Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happy Baseball Birthday...Yogi Berra

Today we send out a great big 90th Happy Baseball Birthday! to the greatest champion in baseball history, Yogi Berra.

In celebration of Yogi, here are 90 things about the player who once stated so eloquently, "...it ain't over 'till it's over."

1. Born Lawrence Peter Berra, on May 12, 1925, in "The Hill" neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri.

2. Yogi's best friend growing up was former big league player and broadcaster Joe Garagiola.

3. Yogi attended Southside Catholic school, but quit after the 8th grade.

4. Yogi learned how to play catcher in American Legion Baseball.

5. His famous nickname comes from a friend saying he looked like a "Hindu Yogi."

6. Yogi signed his 1st pro baseball contract with the New York Yankees for $500.00

7. Yogi started his pro career with the minor league Norfolk Tars.

8. Yogi played in 111 games with the Tars in 1943, smacking 7 HRs, batging .253.

9. Yogi served in the US Navy in World War II, and was in the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

10. Yogi loved reading Superman comics.

11. Yogi was also featured in his own comic book.

12. Yogi played baseball for the Navy base team in Groton, Connecticut at the end of his military service.

13. Yogi was assigned to the Newark Bears in 1946.

14. Yogi played against Jackie Robinson for the first time in a game in 1946 between Newark and Montreal.

15. Yogi made his big league debut with the Yankees on September 22, 1946, at the age of 21.

16. Yogi was 2-4, with a HR in his debut vs. the Philadelphia Athletics.

17. In 1946 and 1947 Yogi wore uniform #35 and #38 As a Yankee.

18. Yogi got his famous #8 Yankee Pinstripes in 1948, after the retirement of Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey.

19. Yogi's first baseball card was a 1947 Bond Bread issue.

20. Yogi appeared in his first World Series in 1947, collecting 3 hits and a HR vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers.

21. Yogi caught 1,699 big league baseball games.

22. Yogi also played 149 games in left field, 116 in right field, 2 games at first base, and 1 game at third base.

23. In 19 big league seasons Yogi committed only 125 errors, 110 as a catcher.

24. Yogi handled a total of 10, 165 chances as a big league player.

25. Yogi led the American League in runners caught stealing in 1950-51-52, throwing out 117 base runners.

26. In his career Yogi caught 403 of 426 attempted  base stealers.

27. Yogi loved the chocolate drink Yoohoo.

28. Yogi was a terrific contact hitter, striking out only 414 times in 7,546 at bats.

29. Yogi stole 30 bases and was caught stealing 26 times.

30. Yogi smacked 358 career home runs.

31. Yogi hit 210 home runs at the original Yankee Stadium.

32. 148 of Yogi's home runs were away from the Bronx.

33. Yogi loved Briggs Stadium in Detroit, smashing 37 round trippers, the most of any he hit on the road.

34. Young baseball fans could once pitch to Yogi.

35. Yogi loved hitting against Detroit, whopping 72 of his home runs vs. the Tigers.

36.. Yogi was hit by a pitch 52 times.

37. Yogi hit 12 World Series home runs.

38. Yogi loved to hit against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series,  smacking 7 homers, 5 of them at Ebbetts Field.

39.  Yogi played in a big league record 75 World Series games.

40. Yogi once owned a bowling alley with Yankees teammate Phil Rizzuto.

41. Yogi collected at least 100 hits 13 times, 12 straight years between 1948-1959.

42. Yogi made his first American League All-Star team in 1948.

43. Yogi was selected to every A.L. All-Star team from 1948-1963.

44. Yogi had 2, 148 base hits as a Yankee, 8th on the All-Time Yankees team list.

45. Yogi had 2 base hits as a New York Met.

46. Yogi's teams won a record 14 American League Pennants and played in 14 World Series.

47. Yogi  was a member of a big league record 10 World Series Championship Yankee teams.

48. Yogi won three American League MVP Awards, in 1951, 1954-55.

49. Yogi received MVP votes every year he was a Yankee.

50. Yogi finished 2nd in MVP voting twice,  in '53 and '56.

51. Yogi appeared on many baseball magazine covers, including this iconic 1955 Sports Illustrated cover.

52. Yogi caught the only perfect game in World Series history, as Don Larsen and the Yankees  beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

53. Yogi led all A.L catchers in putouts 8 times...1950-52, '54-'57, '59.

54. Yogi led all A.L backstops in double plays turned as a catcher in 1949-52, '54, '56.

55. Yogi had 49 career triples, 10 of them in 1948.

56. Yogi appeared in 2,116 games for the Yankees...only Gehrig, Mantle, and Derek Jeter played in more.

57. Yogi still says Jackie Robinson was out on this steal of home in the 1955 World Series.

58. Yogi hit the  first ever pinch hit home run in World Series play, in 1949 off the Dodgers Ralph Branca.

59. Yogi led the Yankees in RBI for seven consecutive years, 1949-55.

60. Yogi had 1,430 RBIs as a Yankee...behind guys named Gehrig, Ruth, and DiMaggio.

61. Yogi collected an amazing 318 total bases in 1950.

62. Yogi's 3,641 total bases as a Yankee are the 7th most team history.

63. Yogi was a big fan of P.F. Flyers sneakers.

64. Yogi was walked 704 times.

65. Yogi was intentionally walked at least 49 times.

66. Yogi hit a career high .307 in 1954, two points higher than his  previous best .305 batting average in 1948.

67. Yogi once caught an entire 22 inning game... at age 37.

68. Yogi's highest salary as a ballplayer was $65,000, in 1957.

69. Yogi's lowest salary was $5,125, in 1947.

70. Yogi had 44 career sacrifice flies.

71. Yogi played his final game in the big leagues on May 9, 1965, at age 39, for the New York Mets.

72. Yogi became the Yankees manager in October, 1963.

73. Yogi played in or managed in every Yankees World Series appearance between 1949 and 1964.

74. In 1965 Yogi went to the New York Mets and coached with his old manager Casey Stengel.

75 Yogi coached with the Mets as a member of the 1969 World Series Champions.

76. Yogi became the Mets manager in the spring of 1972 after the death of Gil Hodges.

77. Yogi led the Mets to the 1973 National League Championship, losing to the Oakland Athletics.

78. Yogi Berra was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

79. In 1972 the Yankees retired Yogi's uniform #8 along with fellow catcher Bill Dickey.

80. Yogi is forever enshrined at Monument Park in Yankee Stadium.

81. Yogi's became a coach for the Yankees in 1976, and served as coach through three straight A.L. pennants and back to back World Series Championships in 1977 and 1978, giving Yogi 13 championships.

82. Yogi managed the Yankees in 1984, and in 16 games in 1985.

83. Yogi was a coach for the 1986 Hoston Astros,  who won the N.L. West Division.

84. Yogi opened the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in 1998.

85. Yogi once caught 148 straight games without comitting an error.

86. Yogi refused to attend any Yankee events, or to return to Yankee Stadium for nearly 15 years after being fired by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner just 16 games into the 1985 season after he was given assurances that he would manage the entire '85 year.

87. Yogi returned to the Yankees in 1999 after Steinbrenner personally apologized to Yogi.

88. On July 18, 1999 Yogi, back at Yankee Stadium, caught the ceremonial first pitch from Don Larsen, and the two proceeded to watch as the Yankees David Cone pitched a perfect game.

89. Yogi married his wife, Carmen, on January 26, 1949, and were married for 65 years until her passing in 2014.

90. For 90 years we've ben blessed having had Lawrence Peter Berra on this earth.

Baseball fans everywhere are sending out best wishes today that Yogi Berra has a wonderful Happy Baseball Birthday!


No comments:

Post a Comment