Lawrence Peter Berra who is commonly known as Yogi Berra has stirred the world of baseball. He is a legend and has set a name as a baseball catcher. While many know him as an all time baseball player, there is much more about him than meets the eye. His successes are well known across the globe and he has made it to the hall of fame later in his life in the year 1972. This has made him one of the all time baseball players in history.
Early life of Yogi Berra
Yogi was born on May 12 in the year 1925 from a rather humble background. His parents were Italian immigrants in a family of seven. As a young boy, he was nicknamed Lawdie because his mother could barely pronounce the name Lawrence. He worships in the Roman Catholic Church and as part of his education, he went to Catholic based schools, South Side Catholic which is currently St. Mary’s High School.
To get started, he started playing in the local American Legion. He sharpened his skills and got to know what got him in the sport as a professional from this point. As a beginner, he was not sure of his position and as a result, he played both outfield and infield positions as well. The term “Yogi” originated from a friend, Bobby Hofman, after he noted that Berra loved sitting with his legs and hands crossed just like a Hindu yogi either after they lost a game or as he prepared to play. He later got married to Carmen Berra in 1949 but later passed on in 2014 leaving his husband with three children.
Yogi’s Professional Career
Yogi definitely had talent and he is one of the greatest players who grew rather fast. While he started playing in minor leagues, he rapidly moved up and started playing the major leagues in just under a year. To relate in his growth, picture this. In the year 1946, he played just 7 games but in the following year, he played 83 games in total with the Yankees. With time, he played more than 100 games in a year.
In the year 1947 during his 3rd game, he hit the first ever pinch-hit home run in World Series history. Yogi featured as an All-Star for 15 seasons though he was selected in 18 of the All-Star Games. He was also a three time winner of the American League (AL) MVP award and in 15 consecutive seasons, he received MVP votes. This places him second in the number of votes for MVP being beat by Hank Aaron who had 19 votes.
Between the years 1949 and 1955, Yogi led the Yankees in RBI in 7 consecutive seasons despite the likes of Mickey Mantle in the team. Amongst his memorable days, which were also memorable o all baseball players was when he caught Don Larsen’s perfect game World Series in the year 1956. There are only two no-hitters every thrown in post season and Yogi recorded the first hit.
Yogi Retires as Player
After the 1963 World Series, Yogi retired as a player but did not disappear from the sport. He took over as the Yankees manager. As manager, he played the Yankees quite a number of games but after a streak of losing was realized; he was fired after they lost to St. Louis Cardinals.
After he was fired, he was signed in as coach with the Mets where he played as a catcher for the first few seasons. He later got off in 1965 though he kept his role as coach for eight seasons. In the year 1972, he became the team’s manager succeeding Gil Hodges after his death during spring training.
- The cartoon, Yogi bear, which has gained popularity across the globe, was named after him.
- He was the spokesperson for Yoo-Hoo beverages.
- There is a Yogi Berra stadium in Little Falls New Jersey
- Has participated in advertisements
He has been seen to take active roles in baseball through his lifetime and his success story cannot go unmentioned. His son, Tim Berra, is playing an active role in retaining his dad’s foot prints as he played with the New York Jets. His other son, Dela Berra shortstop three teams since 1977 to 1987. The family has proven to be athletic. Yogi played a major role in influencing other potential players in the sport and is recognized as a sport pillar across the globe.