Saying Good-Bye to Yogi Berra...a Yankee Celebrity
Yogi-a Baseball Icon
Lawrence Peter 'Yogi' Berra born in 1925, was one of the great catchers and had a great career as a Yankee. Started playing in 1947. Yogi Berra died on Tuesday September 22, 2015.
He started playing catcher and outfielder in 1943 in Virginia but put his career on hold and enlisted in the the Navy. He was there at the 'Invasion of Normandy'. After he came home, he was assigned to the Newark Bears which was a Yankee farm team. Berra had an exceptional career as a Yankee winning .
After he retired he became the Yankee coach but in 1964 he was fired for losing 4 games in a row. Berra went to work for the Met's team as their first base coach. That year, the team won the World's Series. In 1972, Berra became the team manager. Also that year he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1974, Berra was fired when the team lost the World Series and he returned to the Yankees. He was a Yankee coach until 1984 when he was fired. The owner, George Steinbrenner had an underling fire him and it started a 14 year feud and Berra refused to go to a Yankee game. During this time, Berra coached for the Houston Astro's.
Private donors built the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in New Jersey at the Montclair State University and it was opened in January 1999. Steinbrenner came and made amends to Berra which ended the feud. Later, the Yankees had a Yogi Berra Day on July 18, 1999 and Berra caught the ball. The Yankees pitched a perfect game that day!
The cartoon Yogi Bear was created in 1958 and resembled Yogi Berra. "Smarter than the average bear" was a reflection of Berra as he was known to act slow but was extremely bright. All of Yogi Berra's comments were called Yogi-isms. Berra published a book in 1998. These yogi-isms were goofy but down to earth. He also did ads for Puss and Boots, Miller Lite, and Yoo-Hoo chocolate drink.
1. When there is a fork in the road, take it.
2. Yogi said he was 10% physical and 90% mental.
3. It's not over til it's over.
4. You're not out til your out.
5. Always go to other people's funerals. Otherwise they will not go to yours.
6. It is 'deja vu' all over again (Historian's sure he was the first to say this but he used the phrase)
7. Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.
8. If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.
9. I can't think and hit at the same time.
10. 90% of the game is half mental.
His Yankee teams won the American League pennant 14 out of 17 years and he still holds Series records for games played, plate appearances, hits and doubles. No other player has been a champion so often.
He married his wife in 1949 and they remained married until her death in 2012. He has 3 successful sons and 12 grandchildren.
Good-Bye to a great man and a baseball icon. You will be missed Yogi.
*Since I was a little girl, I have absolutely loved the Yankees and Yogi Berra. I remember my parents took me to a Yankee baseball game and I was hooked forever. Sad to say, I am still a Yankee fan and not really interested in the California baseball teams though I have lived here most of my life.
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