In baseball circles Yogi Berra might have been a bit underrated according to the filmmakers and advocates of Sean Mullin’s new documentary on his life.
It comes to the fore early in It Ain’t Over not from first ballot hall-or-fame neglect but subbing from a ‘Mt. Rushmore’ at the 2015 MLS All-Star Game.
Eldest granddaughter and accomplished sports journalist Lindsay (who serves as an executive producer) offers narration the often matches a less than sharp presentation.
Yet she along with sons Tim, Al and Larry help provide insight to a real family man rather misunderstood given all of his amazing achievements from a Normandy gunner in the navy in WW II to the baseball diamond where he was a part of 21 World Series from 1946 to 1985. Not to mention playing in 75 Fall Classic games and winning 10 as a member of the Born Bombers.
There’s also plenty of talking heads who have many interesting anecdotes with the man who posed with Babe Ruth in 1948, got fired by George Steinbrenner which kept him away from Yankee Stadium for awhile, penned many a love letter to wife Carmen sharing over six decades together. Included are the likes of Vin Scully, Bob Costs, and Billy Crystal as well as Tony Kubek, Joe Torre, and first ballot hall-of-famers Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
Though It Ain’t Over will play mostly to lovers of a national pastime (that’s fallen behind other professional sports over the last generation) it’s not so much an adulatory celebration or remembrance as a chance to witness its subject with the love honesty, and respect he offered throughout a cherished existence.
Besides the family members, fellow players and alumni a bracing account emerges from a larger-than-life persona who would be the inspiration for Hanna-Barbera’s ‘Yogi Bear.’ Not to mention being the celebrity pitchman for the likes of Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink and Aflac insurance. And, of course, the ‘Yogisms’ which turned out to be rather accurate like “it ain’t the heat, it’s the humility or ‘baseball is ninety percent mental.’ Even for those rabid Yankee haters Mullin’s documentary reaches across generations in affecting, educational ways to earnest go the extra ways to earnest go the extra base.