By Charles Mule,
Sports Business Assistant Editor
There is an old saying “Hero’s get remembered, but legends never die.” Well that is the case with Lawrence Peter Berra.
Berra, who passed away early Wednesday morning, was baseball royalty making 14 World Series appearances and winning 10 championships.
Berra was adored by baseball and its fans everywhere. The 5-foot-7 catcher won three Most Valuable Player awards and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.
Though being an outstanding ballplayer, Berra’s humor and seriousness went hand in hand, making him one of the faces of America. Berra had his own set of “Yogi-isms,” a set of quotes ranging from “It ain’t over till it’s over,” to “It’s dѐjả vu all over again.” Berra’s famous quotes and Yogi-isms will be around forever.
Born in 1925, Berra grew up in St. Louis after his parents emigrated from Italy. He received his famous nickname from a childhood friend that thought he resembled a Hindu yogi.
Berra agreed to a contract with the Yankees in 1943, with a signing bonus of $500. Berra waited until 1946 to make his major league debut due to serving in the U.S. Navy during the ’44 and ’45 seasons.
As a Second Class Seaman, Berra served in the D-Day invasion on a small boat at Utah Beach according to multiple sources.
In a recent statement, Yankees General Partner Hal Steinbrenner stated, “Yogi Berra’s legacy transcends baseball. Though slight in stature, he was a giant in the most significant of ways through his service to his country, compassion for others and genuine enthusiasm for the game he loved. He has always been a role model and hero that America could look up to.”
Berra started a streak of fifteen consecutive All-Star appearances in his first full season in 1948.
Berra was strong with a powerful swing that led to five 100 run batted in seasons and two 30 home run seasons.
Berra made 140 starts behind the plate in four different seasons, and caught the only perfect game in postseason history thrown by Don Larsen in 1956.
Steinbrenner added, “While his baseball wit and wisdom brought out the best in generations of Yankees, his imprint in society stretches far beyond the walls of Yankee Stadium. He simply had a way of reaching and relating to people that was unmatched. That’s what made him such a national treasure.”
Berra had durability, strength, power and skill. After retiring, Yogi went on to manage and coach almost 1,000 combined games with the Yankees and Mets.
He would win three more rings as a coach with the Mets in 1969 and the Yanks in 1977 and 1978.
Berra’s best game in history is still in the record books.
In Game 7 of the 1956 World Series he hit two home runs and drove in four runs. Still to this day Yogi is the only player to hit two homers in a winner-take-all World Series game.
Berra will also be remembered for his museum in Montclair, New Jersey. The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center showcases exhibits based on his past with the Yankees and baseball in general. There, Berra also displays his impressive
Berra will be remembered for not only his career achievements, but his personality, constant sayings, and the way people linked onto him as if he was their own.
Berra will forever be enshrined in baseball immortality and the legend of him will live on forever. After all, legends never die.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 6th print edition.
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