Yogi Berra, New York Yankees’ Hall of Fame catcher and former manager, passed away at the age of 90 and is being remembered today for his on-field statistics, his off-field humility and leadership, and his ever-quotable Yogi-isms.
Berra got his start in baseball in 1943, but World War II put his playing career on hold. According to the New York Times, Berra joined the Navy and took part in the invasion of Normandy. Two months later, he took part in Operation Dragoon, an Allied assault on Marseilles in which he was bloodied by a bullet and earned a Purple Heart.
After being discharged from the military in 1946, he returned to baseball. Berra spent 18 seasons as a New York Yankee from 1946 to 1963, and one season as a New York Met in 1965. During that time, he amassed on-field statistics that would later be deemed Hall of Fame worthy.
Yogi Berra’s baseball career by the numbers:
According to Baseball Reference
Arguably, Berra’s best year at the plate. He batted .322, hit 28 home runs and 124 RBI, and only struck out 12 times (that’s 56 plate appearances per strikeout!).
The number of consecutive starts at catcher Berra made between 1957–1959 without committing an error. It was a major league record at the time.
The all-time record for career hits in the World Series, held by Yogi Berra.
Number of Berra’s World Series appearances.
The number of seasons Berra played for the New York Yankees. He is still one of the organization’s most recognizable and best-loved players.
The number of World Series for Berra as a player.
Berra’s jersey number, retired by the New York Yankees in 1972.
The number of wins Yogi Berra added to the Yankee’s record in 1956 above what a replacement player would have added. Baseball Reference considers that number All-Star quality, verging on MVP quality.
The number of times Berra was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player.
The number of hits, walks, and errors the Don Larsen allowed when Berra caught Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Larsen then caught Berra in his arms in one of baseball’s most iconic images.
While his on-field statistics are remarkable, it was his off-field temperament and grit that endeared him into the hearts of baseball fans across the nation.
Rest in peace, Yogi.