"Yogi Berra" was born Lawerence Peter Berra on 12 May 1925 in St. Louis. One story on how he got his nickname was from a childhood friend, while watching a movie about an Indian snake charmer. His friend thought he had a striking resemblance to the hindu man, saying "that yogi walks like Lawdie (Larry) and the name stuck. Still another is that friend saw him squatting, with his arms across his chest and he looked like the mystical yogi. Either way, most will always know him as Yogi, even if they don't follow baseball. Yogi remains one of baseball's most popular figures.
In his upcoming memoir (May 2008), "You can observe a lot by Watching", he writes "Now players are more like entertainers. Still, I wonder if they realize how self-centered and glory-minded they appear.....I don't like players who stand and admire their "home runs" like they finished painting a masterpiece.....It becomes more about self and showing off than teamwork and working together".
Some Trivia Facts;
- Batted .285, 2120 games, 358 HRs, 1430 Rbi's
- He caught a whole 22 inning game, 7.5 hrs against the Tigers
- He caught Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956 World Series, only one thrown in post season
- Played for the Yankess during 5 straight Word Series wins (1949-1953)
- His first at bat in the major leagues was a HR
- 15 time All-Star
- First pinch hit HR in Word Series history in 1947
- Has a cartoon character named after him (Yogi Bear)
Quotes from Yogi:
- A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore
- All pitchers are liars or crybabies
- I can see how Sandy Koufax won 25 games. What I don't understand is how he lost five.
- Ninety percent of this game is half mental
- REPORTER; how did you like school when you were growing up? YOGI; CLOSED
- AFLAC commerical: Because they paid me in cash, which is almost as good as money
- I always thought that record would stand until it was broken.
As you can see, not only was he a great baseball player and a great personality, as Casey Stengel once said, he is funny and transcends baseball. Hard to find many like him anymore.