by Bob Feller
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Yogi Berra was a great hitter, a great catcher, and brutal in the outfield! A three-time MVP award winner, Yogi is a classic in and out of baseball. He is known to the world as both a baseball player and a philosopher. His wisdom will last forever. I think some of those oddball sayings, however, were made up by Joe Garagiola’s joke writers. My favorite Yogi-ism is, “When you’re lost and come to a fork in the road, take it.”
The Yankees had a Hall of Fame catcher, yet they tried to make an outfielder out of him, and that was a mistake. Catching was his forte and he was one of the greatest of all time. In addition to being superb behind the plate, Yogi shone as a hitter.
Yogi would swing at just about anything! He had no weak spots. The best way to get him out was to throw the ball right down the middle, belt-high. Your chances of getting him out were as good as if you threw the ball right over his head or two inches off his shoelaces. He had great wrists and could quickly turn on the ball and pull it for a home run. He could hit home runs in any ballpark. He had a tremendous amount of upper body strength, and that’s why he had such a productive career as a catcher.
On a personal note, Carmen and Yogi Berra are dear friends of mine. Anne and I always enjoy seeing them at Cooperstown induction weekend. He is a major Hall of Famer in my book, and his persona on and off the field gave the Yankees of the 1950s and 1960s much character and class.
From Bob Feller's Little Black Book of Baseball Wisdom by Bob Feller.
Copyright © 2001 by Bob Feller. Reprinted by permission of the McGraw-Hill Companies. All rights reserved.