From Cartoon-Inspiring Man to Pop Culture Icon: The Kindly Yogi Berra

Lawrence Peter Berra, better known as “Yogi” Berranation in 1925 in Missouri (USA). Son of Italian parents and the fourth brother of a family made up of five children. His love for baseball was always greater than his vocation for studies.

The sport that, every day, drove people crazy Berra It would be his highest aspiration: to dedicate himself fully to a captivating discipline that took over his life. Therefore, with almost 18 yearsentered his first baseball team: the Cardigans by San Luis, a team in which he would last very little due to the fact that the New York Yankees they seized the pass of the young player for a total of 500 dollars.

The bet they had Yankees by Berra It was too big. already with 18 years compliments and before making his debut in the team, the American joined the Navy of USA. In this way, from holding a bat every day, he came to be holding a weapon to defend his teammates, himself and his country.

was in the Second World War y participated in the Normandy landings (where he served as landing craft support gunner) that began on June 6, 1944 (also known as “D-Day”). Besides, he was able to survive the omaha massacre (beach that was located on the north coast of Francefacing the English Channel).

After living hellish months and with the doubt that haunted each day if he would see his relatives again or if he would have to wait longer to meet his siblings and parents, Berra returned to New York in 1945 to resume his daily life. .

Lay down the guns and grab the bat:

Already inserted in his house, Yogi resumed baseball and in 1946 He was able to debut with the New York Yankees, so that after three years of learning and filming on the courts, he established himself as a starting receiver.

Berra was characterized as a receiver who liked to talk on the field. He frequently conversed with the hitters. They weren’t the only ones Yogi talked to.

He also had excellent communication with the pitchers. That was his temperament, to be loquacious and determined.

For many, a “nice guy” that he always wanted to win, but that he did not forget that it was a mere sports contest. And he did it with solid and logical arguments.

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So much so that he became known for his funny and famous phrases, known as “yogismos”, which often featured unexpected and witty wisdom.

Yogism, a culture in itself:

His nickname Yogi arose from his way of sitting like a yoga teacher. it became a revolution for the sport of bat, ball and bases that transcended the barriers of the diamond.

Berra had her own way of seeing life through sport and vice versa. Although, according to what she said, “This isn’t over, until it’s over”the life of the famous catcher of the Yankees and also manager of the Mets and the Houston, it was finished at the age of 90, on September 22, he left a great legacy of anecdotes and phrases that raised him to a pedestal of the best.

He played with more head than physique. The explanation is none other than his small size (1.73 meters) and for him baseball “90% mental and 10% physical.”

Yankees, a splendid career:

With the Yankees, Berra managed to build a fruitful career. So brilliant was his stage that he was chosen there three-time American League Most Valuable Player (1951, 1954 and 1955). Besides, had ten World Series Championship (1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961 and 1962) and 18 times he was selected for the game of the stars.

All these achievements were achieved with what would become the team of his deepest and most desired dreams. he would be the player that every team dreams of having on their squad. From his arrival in the season that he would make his debut (1946) until his departure from the team in the 1963 edition, Yogi left a huge legacy with the Yankees.

In his 17 seasons with the team, Yogi was one of the key pieces to reach the 14 finals that the New York Yankees in that time period:

  1. 1947: New York Yankees (4) vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (3)
  2. 1949: New York Yankees (4) vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (1)
  3. 1950: New York Yankees (4) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (0)
  4. 1951: New York Yankees (4) vs. New York Giants (2)
  5. 1952: New York Yankees (4) vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (3)
  6. 1953: New York Yankees (4) vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (2)
  7. 1955: Brooklyn Dodgers (4) vs. New York Yankees (3)
  8. 1956: New York Yankees (4) vs. Brooklyn Dodgers (3)
  9. 1957: Milwaukee Braves (4) vs. New York Yankees (3)
  10. 1958: New York Yankees (4) vs. Milwaukee Braves (3)
  11. 1960: Pittsburgh Pirates (4) vs. New York Yankees (3)
  12. 1961: New York Yankees (4) vs.Cincinnati Reds (1)
  13. 1962: New York Yankees (4) vs. San Francisco Giants (3)
  14. 1963: Los Angeles Dodgers (4) vs. New York Yankees (0)
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The beginning of a new stage:

In 1964 he became manager of the Yankees.. With this new position in his career, he managed to win the american leaguebut lost the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals by 4-3.

In the 1965 season he returned to the courts, but as a new player for the New York Mets. Los Mets would be Yogi’s last teamIn that season, the American would put an end to his career as a player, but he would not detach himself from the sport of his life.

Berra served as the coach and manager of the Yankees, and also have a step as a coach in the Mets and the Houston Astros. When he was in command of the teams of NYwas able to get them to add numerous titles, thus increasing his legend in MLB history.

But there was an event that caused Yogi to have problems in his paradise, when in the 1985 season he was fired as manager of the Yankees for a fight with George Steinbrenner (owner of the team). He had only played 16 games in that edition.

Through this confrontation, Berra vowed never to return to the stadium as long as Steinbrenner continued to own the club. Promise that was broken in 1999, the American of Italian parents made the honor pitch in the first game of the season. A happy ending to a story of a person and a club that were meant to be together.

Farewell to a legend:

On September 22, 2015, Lawrence Peter Berra passed away. from natural causes at his home in New Jersey. “While we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with Mom. We celebrate his remarkable life, and give thanks that he meant so much to so many. He will be truly missed.”said the Berra family in a statement released by through the Museo Yogi Berra.

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“I always go to other people’s funerals, because otherwise no one will come to mine”, declared on more than one occasion. And his, of course, was attended by family, celebrities and the public that loved him. AND a golden glove was left on the altar as a sign of the importance that his figure radiated.

The American, a true legend, entered the Hall of Fame en 1972 and was recognized that same year for them to withdraw their number in the New York Yankees.

For this reason, his legacy crossed the barriers of the sport itself and settled, now he will continue to be remembered by all the followers, not only of the baseballbut of sport.

It will even be remembered by the young and not so young who watch cartoons, since it was the one that gave its name to the famous Yogi Bear. Lovers of his story will look at this cartoon with a different love every time they see the Yogui bearor rather Yogi Berra. Yogi Bear (or Yogi Bear) was named after Berra, as part of an English pun.

Phrases that will remain for the memory:

Yogi not only left titles, memories of great games, he also left phrases that only a person like Berra could come up with. Many of these are offbeat, thoughtful, funny, and more:

  • “If you can’t imitate him, don’t copy him.”
  • “Cut the pizza into four pieces, I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”
  • “This isn’t over until it’s over.”
  • “Baseball is about 90 percent brain, the other half is physical exertion.”
  • “I’ve been with the Yankees for 17 years, watching games and learning. You can see a lot by looking.”
  • “Nobody goes to that place anymore, there are too many people.”
  • “It gets late very early.”
  • “A penny is not worth a penny anymore.”
  • “You have to go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”
  • “Never answer an anonymous letter.”
  • “The future is not what it used to be.”
  • “We have made too many wrong mistakes.”
  • “When you come to a crossroads on the road, go straight ahead.”
  • “It’s not over until it’s over.”
  • “I have not said everything I have said.”
  • “It’s a déjà vu that repeats itself all the time.”

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