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While I, like everyone else, can appreciate Yogi Berra's wit and seemingly unintentional wisdom, he was far from just a punchline or the lovable sidekick on the team.
He was a guy who was built all wrong to be a ballplayer, without the movie star looks of Gehrig, the charisma of Mantle, or the grace of DiMaggio. Yet through determination, hard work, and yes, talent, he hit 358 home runs, had 1,430 RBIs, played in 18 All-Star Games, won 3 MVPs, and earned 10 World Series rings (a record).
And did he call a good game? Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series is as strong an argument as there could be that he did, as is the fact that he's one of only four catchers in history to play an entire season without an error. In 1962, he caught all 22 innings of a game against the Tigers that lasted seven hours. Imagine staying absolutely focused at your job for that long, with no margin for error for most of that time. Now imagine doing it in front of thousands of people, with a hard ball hurtling towards you at around 90 MPH, and crouching the whole time.
His time with the Yankees was so memorable that it's easy to forget that he was a coach on the 1969 Mets World Series team. He also coined possibly his most famous Yogism, "It ain't over 'til it's over," when he was the manager of the Mets and led them to the Series in 1973. RIP to a good man who led a great life.