Monday, October 31, 2011

#470 Yogi Berra

#470 Yogi Berra
Yogi! This is the second card from Randy, and Yogi's iconic mug and old-school catcher's gear does a great job distracting from the defacement inflicted on the card. I guess somebody wanted it known that Berra had quit playing by then.

Fun facts about Yogi Berra:

-Yogi was born Lawrence Peter Berra in St. Louis, MO. He signed with the Yankees in 1943 as a teenager, but spent the next two years serving in the Navy. He saw combat in North Africa, Italy, and France during World War II.

-He debuted with the Yankees on September 22, 1946, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI in a 4-3 win over the Athletics.

-Berra kicked off a string of 15 straight All-Star seasons in 1948, when he batted .305 with 24 doubles, 10 triples (!), 14 home runs, and 98 RBI.

-Yogi famously won three MVP awards (1951, 1954, 1955), and finished in fourth place or higher every year from 1950 through 1956.

-Under the tutelage of Yankee coach and Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey, Berra became a strong defensive catcher. He threw out 47.3% of would-be base stealers for his career.

-Spending most of his career with the dynastic Yanks, Yogi played in an incredible 14 World Series, coming out on the winning end 10 times. Overall he batted .274/.359/.452 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI in the Fall Classic, and caught Don Larsen's perfect game against the Dodgers in Game Five of the 1956 Series.

-He originally retired as a player following the 1963 season, and was named Yankee manager in place of Ralph Houk, who moved to the front office. Houk became convinced in midseason that Berra did not have control over his players, and fired him at season's end despite 99 wins and a narrow World Series loss to the Cardinals. He was picked up by the Mets as a player-coach, but played in just four games. He stayed on as a coach until the 1972 season, when he took over as manager after Gil Hodges' sudden death. Yogi managed the Mets for parts of four seasons, winning a surprise pennant with an 82-win club in 1973 and losing another squeaker World Series to the Athletics. He returned to the Yankees as a coach in 1976, and managed the team to a third-place finish in 1984. An antsy George Steinbrenner fired him just 16 games into the next season, and Yogi held a grudge for 15 years before a public apology from the Boss smoothed things over.

-In parts of 19 seasons, Berra batted .285 with 358 home runs and 1,430 RBI. In 1972, the Yankees retired the uniform number 8 that he and Bill Dickey each wore, and in 1988 the pair received bronze plaques in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park. Yogi was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, his second year of eligibility.

-Yogi and his wife Carmen have been married since 1949. They have three sons. Dale Berra was an infielder for the Pirates, Yankees, and Astros from 1977 to 1987. Tim Berra was a kick returner for the 1974 Baltimore Colts.

-He is famous for his "Yogiisms", malapropisms such as "It ain't over 'til it's over" and "It's like deja vu all over again". His muddled turns of phrase are so notable that many others are falsely attributed to him. This has led him to say, "I didn't really say everything I said". My favorites are: "If people don't want to come to the ballpark how are you going to stop them?", and "Always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't go to yours."
#470 Yogi Berra (back)

4 comments:

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

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  2. No one go there anymore, its too crowded.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yogi was a pretty shrewd guy; he has made a lot of money playing off his image, such as in the Aflac commercials.

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