Major League Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, Yogi Berra, has passed away today at 90 years old. Berra, who spent 19 seasons in the Majors, 18 of which were behind the dish for the New York Yankees, had more than just an amazing career, but an amazing life.
Born in 1925, before Berra ever put on his gear, or his Yankee uniform, Berra served a 2 year stint in the united States Navy during the back half of World War 2. During his time in the Navy Berra participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy serving as a gunners mate.
After his time serving in the Navy, Berra began his playing career, and immediately made an impact. Berra his for a .305 average in his second full season playing for the Yankees, and was voted to the 2nd of a total of 15 All-Star games he would participate in during his playing career.
While Yogi Berra is known to many younger people today as the creator of popular phrases, or “Yogiisms” such as “It’s deja vu all over again,” and “It ain’t over til it’s over,” Berra’s on the field performance was among the most impressive ever by a catcher.
Berra was a forced to be reckoned with, both behind the dish helping his pitcher dominate opponents, but also up to bat. Throughout the course of his 19 year career, Berra batted better than a .300 average 3 times, batted in more than 100 RBIs 5 times, and finished his career with a total of 358 homeruns, 305 of which he hit as a catcher. That number of homeruns was a record at the time for a person playing the catcher position.
More impressive perhaps than his regular season performance, is Berra’s history in the postseason and October. When you combine Berra’s career a player, coach,and manager, Berra ended up in the World Series a grand total of 21 times.
Berra still holds multiple Yankees records about the World Series, including 75 games played, at-bats, hits, and doubles. He is second in RBIs and runs scored behind only Mickey Mantle.
Berra was more than astounding player on the field, he was an astounding person off of it, and his legacy will never be forgotten.