Baseball legend Yogi Berra dead at 90

By REUTERS
September 23, 2015 20:32
1 minute read.

 
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Yogi Berra, a Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees whose mangled syntax made him one of the sports world's most beloved and frequently quoted figures, has died at the age of 90.

Berra died of natural causes on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center posted online by Major League Baseball.

"Yogi conducted his life with unwavering integrity, humility and a contagious good humor that elevated him from baseball legend to beloved national icon," the northern New Jersey museum said in a separate post on Facebook.

Lawrence Peter Berra, known to the world as Yogi, was a tough catcher and a feared clutch hitter who helped the Yankees dominate baseball from 1947 to 1963.

On a team packed with great players like Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio, Berra led the Yankees in runs batted in for seven consecutive seasons.

He won the American League's Most Valuable Player award three times in the 1950s, was a 15-time All Star and entered baseball's Hall of Fame in 1972.

After retiring as a player, Berra became one of only six managers to lead separate American and National League teams to the World Series.

Berra's baseball accomplishments were sometimes overshadowed by his linguistic shortcomings. Some of his statements were head-scratching malapropisms, while others sounded like warped Zen koans or deep Yoda-like wisdom.

His "Yogi-isms" were repeated by presidents, Wall Street titans, comedians and anyone else who wanted to sound wise, funny, folksy - or all three.

"I don't know why I say these things," he once told Reuters. "But people understand me."

Berra also appeared as himself in TV ads that played on his tangled expressions to sell everything from a global credit card to the Yoo-hoo chocolate drink.

"Yogi Berra was a beacon of Americana," Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred said on Wednesday.

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