• Home

Yankee Great Berra dies at 90

Posted:
By Jeremy Donovan.
In what sounds like a true Yogi-ism, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is perhaps the greatest underrated player in the history of baseball. Berra passed away on September 22, 2015 at the age of 90. Sixty-nine years to the day of his major league debut.

While Berra's accomplishments on the field speak for themselves, 358 career home runs, 1,430 RBI, ten world series titles as a player, 18 All-Star appearances, and three AL MVP Awards, the justification for calling him the greatest underrated player ever is that he played on Yankees teams where he was often overshadowed by the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris. He was even shifted to the outfield late in his career to give Elston Howard time behind the plate (you can see Berra's #8 going back on Bill Mazeroski's iconic home run in the video from the 1960 World Series).

Berra was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, the same year his number was retired by the Yankees. He managed the crosstown New York Mets following the untimely death of Gil Hodges in April of 1972 and led the Mets to the NL Pennant in 1973. That was the year he coined one his most often quoted "Yogi-isms," "it ain't over 'til it's over."

Off the field Berra was an ambassador to the game. After patching up his relationship with now deceased Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, Berra often attended Old Timers Day at Yankee Stadium, once again donning his pinstripes. He was named to the MLB All Century Team in 1999. He was on hand to close the old Yankee Stadium at the end of the 2008 season.

By the community at large, he was known, perhaps, more for his colorful character than his baseball career. His numerous malapropisms, affectionately called "Yogi-isms" prompting a full book of them called "I really didn't say everything I said."

Some of Yogi's best include "when you come to a fork in the road, take it," "nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded," "never answer an anonymous letter," and of course "90% of baseball is half mental."

The Mets were home Wednesday and honored Berra with a moment of silence prior to the game. The Yankees were in Toronto where the Blue Jays also held a moment of silence. In addition, the Yankees featured Berra on their lineup card for the game, and wore Berra's number 8 on the sleeves of their uniforms.

Berra died at his home in New Jersey from natural causes. He was 90 years old.