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Monday, May 12, 2008
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LAWRENCE
Today is the birthday of Mr. Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra born May 12, 1925. It is a pleasure to share 83 Yogi-toids with you, one for each year:
1. He said, “I never said most of the things I said.
2. Yogi grew up on Elizabeth Street in St. Louis, in a neighborhood called “The Hill”.
3. He picked up his nickname from a friend who said he resembled a Hindu holy man (yogi) they had seen in a movie, whenever Berra sat around with arms and legs crossed waiting to bat, or while looking sad after a losing game.
4. One of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times.
5. He was signed at age 17 by the Yankees.
6. ”I wanted to play for the Cardinals or the Browns, to stay in my hometown,” he said, ”but they didn’t want me.”
7. Yogi participated in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach.
8. He is one of only four catchers to ever field 1.000 in a season (1958).
9. Yogi was named the Yankees manager in 1964 and went on to win the AL pennant, but was fired after losing to the Cardinals in a seven-game series.
10. One of only six managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series.
11. Five times Yogi drove in more than 100 runs.
12. As manager, his team lost in the World Series twice, both in seven games.
13. He caught two no-hitters by Allie Reynolds in 1951 and Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
14. Yogi appeared on an episode of “The Phil Silvers Show” in 1957.
15. His quotes are known as “Yogisms.”
16. He said, “Steve McQueen looks good in this movie. He must have made it before he died.”
17. Berra led all American League catchers six times in double plays (a major league record).
18. He was a player-coach for the Mets.
19. He participated in a record 21 World Series, 14 as a player with the Yankees, four as a Yankee coach, one as a Met coach and one each as a Yankee manager and Met manager.
20. Yogi wrote the forword for the book ‘Elston and Me: The Story of the First Black Yankee” written by the widow of Elston Howard.
21. He said, “How the hell are you gonna think and hit at the same time?”
22. The Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in five of six World Series during Yogi’s era with the team.
23. Following Gil Hodges’s death in 1971, Yogi was named as the Mets manager in 1972.
24. He was childhood friends with Joe Garagiola.
25. The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center is located on the campus of Montclair State University in New Jersey.
26. Ron Guidry said about Berra, “He epitomizes what baseball’s all about. To be able to hang around him as much as I have, it’s a pleasure.”
27. Berra had a streak of 148 errorless games.
28. He said, “You can observe a lot by watching.”
29. Yogi appeared on an episode of “The Tony Danza Show” in 2005.
30. In 1950, he struck out only 12 times in 597 at bats.
31. From 1986 to 1989, Berra coached the Houston Astros.
32. His record as a manager was 484-444.
33. Yogi appeared on an episode of “Arli$$” in 2002.
34. He won 10 World Series and appeared in 14, most ever by any player.
35. He said, “You should always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours.”
36. He was named to the American League All-Star team every year from 1948 to 1962.
37. He received MVP votes in fifteen consecutive seasons.
38. “I stayed in baseball, until I quit,” Berra said.
39. His number 8 was retired from the Yankees in honor of him and another great Hall of Fame catcher, Bill Dickey.
40. Yogi stole 30 total bases.
41. Yogi appeared on an episode of “Saturday Night Live” in 1984.
42. He said, “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.
43. Yogi hit 358 home runs.
44. He was an All-Star 15 times.
45. He said, “Congratulations on breaking my record. I always thought the record would stand until it was broken.”
46. The Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after Berra.
47. Yogi played 2120 games and had 2150 hits.
48. Yogi played two games at first base.
49. He said, “It’s like d