Dan's Dugout: 10 Things you didn't know about Yogi Berra • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: 10 Things you didn’t know about Yogi Berra


He was a character. If he didn’t actually exist, a clever comedian might have created him.

Yogi played four games for the '65 Mets

Yogi played four games for the ’65 Mets

Yogi Berra’s legacy is rich: 10 World Series rings and 75 World Series games played, both big-league records; three Most Valuable Player awards; and a Hall of Fame plaque installed in 1972.

His personality was also rich: mentoring players;  promoting baseball; and teaching good sportsmanship to kids through outreach programs at a museum that bears his name on the New Jersey campus of Montclair State University.

Amid the plethora of praise that followed his passing Tuesday night, a few facts slipped through the cracks. Here are a few worth noting:

  • Yogi was the only ballplayer involved in the Normandy invasion during World War II
  • He was the first man to hit a World Series home run as a pinch-hitter
  • An early proponent of diversity, he welcomed Elston Howard when the Yankees finally integrated their team in 1955
  • A catcher who became a decent leftfielder, Yogi watched Bill Mazeroski’s home run — the first to end a World Series — sail over his head in 1960
  • The only manager to win pennants with both the Yankees and Mets, he took both teams to Game 7 of the World Series
  • A devoted family man, he carried pictures of his parents in his wallet
  • He was such a huge hockey fan that he used to work out with the New Jersey Devils
  • In five different seasons, he had more home runs than strikeouts
  • Future manager Jeff Torborg served as Berra’s bench coach when Yogi managed the Yankees
  • As an Astros coach, he helped future Hall of Famer Craig Biggio reach Cooperstown by suggesting
    Yogi helped Craig Biggio in Houston

    Yogi helped Craig Biggio in Houston

    he move from catcher to second base so he could maximize his speed on offense and defense

  • In his later years, Yogi’s spring training chauffeur was former Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry — a union that prompted the Harvey Araton book Driving Mr. Yogi.

Elsewhere in baseball:

With a no-hitter among his 20 wins, Cubs righthander Jake Arrieta is pressing Dodgers stalwarts Zack Grienke and Clayton Kershaw for the National League’s Cy Young Award . . .

The Atlanta Braves have targeted a tract of land in St. Petersburg, FL for a new spring training base they hope to share with another club . . .

Dusty Baker may return as a manager in Miami

Dusty Baker may return as a manager in Miami

Dusty Baker is a good bet to wind up with a 2016 managing job but it could be anywhere from Washington to Miami . . .

Bryan Price (Reds) and Robin Ventura (White Sox) don’t figure to return as managers, with Brad Ausmus (Tigers) and Walt Weiss (Rockies) also on the skids after bad years . . .

Although Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has cooled off, the trade deadline acquisition still figures to be a hot item once free agent season opens . . .

After dropping two of three in Toronto, the New York Yankees are trying to figure out whom to pitch in that sudden-death, one-game playoff for the wild-card spot . . .

The Cardinals could be even stronger if catcher Yadier Molina and starter-turned-reliever Adam

The Cards near Yadier Molina in the playoffs

The Cards near Yadier Molina in the playoffs

Wainwright rejoin the roster for poseseason play . . .

Philadelphia plans to bring back veteran first baseman Ryan Howard even though he’d benefit from a trade to an American League team that could use him as a designated hitter.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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