against his old Dodgers club in the NLCS before losing both his starts in the World Series against the Yankees.

He explored pitching again in 2010 and 2011, but never returned to the majors and announced his retirement on Dec. 4, 2011.

“Don’t ask me to be a pitcher in my next life,” Martinez told the New York Times in 2006. “It’s too painful.”

The eight-time All-Star finished his career with a record of 219-100, good for a winning percentage of .687 that is sixth all-time and trails only Whitey Ford’s .690 among modern-era pitchers with at least 150 victories. He won five ERA titles en route to a career mark of 2.93, captured six WHIP titles (his career WHIP of 1.054 ranks fifth all-time and is the best of any modern-era starter) and averaged 10.04 strikeouts per nine innings (third all-time behind Randy Johnson and Kerry Wood).

He is one of only four retired pitchers with at least 3,000 strikeouts and fewer than 1,000 walks.
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DID YOU KNOW

that Pedro Martinez WHIP (walks plus hits divided by innings pitched) of 0.737 in 2000 is the best single-season mark in big league history among pitchers with at least one inning pitched per team game played?

Nolan Ryan Jersey

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Two-time National League MVP Dale Murphy called Nolan Ryan “the only pitcher you start thinking about two days before you face him.”

Ryan’s career spanned four decades and when all was said and done, he retired with 324 wins and a major league-record 5,714 strikeouts.

Ryan’s career began with the Mets organization in the mid- 1960s, but his commitment to his country, through military reserve service, prevented him from really hitting his stride in New York. It was not until the completion of his military service, and his trade to the California Angels, that the real Nolan Ryan emerged.

During his time with the Angels, he hurled four no-hitters and broke Sandy Koufax’s modern-era single-season strikeout record. Reggie Jackson, one of the most dominant sluggers of the generation, explained what it was like to face him. “I love to bat against Nolan Ryan and I hate to bat against Nolan Ryan. It’s like ice cream. You may love it, but you don’t want it shoveled down your throat by the gallon. I’ve never been afraid at the plate but Mr. Ryan makes me uncomfortable. He’s the only pitcher who’s ever made me consider wearing a helmet with an ear flap.”

As the 1970s turned into the 1980s, Nolan Ryan returned home to Texas, signing with the Houston Astros and becoming baseball’s first one million dollar per year player. The 1980s were a decade of milestones for Nolan Ryan as he passed Walter Johnson’s all-time strikeout mark, broke Sandy Koufax major league-record four no-hitters, and struck out the 5,000th batter of his career.

Before hanging up his spikes at age 46, Ryan topped the 300-win mark and hurled a record seventh no-hitter as a member of the Texas Rangers.

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Darryl Strawberry doesn’t crave for the nightlife like he did throughout his 17-year Major League Baseball career.

He’s no longer in and out of substance abuse rehabilitation centers for repeated cocaine use or wrecking his life from parole violations, domestic violence to solicitation to failure to pay child support.

Finally, he has turned his life around though it took a while – he’s 56.

″Most people kind of look at my life and they believe it’s my fault because I had everything but my home was broken before I put a uniform on,″ Strawberry said. ″My dad was an alcoholic and used to beat the crap out of me and said I would never amount to nothing. So I had pain before I ever put the uniform on. My pain led me to my greatness and my greatness led me to my destructive behavior and that’s the reality of life.″

From trouble man to redemption, Strawberry has found a purpose to help people by speaking about his past struggles with drug addiction and alcohol abuse. He admits it wasn’t an overnight process, but took time to get where he is now.

Strawberry was in Jacksonville last week for the City Rescue Mission’s 4th Annual Difference Maker’s Banquet, sharing advice that he didn’t follow as a former eight-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion.

″The rescue is a phenomenal organization and I’ve done previous events with them,″ said Strawberry, who is twice divorced and has six children. ″They love those that can’t love themselves and until they can love themselves. The assumption is that these people are not going to make it. Who are we to say they’re not going to make it. We don’t really have the last say. Just my life, they had written me off. ″

Though a recovering addict, Strawberry has been clean for almost 14 years. An awakening came in 2000 when he met his third wife, Tracy, at a narcotics anonymous convention in Tampa. She had been battling drug addition but had been clean for a year before meeting Strawberry for the first time.

While Strawberry continued to have problems, which included serving 11 months at the Gainesville Correctional Institution in 2002 for violating probation on cocaine possession charges, she stuck beside him and eventually got him to become an active church member so he could seek faith to change.

In 2006, Strawberry and Tracy married, and a year later they both became ordained ministers. He’s stayed on track, sticking with his faith instead of reliving his past baseball accomplishments.

″God uses people to help people and it was my wife,″ Strawberry said. ″I watched her joy and it meant everything because I wanted that. I didn’t want anything else because I already had money, fame and already knew that doesn’t work. So I knew there was something greater inside that I needed to receive.″

In 2014, Strawberry founded a drug rehabilitation center in St. Cloud, near Orlando, and opened another facility in DeLand in 2015.

Last year, Strawberry said he made 214 trips to speak to various groups and churches. In November, Strawberry said he spoke to the Buffalo Bills players before they played the Jaguars and pulled out a 24-21 victory at New Era Field.

Strawberry says he no longer speaks much about baseball or his career. He said that chapter in his life is dead, even though he hit 335 home runs, was the first overall pick in 1980 by the New York Mets and won World Series titles with the Mets (1983) and New York Yankees (1996, 1998 and 1999).

″It was baseball but life still was not fulfilling,″ said Strawberry, who has overcome both colon and kidney cancer. ″We can all dress ourselves up and look well on the outside but who am I on the inside? That’s what really matters at the end of the day. All the stuff that I accomplished doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day if I didn’t get well. I think that’s the message we need to carry across the globe.″

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Yankees legend Yogi Berra passed away in 2015, but on Opening Day, we can’t help but think of the great catcher and manager. An 18-time All-Star, Berra appeared in 14 World Series as a member of the Yankees and won 10 of them.

Berra’s contributions to MLB history are incalculable, but his legacy might be even better remembered for what he contributed to American language. A sportswriters’ favorite, Berra had countless expressions and turns of phrase that were memorable because most of them didn’t make any sense. (At the same time, every one had some truth to it.)

Berra-isms (colloquial expressions that lack logic) are now countless, and many of them are just attributed to Berra, even if he never actually said them. As he so perfectly put it: “I never said most of the things I said.” Here are 50 of our favorites.

1. When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

2. You can observe a lot by just watching.

3. It ain’t over till it’s over.

4. It’s like déjà vu all over again.

5. No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.

6. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.

7. A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

8. Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.

9. We made too many wrong mistakes.

10. Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.

11. You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.

12. You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.

13. I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.

14. Never answer an anonymous letter.

15. Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.

16. How can you think and hit at the same time?

17. The future ain’t what it used to be.

18. I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better.

19. It gets late early out here.

20. If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.

21. We have deep depth.

22. Pair up in threes.

23. Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.

24. You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

25. All pitchers are liars or crybabies.

26. Even Napoleon had his Watergate.

27. Bill Dickey is learning me his experience.

28. He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.

29. It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.

30. I can see how he (Sandy Koufax) won twenty-five games. What I don’t understand is how he lost five.

31. I don’t know (if they were men or women fans running naked across the field). They had bags over their heads.

32. I’m a lucky guy and I’m happy to be with the Yankees. And I want to thank everyone for making this night necessary.

33. I’m not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.

34. In baseball, you don’t know nothing.

35. I never blame myself when I’m not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?

36. I never said most of the things I said.

37. It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.

38. If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.

39. I wish everybody had the drive he (Joe DiMaggio) had. He never did anything wrong on the field. I’d never seen him dive for a ball, everything was a chest-high catch, and he never walked off the field.

40. So I’m ugly. I never saw anyone hit with his face.

41. Take it with a grin of salt.

42. (On the 1973 Mets) We were overwhelming underdogs.

43. The towels were so thick there I could hardly close my suitcase.

44. Little League baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets.

45. Mickey Mantle was a very good golfer, but we weren’t allowed to play golf during the season; only at spring training.

46. You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go.

47. I’m lucky. Usually you’re dead to get your own museum, but I’m still alive to see mine.

48. If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’. I didn’t like to work.

49. If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.

50. A lot of guys go, ‘Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, ‘I don’t know any.’ They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.

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A man who made his fortune from his twin talents for cooking and comedy, Justin Wilson rose to fame with his humorous stories of life in Louisiana’s Cajun country, as well as demonstrating how to cook the hearty dishes associated with Cajun culture. Wilson was born in Roseland, Louisiana on April 24, 1914. His father, Harry D. Wilson, was Louisiana’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry from 1916 to 1948, and was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives. Justin’s mother, Olivette Mintern Toadvin, was a pianist and composer who was also an expert cook, from whom Justin learned his way around a kitchen. Olivette was also of Cajun heritage, unlike her husband who was Welsh, and Justin would often refer to himself as a “half-bleed Cajun.”

Justin originally pursued a career as a safety engineer, and when he spoke to audiences about safety procedures, he discovered many listeners found him too dry. Having frequently traveled through Bayou country, Wilson began telling humorous anecdotes about Cajuns and their lifestyle to put himself and his audiences at ease. In time, Wilson was attracting larger audiences for his comedy than for his safety lectures, and he became a successful humorist in the South and Southwest with his exaggerated Cajun accent and familiar catch phrase, “I Gawr-on-tee!” While some criticized Wilson for his sometimes unflattering portrait of Cajun life — author Trent Angers wrote of Wilson, “To hear him you’d think all Cajuns are barely literate and not very bright” — others cited him as helping to spread the word about Cajun food and heritage when they were little known outside the South.

In 1960, Wilson released his first comedy album, The Humorous World of Justin Wilson, which was issued by Ember Records and promptly reissued in 1961 by Tower Records, a subsidiary of Capitol Records. Between 1961 and 1985, Wilson would release 28 comedy albums, including ten for Tower, and another ten for the Louisiana-based label Paula Records. Wilson also received nationwide exposure with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hollywood Squares, and Late Night with David Letterman.

In 1965, Wilson published his first cookbook, fittingly titled The Justin Wilson Cook Book, and he would publish six more cookbooks between 1979 and 1998. Wilson first took his epicurean skills to the airwaves in 1971, with a cooking show commissioned by Mississippi Educational Television in which he told jokes while demonstrating how to prepare Cajun specialties. Wilson gained a new audience in the 1980s when another series, Louisiana Cookin’, began airing nationwide on PBS. In the ’90s, his shows from the ’70s gained a new life when they were rebroadcast coast to coast under the title Justin Wilson: Looking Back, sometimes with new segments offering healthier options for some ingredients. On September 5, 2001, Wilson died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of 87.