Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thank you, Yogi. For the laughs, but more importantly for the baseball.

You weren't just great, you always made me laugh.

I'm a Boston Red Sox fan, forever and ever, Amen.  But bless me Father, for I have sinned.  I have been hard hearted .against New York players - despite your admonition to render unto Caesar, etc.  Yogi deserved - and I hope got - better.  Younger generations remember the jokes: Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.  But the young punks don't realize that he may have been the greatest catcher of all time.

While perhaps not as much as Ted Williams, Yogi gave up good years for his country.  The 19 year old Berra found himself off Normandy on D-Day on the U.S.S. Bayfield.   Unlike Williams, Yogi didn't lose the best years of his hall of fame career.  But a hall of fame career it was:
[He] established Series records for the most [post season] games (75), at-bats (259), hits (71), doubles (10), singles (49), games caught (63), and catcher putouts (457). In Game 3 of the 1947 World Series, Berra hit the first pinch-hit home run in World Series history, off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca (who later gave up Bobby Thomson's famous Shot Heard 'Round the World in 1951).

Berra was an All-Star for 15 seasons, and was selected to 18 All-Star Games (MLB held two All-Star Games in 1959 through 1962). He won the American League (AL) MVP award in 1951, 1954, and 1955; Berra never finished lower than fourth in the MVP voting from 1950 to 1957. He received MVP votes in fifteen consecutive seasons, tied with Barry Bonds and second only to Hank Aaron's nineteen straight seasons with MVP support. From 1949 to 1955, on a team filled with stars such as Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, it was Berra who led the Yankees in RBI for seven consecutive seasons.

One of the most notable days of Berra's playing career came when he caught Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, the first of only two no-hitters ever thrown in postseason play.

But did I say laugh?  I'm not making this up.

Good night, sweet Prince.  And may flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest.  I hope St. Peter has tears of laughter running down his face.

The Lord broke the mould with him.


Old NFO said...

That they did. I am old enough to have actually watched Yogi play, and he was the consummate catcher. Calming Whitey Ford down was a full time job! And he was the sparkplug of many of those famous Yankee teams.

ASM826 said...

I should just delete my previous post.

Great job, Borepatch.

Anonymous said...

On their Facebook page, the St. Louis Cardinals posted a photo of Berra with Stan "the Man" Musial, and included this Berra quote:

"Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too."