Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra
Name at birth: Lawrence Peter Berra
Yogi Berra was the Hall of Fame baseball player-coach-manager who, as catcher and clutch hitter, anchored the New York Yankees during their championships of the 1940s and '50s. The son of Italian immigrants, Lawrence Peter Berra grew up in St. Louis and began playing baseball seriously when he was 17. After an interruption in his career for military service (he served in the U.S. Navy and was part of an amphibious crew at D-Day), he joined the Yankees in 1946 and played there until 1965. As a player he holds several World Series records, including the most titles (10) and most World Series played (14). As a manager he took the Yankees to the World Series (1964) and the Mets to the World Series (1973). He then coached and managed the Yankees again (1976-85), and finished his baseball career as a coach with the Houston Astros (1986-89). One of the greatest catchers ever, Berra was also a charismatic and friendly ambassador for the game, with a talent for humorous remarks. His confused-sounding "Yogi-isms" are legendary: "It ain't over 'til it's over" and "It's deja vu all over again" and "When you come to the fork in the road, take it" are just a few.
He got the name Yogi — as in Hindu monk — when he was a teen, after fellow baseballer Bobby Hoffman saw him sitting cross-legged on the ground.