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If you like Yogi Berra's story, you might also like:
Hank Aaron,
Julius Erving,
Peyton Manning,
Willie Mays,
Pete Rozelle,
Bill Russell and
John Wooden

Related Links:
Yogi Berra - Official Website

Yogi Berra Museum

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Yogi Berra
 
Yogi Berra
Profile of Yogi Berra Biography of Yogi Berra Interview with Yogi Berra Yogi Berra Photo Gallery

Yogi Berra Interview (page: 5 / 6)

Baseball Hall of Fame

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  Yogi Berra

You were known as a great clutch hitter. Somebody once said that the toughest hitter in baseball in the last three innings was Yogi Berra. What made you so good under pressure?

Yogi Berra Interview Photo
Yogi Berra: I don't know. Maybe I was just lucky. I loved to hit with men on base. Dickey used to holler at me, "You're wasting time at bat with nobody on base," he says.

You were an All-Star from '48 to '62. You won three Most Valuable Player awards. You don't go to the Hall of Fame because you're lucky.

Yogi Berra: Well. Like I said, I liked to hit with men on.

Is that your favorite moment in a game? Having the bat in your hands?

Yogi Berra: Oh, yeah. I think that's the fun of it. That's a challenge.

Was there a pitcher that gave you trouble? Any pitcher you didn't like?

Yogi Berra: No. Well, Herb Score. I remember Herb Score was a tough man. I had a tough time with Alex Kellner in Philadelphia, 'til I got the hang of him. But he gave me a little rough time. But Herb Score could have been another Sandy Koufax, I think, if he didn't get hit in the eye with Gil McDougald's line drive.

When you were growing up, did you have any trouble hitting the curve ball?

Yogi Berra: Not that much. But some of these guys, like Herb Score, if he got it over, tough luck. I didn't look for a curve ball from him.

What about Sandy Koufax? What was it like standing against him?

Yogi Berra Interview Photo
Yogi Berra: You know, I never batted against him. Not in the World Series, or anything. The only time I batted against him was in spring training. And he didn't know where the ball was going then. When I was over with the Mets I saw him pitch. He was a pretty good pitcher. And them guys said, "You're lucky you don't have to hit against him." I said, "I'd like to hit at him now. He's got control. You should have batted against him when he couldn't find home plate!"

You were a pennant-winning manager. What did you learn about leadership, being a manager, that you didn't know as a player?

Yogi Berra: Oh, I think I watched the game pretty good. I watched the pitcher. You see how many catchers are managers today, don't you? They know the game. They know when the pitchers are a little tired, or something like that. You get a good pitching coach with you, you can have a lot of fun.

What's tougher, being a player or being a manager?

Yogi Berra: A player? Tougher? No, I'd just play. I was just playing. It's harder now, I think, in the National League. I wish they'd go back to the old way in the National League. No, DH or anything. I liked that better. I know people like to see home runs, more hits and everything.

What was your reaction when you learned that you had won the Most Valuable Player award for the first time?

Yogi Berra: Oh, it was great. It was great. I celebrated at the golf club. I did. I missed out the first time. A lot of guys asked me, "How come you didn't make it the first time?" I said, "Joe DiMaggio didn't make it on the first time, either." Today, I guess, it's a little different. Baseball's changed a little bit today.

Can you pick out one moment that is the most important to you as a ballplayer?

Yogi Berra Interview Photo
Yogi Berra: Oh heck, I've got a few of them. The three Most Valuable Players, getting elected in the Hall of Fame. You know, I caught the no-hitter. The no-hitter, with Don Larsen pitching in the World Series. A perfect game. It never happened before and it hasn't happened since. He's the only one.

What were you thinking then? Two outs in the ninth inning. One batter away from a perfect game in the World Series, and you're the catcher.

Yogi Berra: I was pulling for him. He had good stuff that day.

Did you have to think twice about what pitches to call?

Yogi Berra: No. He got everything over. He went to three balls on one hitter in the first inning. That's all. He only threw 96 pitches. And anything I put down, he got over. Never shook me off once.

Are you at all surprised about what you were able to accomplish?

Yogi Berra: Oh, heck. Yep.


What I like about baseball, I made a lot of good friends. You can meet some bad ones too, don't get me wrong, but I think I met mostly good ones. Regular, like we keep in touch, the Yankees, the old guys. You know, I still keep in touch with our guys. I see Whitey [Ford]. I see Whitey all the time. Johnny Kucks, Gil McDougald, we see each other. I think a lot of them are passed away now. You know, Mickey [Mantle]. Mickey don't look like - 10 years now he's been out of the game. I miss him. I miss Billy Martin because we had fun. We really did. We did it the right way -- and sometimes we didn't!


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This page last revised on Apr 28, 2008 09:12 EDT
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