The New York Yankees had a terrible season in 1959, finishing with a 79-75 record and failing to make the playoffs. Yogi Berra (1925-2015), a star player on the club, was quoted in November 1959:
“We simply made too many wrong mistakes.”
Berra’s quotation is often incorrectly credited to a year later, when the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay used “wrong mistakes” in 1968 and U.S. President George H. W. Bush used “wrong mistakes” in 1990, both with a credit to Yogi Berra.
Wikiquote: Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (May 12, 1925-September 22, 2015) is a former American baseball player, manager and member of Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame, noted for his malapropisms.
We made too many wrong mistakes.
. What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All, Simon and Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0743244532, p. 75
. On why the Yankees lost the 1960 series to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Wikipedia: 1959 New York Yankees season
The 1959 New York Yankees season was the 57th season for the team in New York and its 59th overall. The team finished in third place in the American League with a record of 79–75, 15 games behind the Chicago White Sox. New York was managed by Casey Stengel. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium.
Wikipedia: 1959 World Series
The 1959 World Series featured the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers beating the American League champion Chicago White Sox, four games to two. Each of the three games played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum drew record crowds, Game 5’s attendance of 92,706 continues to be a World Series record to this day.
Vin Scully remarked at the beginning of the official World Series film, “What a change of scenery!” This was the only Series from 1949 through 1964 in which no games were played in New York, breaking the streak of the city that documentary filmmaker Ken Burns later called the 1950s’ “Capital of Baseball”.
21 November 1959, Boston (MA) Daily Record, “Yogi ‘Explains’ Yankees Flop” by John Gillooly, pg. 33, col. 1:
A characteristic quote from Yogi Berra, explaining the 1959 decline of the Yankees: “We simply made too many wrong mistakes.”
4 January 1960, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), “Playing the Game” with Henry J. McCormick, pg. 1, col. 1:
Maybe the explanation is akin to the one advanced by Lawrence (Yogi) Berra when he was asked what had happened to the New York Yankees last year:
“I dunno exactly,” answered the Yankee catcher, “but I think it was that we made too many wrong mistakes.”
3 March 1960, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “The Sport Trail” by James E. Doyle, pg. 29, col. 1:
So That Was It
Know why the Yankees flopped last year?...A New York gossip column relays the answer, from Yogi Berra: “We made too many of the wrong mistakes.”
Google News Archive
30 December 1965, The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), “Entertainment” by Hy Gardner, pg. 7, col. 4:
And Yogi Berra theorized why the ballclub slumped: They musta made all the wrong mistakes.”
Google News Archive
1 January 1968, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “Resolutions: Here Today, Gone Tuesday” (New York Times), pg.20-A, col. 1:
Mayor John V. Lindsay, who has been having his share of political troubles lately, said he was adopting the “yogi Berra resolution” for 1968: “Not to make any wrong mistakes.”
Google News Archive
25 April 1990, The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), “Quote Of The Day,” pg. 2, col. 1:
“I expect in this joke I’ll make plenty of mistakes, but I don’t want to make the wrong mistakes,”
-- President Bush, paraphrasing Yogi Berra on his decision not to slap economic penalties on the Soviet Union in response to its crackdown in Lithuania.
Los Angeles (CA) Times
Yogi Berra dies at 90; greatest quotes
By HOUSTON MITCHELL
SEPTEMBER 22, 2015, 11:40 PM
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”