“It was like deja vu all over again” — Major League Baseball’s Yogi Berra passed away Tuesday night, exactly 69 years to the day of his MLB debut for the New York Yankees.
Berra played in more World Series than anyone else in history — 14 of them — and was on the winning team in ten of those championships. As a New York Yankee, he took the field alongside greats like Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle and played in 15 consecutive All-Star Games.
One of baseball’s most enduring images is of Berra leaping into the arms of Yankees pitcher Don Larsen after Berra caught for him in the firstWorld Series no-hitter.
As a batter, it was hard for an opposing pitcher to get a ball past Berra. He was notorious for hitting bad pitches — even those outside the strike zone. In the 1950 season, he was struck out only 12 times.
Before his major league career, Berra served as a gunners mate in the U.S. Navy aboard a ship that transported troops to the D-Day landings in Normandy.
He was as well known as a character off the field as he was a player on it. Berra used his folksy philosopher persona to pitch products ranging from cat food to beer. In a commercial for the chocolate drink, Yoo-Hoo, a woman asks him if it’s hyphenated.
Even as he moved into an assisted living facility, Berra kept his sense of humor, listing his house for a sale price of $888,000 — a sly nod to his Yankees jersey, number 8.
His ability to turn a phrase — or turn it on its head — continued beyond his baseball career. More of his most famous Yogi-isms include:
“Ninety percent of the game is half-mental.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“You can observe a lot by watching.”
“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
And he once advised people to, ”Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
Lawrence Peter ‘Yogi’ Berra passed away quietly in his sleep at the age of 90.
(READ more at the New York Times) Photos by Martyna Borkowski,CC; Bowman Gum, CC; Stephen Holland, CC
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