Author Topic: RIP Yogi Berra  (Read 1676 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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RIP Yogi Berra
« on: September 23, 2015, 04:40:09 AM »
http://espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/story/_/id/13721488/yogi-berra-new-york-yankees-legend-hall-famer-dies-age-90

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Yogi Berra, the Hall of Fame catcher renowned as much for his dizzying malapropisms as his record 10 World Series championships with the New York Yankees, has died. He was 90.

Berra died of natural causes Tuesday at his home in New Jersey, according to Dave Kaplan, the director of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center.

"While we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with Mom," Berra's family said in a statement released by the museum. "We celebrate his remarkable life, and are thankful he meant so much to so many. He will truly be missed."

Berra's death came exactly 69 years after his major league debut. On Sept. 22, 1946, Berra homered in his second major league plate appearance in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Athletics.

Short, squat and with a homely mug, Berra was a legendary Yankee who helped the team reach 14 World Series during his 18 seasons in the Bronx.

Berra played in more World Series games than any other major leaguer and was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player. A 15-time All-Star, Berra was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

But his name appears almost as often in Bartlett's Famous Quotations as it does in baseball's record book.

"It ain't over 'til it's over" is among eight "Yogi-isms" included in Bartlett's.

"When I'm sittin' down to dinner with the family, stuff just pops out. And they'll say, 'Dad, you just said another one.' And I don't even know what the heck I said," Berra insisted.

Berra played for the Yankees from 1949 to '65. His teammates included fellow Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford.

In 1956, he caught the only perfect game in World Series history and, after the last out, leaped into pitcher Don Larsen's arms. The famous moment was captured in photographs published in newspapers around the world.

After his playing days, Berra coached or managed the Yankees, New York Mets and Houston Astros. He managed the Yankees (1964) and Mets (1973) to the World Series.

In 1985, his firing as manager by the Yankees 16 games into the season sparked a feud with owner George Steinbrenner. Berra vowed never to return to Yankee Stadium as long as Steinbrenner owned the team.

But in 1999, Berra finally relented, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the Yankees' season-opening game.

He was a fan favorite, especially with children, and the cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after him.

Berra never earned more than $65,000 a season, and growing up, he was anything but a natural.

Chunky and slow, Berra was rejected by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals after a tryout in 1943. But a Yankees scout recognized his potential and signed him.

His first professional season with the Yankees' farm team in Norfolk, Va., was interrupted by World War II. He joined the Navy and later served on a gunboat supporting the D-Day invasion.

He reached the majors late in the 1946 season. The next year, he continued to hit well, but his throwing was so erratic he was shifted to the outfield, then benched.

His breakthrough season came in 1948, when he hit .315 with 14 homers and 98 RBIs while continuing to improve his fielding. In 1949, he compiled a .989 fielding percentage and did not make an error in the All-Star Game or World Series.

"I don't care who the hitter is," New York manager Casey Stengel told the New York Journal-American. "[Berra] knows just how he should be pitched to."

Berra was AL MVP in 1951, 1954 and 1955. He holds World Series records for most hits (71) and most games (75). He also holds the Yankees' records for most World Series at-bats (259) and doubles (10). He is second in RBIs (39) and runs scored (41), one behind Mantle in both categories.

All told, Berra went to the World Series 21 times as a player, coach or manager.

"You never think of that when you're a kid," Berra said of his Hall of Fame induction. "But egads, you gotta be somethin' to get in."

He was born Lawrence Peter Berra on May 12, 1925, in St. Louis. He married his wife, Carmen, in 1949. The couple, who met in their native St. Louis, had three sons, including Dale Berra, who played in the major leagues as an infielder.

Berra published three books: his autobiography in 1961, "It Ain't Over ..." in 1989 and "The Yogi Book: I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said" in 1998. The last made The New York Times' best-seller list.

In 1996, Berra was awarded an honorary doctorate from the state university in Montclair, N.J., where he and his family lived. The university also named its baseball stadium for Berra. The adjoining Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center opened in 1998.

The museum houses Berra memorabilia, including what he said was his most prized possession, the mitt he used to catch Larsen's perfect game.

"Yogi conducted his life with unwavering integrity, humility and a contagious good humor that elevated him from baseball legend to beloved national icon. For all his accolades and honors as a player, coach and mentor, he remained completely true to himself -- a rare example of authentic character excellence and a lasting role model for his peers, his public, and the thousands of children who visit the YBMLC each year to take part in programs inspired by his values," the museum board of directors said in a statement.

His wife once asked Berra where he wanted to be buried, in St. Louis, New York or Montclair.

"I don't know," he said. "Why don't you surprise me?"
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: RIP Yogi Berra
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 04:42:13 AM »
Quote from: Yogi Berra
As a general comment on baseball: "90% of the game is half-mental."

On why he no longer went to Ruggeri's, a St. Louis restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

"It ain't over till it's over." In July 1973, Berra's Mets trailed the Chicago Cubs by 9½ games in the National League East. The Mets rallied to win the division title on the final day of the season.

When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home, which was accessible by two routes: "When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

On being the guest of honor at an awards banquet: "Thank you for making this day necessary."

"It's déjà vu all over again". Berra explained that this quote originated when he witnessed Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris repeatedly hit back-to-back home runs in the Yankees' seasons in the early 1960s.

"You can observe a lot by watching."

"Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't go to yours."
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 04:43:44 AM by bayonetbrant »
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline Bison

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Re: RIP Yogi Berra
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 04:56:50 AM »
Sad day for baseball.  RIP Yogi.

Offline MetalDog

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Re: RIP Yogi Berra
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 05:11:28 AM »
Rest in peace to a Yankee and baseball icon.  The world is a much poorer place with his passing.  Thanks, Yogi, for all you've done for the game and all the lives you touched.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: RIP Yogi Berra
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 08:32:38 AM »
RIP to one of my lifelong heroes :(
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Offline DoctorQuest

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Re: RIP Yogi Berra
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 01:04:47 PM »
RIP. A true legend. Time for a new sig quote.
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Offline mirth

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Re: RIP Yogi Berra
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 02:08:30 PM »
RIP Yogi.
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