Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (born May 12, 1925) is a retired baseball player and, later, team manager. Born on the Hill in St. Louis, Berra was originally nicknamed Lawdie, a bastardization of his name Lawrence. He picked up his nickname from a friend who said he resembled a Hindu holy man (yogi). He began playing baseball in local American Legion leagues, where he learned the basics of play as a catcher. After rejecting an offer from the St. Louis Cardinals he signed with the New York Yankees in 1942. He is generally considered to be one of the five best catchers in history. In two recent (2004) approaches by sabermetricians Berra is ranked first by the Bill James Win Shares method and third by the Total Baseball Total Player Wins method.
Berra is also quite famous for his tendency to malapropism and fracturing the English language in highly provocative, interesting ways; see Yogiisms.
Following a spell in the US Navy during World War II he played minor league baseball with the Newark Bears before being called up for 7 games in the major leagues in 1946. The following season he played 86 games for the Yankees, and he would play 100+ for each of the following 14 years. During his 19-year career as a Yankee the Bronx Bombers dominated baseball, appearing in 14 World Series and winning ten championships. Yogi himself was a 15-time All-Star, and won the league MVP award three times (in 1951, 1954 and 1955) and caught Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 Series.
In 1946, he wore uniform number 38 on the Yankees, switching to 35 the next year. In 1948 he changed to number 8, which was to be made famous as his number for the rest of his career on the Yankees and Mets. The number 8 was retired in 1972 by the Yankees, jointly honoring Berra and Bill Dickey, his predecessor as the Yankees' star catcher.
In 1972 he was elected to the United States Baseball Hall of Fame.
Yankees - Mets - Yankees - Fired by Steinbrenner - Astros,
G AB H 2B 3B HR R RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP AVG OBP SLG
2,120 7,555 2,150 321 49 358 1,175 1,430 704 49 414 9 44 52 .285 .348 .482
Four books by Yogi Berra (with co-authors):
ISBN 0761110909; (April 1998) The Yogi Book: 'I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said'
ISBN 0786867752; (May 2001) When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It! Inspiration and Wisdom from One of Baseball's Greatest Heroes
ISBN 0743237684; (October 1, 2002) What Time Is It? You Mean Now?: Advice for Life from the Zennest Master of Them All
ISBN 0070969477; (April, 1989) Yogi: It Ain't Over