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Yogi Berra – 1976 Topps #179

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra (born May 12, 1925) is a former American Major League Baseball catcher, outfielder, and manager. He played almost his entire 19-year baseball career (1946–1965) for the New York Yankees. Berra was one of only four players to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League three times and is one of only six managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. As a player, coach, or manager, Berra appeared in 21 World Series. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Berra is widely regarded as one of the greatest catchers in baseball history. According to the win shares formula developed by sabermetrician Bill James, Berra is the greatest catcher of all time and the 52nd greatest non-pitching player in major-league history. Berra, who quit school after the eighth grade, has a tendency toward malapropism and fracturing the English language. “It ain’t over till it’s over” is arguably his most famous example, often quoted. Simultaneously denying and confirming his reputation, Berra once stated, “I really didn’t say everything I said.” He picked up his famous nickname from a friend, Bobby Hofman, who said he resembled a Hindu holy man (yogi) they had seen in a movie, whenever Berra sat around with arms and legs crossed waiting to bat, or while looking sad after a losing game. Berra appeared in fourteen World Series, winning ten championships, both of which are records. One of the most notable days of Berra’s playing career came when he caught Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, the first of only two no-hitters ever thrown in postseason play. The pictures of Berra leaping into Larsen’s arms following the 27th out are among the sport’s most memorable images. In 1972, Berra was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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