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Cant help it folks. I'm a Yankee fan but I gotta get behind the Mets here. Finally looks like they got a good team. Until Wright comes back and spoils it of course.
Oh my, Yogi Berra, an all-time great catcher in the big leagues, and an all-American icon for his many quotes and advertisements that featured him. Seeing comments here referencing that .... really depressed me. Yogi is an iconic American sports star, a beloved character, and what hit hardest on a personal level, was that Yogi has lived most of his life since he got to the Yankees in a Northern NJ town, near where I grew up. There was a fair bit of news about Yogi in my neck of the woods, and all of it was positive and beloved. Yogi's achievements in baseball are legendary and formidable. He ranks with the best of the best. The Yog played in 14 World Series and was on the winning side 10 times!!! That could be a personal record that might not be beat. Yogi was part of Yankee dynasties that helped him get there, but his presence on those teams helped the Yankees win so often. Here are some astonishing nuggets: He led the Yankees in RBI's 7 years in a row through 1955. Those were teams with Joe Dimaggio and Mickey Mantle, He was league MVP 3 times, and received MVP votes 14 years in a row, tied for 2nd behind all time leader Hank Aaron. He was a great player and had tremendous longevity. Yogi caught the famous perfect game in the 1956 World Series. He was a great contact hitter, and a notorious bad ball hitter all the same, being able to connect at pitches above his head, and being capable of golfing a ball thrown at his feet. When you review the reams of detailed statistics about his career there is a column of detail about his annual baseball salary each year. Yogi maxed out at $65,000/year in his playing career. Today the highest paid catchers make around $12-17/million/year, which comes to more per game than he earned in his highest salaried year. Not withstanding the way sports salaries have escalated I doubt baseball's best catchers today could hold Yogi's jock. He was excellent at both offense and defense. He is amazingly beloved in the NY region and among Yankee fans. Growing up his sons were noted athletes, two of whom made it into professional baseball and the NFL. One of my closest friends played on a noted regional Legion baseball team against one of Yogi's sons. As a kid that is simply thrilling. For such a lifelong humble guy he has that "Brooks Robinson" combination of baseball stardom and entirely admirable personal qualities. I truly hope he sticks around for quite a few more years. Here's to you, Yogi. "It ain't over till its over!!"
Rusty Staub, le Grand Orange!
Happy Super Bowl Sunday, folks, I think this is one of the most interesting, and certainly one of the most "quick-thinking" defensive plays I've ever seen. Here's the setup: The Yankees' Orlando Hernandez ("El Duque") is pitching to the Mets' Rey Ordóñez. Ordóñez hits a very routine grounder back to the pitcher's mound, but the ball gets stuck inside of Hernandez's mitt - he can't pull it out - and Hernandez has about 1-2 seconds to decide what to do. Does he keep trying to pull the ball out, or ... ? Given the high-risk nature of what Hernandez did, I don't know if it was the correct thing to do, but once he made his decision (and I emphasize, he had perhaps one second to make it), both he and the first baseman, Tino Martinez, displayed extraordinary moments of athleticism, calm-under-pressure, and hand-eye coordination. Jun 6, 1999 - "Sports of the Times; A Play Maybe Nobody Had Ever Seen Before" by Dave Anderson on nytimes.com