Yogi Berra biography
Yogi Berra is an American baseball player and coach born on May 12, 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri. Berra played for the Yankees starting in 1946 and throughout his career. Widely considered one of the best catchers in history, he won the American League Most Valuable Player award three times and as well as 10 championships. In all, Berra played in 14 World Series and 18 All-Star Games. Berra was also known for his signature style of leaving a finger outside his glove, something later imitated by other catchers. In later years, he managed the team, representing only one of six managers to lead both National and American League teams to the World Series.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1925, baseball legend Yogi Berra is as famous for his sports career as he is for his malapropisms. He earned some measure of fame for his ability to mangle common phrases and sayings, such as "It ain't over 'til it's over" and "I didn't really say everything I said." These quips have become known as "Yogi-isms."
The son of Italian immigrants, Berra played sports with his three older brothers growing up. He also had a younger sister, too. Berra dropped out of school to help his family in eighth grade. He earned his nickname—"Yogi"—from a childhood friend who thought he resembled an Indian snake charmer. In his teens, Berra got serious about baseball. He was playing in the minor leagues when he and neighborhood friend Joe Garagiola were offered a deal by Cardinals manager Branch Rickey. But Rickey only offered Berra $250, half of what he paid Garagiola. Berra turned Rickey down and was soon discovered by the Yankees.
Player, Coach and Manager
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Berra became one of the Yankees' catchers in 1946. He spent his career with the team, earning a reputation as a hitter who nearly never got struck out. He hit his career peak in the 1950s, winning the American League Most Valuable Player honors three times. In all, Berra played in 14 World Series and 15 All-Star Games. He worked well with his pitchers, and he helped Don Larsen achieve a perfect, no-hit game in the 1956 World Series. Berra was also not above trying to psych out the other team. According to his website, he talked to the batters, including Hank Aaron, to distract them.
Retiring as a player in 1963, Berra soon became a coach for the Yankees. His tenure there proved short, and he quickly moved on to the New York Mets. First a coach and then a manager, Berra led the last-place Mets to an amazing turnaround in 1973. He helped them win the National League title that year, but he left the team two years later.
Berra returned to the Yankees as a coach. In 1984, he was promoted to manager to replace the controversial Billy Martin. Then, at the start of the 1985 season, Berra was fired by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. His final coaching job was with the Houston Astros.
After retiring from the Astros in 1992, Berra began devoting himself to philanthropic pursuits.
He opened the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls, New Jersey, in 1998, which is dedicated to his career and baseball history. It also offers a baseball camp and sports-related workshops.
To support the museum, Berra holds an annual celebrity golf event. The usually gregarious Berra seemed a little more subdued at the 2012 tournament at the Montclair Golf Club. He chose to remain inside the golf clubhouse at the event rather than chat with participants outside, as he had done with wife Carmen in previous years, according to the New York Daily News.