Snow Flakes, Spring, and Yogi Berra …

Well, the first day of Spring was greeted with early morning snow flakes here in New York; but, Spring prevailed over Winter, as the sun melted the little snow crystals before they had any chance of accumulating on the ground.

So, it was kind of a nice transition, as Winter had its final at-bat, and Spring very easily recorded the last outs of the season. Winter will surely redeem itself with a victory when it battles the Fall at the end of December later this year.

I guess it was certain Spring was going to arrive on time because Yogi Berra was scheduled to arrive back home in New Jersey today from Tampa, Florida. At least, that’s what was reported by the Yankee announcers, Ken Singleton and John Flaherty, before the Yankees 7-4 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays, on the YES Network last night, as the camera showed Yogi smiling and having a good time sitting in the Yankees dugout.

Yogi Berra always seems to be in the right place, at the right time. So, I’m sure when he arrives back North — Spring will be here.

Like Yogi once said, “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else“. So, I would say, when Yogi Berra returns home, it will be Spring.

Yogi Berra’s “highlights” from his 18 year New York Yankees career are amazing.

And, when I think about Yogi Berra’s great baseball career, my thoughts always go back to a few years ago when a reporter asked the Yankees “captain” Derek Jeter how it felt to have “four” World Series rings. Jeter’s response was priceless, and explains why Derek is a “winner”; a class act; and, a true Yankee who has tremendous respect for the great New York Yankees tradition.

Derek Jeter said …  

“Well, over here with the Yankees we have a guy walking around with “ten” World Series rings. Basically, that’s the standard we all look up to each year”. 

Of course, Jeter was talking about Yogi Berra, and the fact that Berra represents a connection to the awesome Yankees winning tradition, greatness, and history of the past.

And, this is the reason Derek Jeter, and Yankees owner, George Steinbrenner, have always set the goal of winning the World Series each year as the benchmark of a successful Yankees season. Anything less is a failure.

With Yogi Berra as the “Gold Standard” of success, how can any owner, manager, coach, player, team, or fan, go wrong following that great example? 

Yogi Berra played for the Yankees from 1946-1963, and appeared in 14 World Series, including, “ten” World Championship teams.

Actually, counting Yogi’s seven additional appearances in the World Series as either a coach or manager, in which he was part of three more World Championship teams, Yogi Berra appeared in a record 21 World Series’, and has 13 World Series rings.

Yogi Berra has appeared in a World Series, as a player, manager, or coach in “five” different decades: * 1940’s … * 1950’s … * 1960’s … * 1970’s … 1980’s

Berra still hold numerous World Series records, including, hitting the first pinch-hit homerun in World Series play, in 1947; and, his greatest achievement, catching Don Larsen’s “Perfect Game” in the Yankees 2-0 victory in Game 5 of the 1956 World Seres.

During the regular season, Berra had a lifetime .285 batting average, with 2,150 Hits; 358 Homeruns; 1,430 RBI’s; and a .482 slugging percentage.

* Yogi Berra was selected to play on the American League All-Star Team 15 times.

* Berra won the American League MVP Award “three” times (1951, ’54, ’55).

* Between 1949 and 1955, on great teams with such stars as Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra led the Yankees in RBI’s “seven” consecutive seasons.

* Five times Berra had more Homeruns in a season than strikeouts, including, striking-out only 12 times in 597 at-bats in 1950, while hitting .322 with 28 HR’s and 124 RBI’s.

* In June, 1962, at the age of 37, Yogi Berra caught an entire 22-inning, 7-hour game, against the Detroit Tigers.

* Yogi Berra had the reputation of being a “bad ball hitter”; and, when he was once asked about swinging at “bad pitches”, Yogi replied, “if I can hit it, it’s a good pitch”.

* In 1972, Yogi Berra was enshrined into Baseball’s “Hall of Fame”.

* Also, in 1972, the New York Yankees honored Yogi Berra by retiring his #8 … [note: the Yankees have also retired #8 in honor of Hall of Fame catcher, Bill Dickey].

I could go on and on in this dedication in honor of Yogi Berra, but will end my stating the obvious …

Yogi Berra was one of the greatest players in baseball history; and a true “American Original” !!!

Thank you, Yogi, for still being a major part of the New York Yankees family; and, also, for all the many joyful moments you have given all of us throughout the years !!! 

 

To view Yogi Berra’s lifetime stats, click on …

http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/berrayo01.shtml  

 

The following are some of my favorite “Yogi-isms” …

Quotes by Yogi Berra:

 * “You can observe a lot by watching”

* “It’s like deja vu all over again”

* “If I didn’t wake up, I’d still be sleeping”

* “I can’t concentrate when I’m thinking”

* “No one goes there any more; it’s too crowded”

* “It’s not too far, it just seems like it is”

* “We’re lost, but we’re making good time”

* “I knew I was going to take the wrong train, so I left early”

 

* “It gets late awfully early around here”

[referring to the bad sun conditions in left field at Yankee Stadium].

 

* “We made too many wrong mistakes”

[on why the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburg Pirates].

 

* “It’s tough to make predicitions, especially about the future”

* “The future ain’t what it used to be”

* “Never answer an anonymous letter”

 

* “You better make it four. I don’t think I can eat eight”

[when asked how many slices his pizza should be cut into].

 

* “I want to thank you for making this day necessary”

[in a speech he said “necessary” instead of “possible”].

 

* “It ain’t over, ’till it’s over”

 

— What are some of your favorite Yogi Berra quotes?

— Do you know any different “Yogi-isms” than above?

 

Everybody, enjoy the first day of “Spring”, 2009 !!!  

 

— Jimmy Curran, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”

Advertisements

26 comments

  1. juliasrants

    Jimmy, HAPPY SPRING!!!! Yogi – shhh…don’t tell Scott this …..but Yogi is my favorite Yankees’ player! We own one of his books with his Yogi-isms. It is such a pleasure to listen to him speak. And he should be the standard that the young Yankees players aspire to reach. What a great man he is!! Thank you for reminding us about such a great player and person! I hope the snow ends for you soon and that the feel of Spring is in the air! Have a great evening Jimmy! Opening Day will be here soon!

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  2. crazy19canuck

    Hi Jimmy – I guess there is no time like the present to admit this. Yogi Berra is my favorite player of all time. There is just something about him that mades him stand out above the crowd. I never got to see him play, obviously, but have watched many videos and heard many interviews. He’s so upbeat all the time, and I love how he is still connected to the team. He’s a true hero. Pinstripes and all!
    Canuck
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  3. Elizabeth D

    Jimmy,
    I love guys like Yogi Berra who stay with an organization for a very long time and contribute to it so much. Johnny Pesky is one of those guys. I liked the analogy of winter having its “final at-bat”.
    I have to say, I have a lot of respect for Derek Jeter. I dislike him as a Red Sox fan but as a baseball fan, you’ve got to love him.
    -Elizabeth
    http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  4. scofid

    I am only 5’7″, and you think about what a disadvantage that is. Yet, you see what Yogi Berra accomplished at his size. I think that’s one thing you hear from modern players, they are always surprised at how small he is. Given his accomplishments, he should be 7 feet tall!

    Yet another excellent blog, Jimmy!

    Scott
    http://fotr.mlblogs.com

  5. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Julia …

    Spring is here, and like you said, “Opening Day will be here soon” !!! … So, that’s a great feeling to know that the new baseball season is almost here !!! … It has been a long, cold, winter with much snow … Seeing the early morning snow on the first day of Spring was not a good sight !!! … But, it didn’t last long, didn’t stick on the ground, and the rest of the day was nice [still cold, though] !!! … I can’t wait for the warm days of Spring and Summer to arrive !!! …
    .
    So, Julia, Yogi Berra is your favorite all-time Yankees player !!! … Well, I would have to say “that is great”, and, also, I’m proud to say that Ted Williams is my all-time favorite Red Sox player [it has always been my opinion that Babe Ruth is the greatest player in baseball history; and, Ted Williams is the greatest hitter in baseball history] !!! … So, it’s good to see that we can root for our favorite teams, but also have respect for the other teams best players !!! … Yogi Berra is the true “Gold Standard” of class, winning, and the geat Yankees tradition … And, also, the true “Gold Standard” of what it takes to be an all-time great baseball player !!! … Yogi Berra is a person and player that all players should look to follow and imitate !!!
    .
    Julia, I hope your first day of Spring up in the Boston area was very enjoyable !!!
    Take care !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Canuck …

    Yogi Berra is one of those players who is loved by all fans, players, and, even, people outside of baseball in all areas of life … So, it’s great to see that he is your all-time favorite player; and, it’s also great that fans of many different teams respect and love Yogi Berra as a player and the great person that he is !!! … I never seen Yogi play either; but, when I see the old film clips of Berra during his playing days, especially, the iconic pictures and clips of him jumping into the arms of Don Larsen after the classic 1956 World Series Perfect Game — this makes me proud to be a Yankees fan !!! ….. Yogi Berra is a connection to a great time in baseball [1940’s, ’50’s, early ’60s], and it’s a great feeling to know that he is still a big part of the Yankees family !!!
    Thanks for the visit, Canuck !!!
    .
    Also, Canuck, thanks for adding my mlblog to your “Link List” on your blog !!!
    I really appreciate being included on your blog list; and, it is a pleasure to also add your blog to my “Link Lists” !!!
    Once again, Best Wishes and Good Luck on your new mlblog !!!
    Take care !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  7. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Elizabeth …

    Yeah, that’s one of the great things about baseball — we can all learn so much from the past [about baseball and in life] !!! … And, having players like Yogi Berra and Johnny Pesky around the current Yankee and Red Sox teams really adds to the geatness, tradition, and history of the game of “baseball” !!!
    .
    Yes, “Winter” did take its final at-bats, and went down swinging on the first day of “Spring” !!! … The new baseball season is almost here, which also means the warm and hot days of spring and summer are not too far behind !!!
    .
    Finally, Derek Jeter is one of the classiest baseball players of all-time, following perfectly in the footsteps of Yankee greats such as Yogi Berra !!! … I thank you for having respect for Derek Jeter … It’s great that we can root for our favorite teams, and, also, respect great players on other teams !!! … And, I always have that same respect for players on the Red Sox, and other teams; and, I especially look forward to all the games against the Red Sox in the upcoming season, which are always like “playoff games” !!!
    Take care, Elizabeth !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  8. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Scott …

    Yogi Berra is a “Giant” among all-time great baseball players !!! … One of the great things about baseball is that the height of a player doesn’t matter — players could be all sizes, and be great, such as Yankee “Hall of Famers”, Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto !!!!I have never seen Yogi Berra in person, but I’m sure when he is in a room full of people, he is the one person who towers above everyone else in the room, no matter who is also in the room, from any area of life !!!
    Scott, thanks as always, for the visit and kind words !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  9. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Happy !!!

    Yes, Yogi Berra will always be considered one of the great ballplayers of all-time !!! … And, it’s great that Yogi is still is big a part of the Yankees organization, as his presence at Yankees Spring Training every year in Tampa, Florida and, his constant presence at Yankee Stadium throughout the years is a connection to the awesome Yankees winning tradition that is a tremendous inspiration to the everyone in the Yankees organization, as well as, the Yankee fans, and all fans of our great game of baseball !!!
    Thanks again, for your visit, Happy !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  10. Jane Heller

    Great post about Yogi, Jimmy! He was an amazing ballplayer, no doubt about it, and it’s always fun reading his Yogi-isms. A friend of mine goes to the same church as he does in NJ, and she raves about what a wonderful man he is. He gives money to the church but never makes a fuss about it or calls attention to himself.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  11. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Jane …

    I have never met Yogi Berra in person, and would really like to visit his Baseball Museum in New Jersey, and see Yogi there, and maybe even get his autograph !!! … Yogi Berra was a great player … And, like you mentioned in your comments, is a wonderful person who supports his Church and doesn’t call attention to himself !!! … It’s so great that Mr. Berra is still part of the Yankees family, and respected by everybody as a true baseball hero and an American icon !!!
    Take care, and thanks for the visit, Jane !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  12. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Kaybee …

    I’m happy you enjoyed reading about some of Yogi Berra’s career highlights, and, also, some of his great quotes, on my above post !!! … Those “Yogi-isms” are so great because they make so much sense and can be applied in any area of life — not just in baseball !!! … It is always fun to read or write anything about Yogi Berra’s great life !!!
    Thanks for the visit, Kaybee !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  13. jimmy27nyy

    Hi Bob …

    “Very Cool” that you got Yogi Berra’s autograph !!!
    .
    I never met Mr. Berra, but like Yogi once said …
    “It’s tough to make predicitions, especially about the future” !!!
    So, maybe, at some point in the future, I will meet Yogi Berra and even get his autograph !!!
    I think it is so great that Yogi is loved and respected by everybody !!!
    .
    Thanks for the visit, Bob !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  14. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Canuck … “Yes” !!!

    From all the reports I have seen and heard, the new Yankee Stadium is said to be the most “state-of-the-art” Baseball Stadium even built, up to this point in time !!! .. I really look forward to my first visit to the new Stadium, and the first “tunnel experience” [that Elizabeth has so eloquently described in one of her “posts” about her first Fenway Park visit], walking up the ramp from the entrance area, and seeing the field, and whole ballpark, inside the Stadium, for the first time !!! … I always had that feeling every time I entered the old Yankee Stadium, or any other ballpark that I entered !!! … So, my first time in the new Yankee Stadium will be “very special” indeed !!! … And, one of the best features of the new Stadium is: the field dimensions are exactly the same as they were in the old Yankee Stadium !!! … Also, of the 50,000+ seats in the new Stadium, there will be 30,000 on the field level, and 20,000 in the upper decks, which is opposite of the seating in the old Stadium [so, more seats are closer to the field — and, of course, much more expensive] !!! … I really hope I get an opportunity to attend at least one game at the new Yankee Stadium this year; and, Canuck, I hope you also get a chance to visit the new Yankee Stadium sometime in the future !!!
    Take care, Canuck; and, have a great day !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  15. jimmy27nyy

    Very nice thoughts, Canuck …

    Going to Yankee Stadium with your father would be a great experience !!! … My father took me to my first baseball game at Yankee Stadium, and it was a very special day finally being inside the Stadium that I had only seen on T.V. up to that point !!! …… And, my father was not a big baseball fan at the time [he really started following the Yankees later on in his life] … But, he did take me to the historic Yankee Stadium, and was a coach on our Little League and Babe Ruth teams !!! ………. Those are special memories that I will always remember and cherish !!! … Canuck, I really hope you get a chance to share that trip to Yankee Stadium with your father one day [and, it would be great if the Yankees also won the game] !!!
    Thanks for the visit and comments, Canuck !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  16. scofid

    Hi Jimmy,
    Thanks for the comments you left! That was a great home run by Austin Jackson last night. Everyone knew that he’s headed back to the minor leagues, but still, being sent down immediately following a great game and successful spring had to sting a little. I am looking forward to his return either later this year or next year. Have a great day!

    Scott
    http://fotr.mlblogs.com

  17. jimmy27nyy

    You’re welcome, Scott …

    First, “Congratulations”, again, on your big win in your wager with Julia … The Yankees and Red Sox end up tied 1-1 in their only two Spring Training games this year, so now onto the regular season and the continuation of the great Yankees/Red Sox rivalry !!!
    .
    It was a good win for the Yankees yesterday, with great pitching performanes by A.J. Burnett and Mariano Rivera, and the long grand slam homerun by Austin Jackson that broke the game open in the bottom of the 8th inning !!! … A solid 7-1 victory for our Bronx Bombers !!! … If Gardner and Melky don’t play well in the first half of the season, there is a good chance Austin Jackson will get called-up at some point after the All-Star break … But, now it’s really up to Jackson, and how well he plays at (AAA)-SWB !!!
    Take care, Scott !!! …
    — “Go Yankees” !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  18. letsgoyankees

    “If there’s a fork in the road, take it”.

    “I don’t even suspect anything.”
    [In response to a teacher asking, “Yogi, don’t you know anything?”]
    -Yogi Berra

  19. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, letsgoyankees …

    Those are great Yogi Berra quotes that you listed in your above comments !!! ……… Yogi was one of the all-time great ballplayers, and a true “classic” and American icon … It is great that Yogi Berra is still part of the Yankees family; and, all Yankee and baseball fans are very blessed that Yogi is still a major part of baseball for about 70 years now !!! … Mr. Berra is an connection to the past history of baseball; and, an awesome legend who makes our American Pastime so special !!!
    Thanks for the visit, letsgoyankees !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  20. letsgoyankees

    I visit all the blogs often, but this is the first time I’ve commented on yours Jimmy. I really like the stuff you do put out there, but you should update more. Thanks for responding!
    -Letsgoyankees

  21. jimmy27nyy

    Thanks, Letsgoyankees !!!

    I appreciate all your vists, comments, and kind words !!!
    Also, I agree, I do need to update my blog more frequently … Time is always a major factor in trying to maintain ones blog on a daily basis, and, I was busy with other activities this past weekend, into Monday, that limited my blogging time !!! … I always respond to all the comments I receive, though, and, make a great effort to visit and offer comments on as many blogs around the mlblogosphere as I can !!! … I will certaintly visit your blog on a regular basis this season; and, hope to post many entries on my blog on a daily basis and schedule !!! … I look forward to the upcoming baseball season as I think the Yankees have a much more improved team than in 2008, especially, the starting pitching … The key for the Yankees success in 2009 is for everybody on the team to stay healthy, and, of course, we need many more great pitching performances by Mariano Rivera closing out games out of the bullpen !!!
    Thanks again for your visit and great comments, Letsgoyankees !!! … I greatly appreciate all your thoughts, and look forward to all your future comments !!!
    Take care, for now !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s