Yogi Berra


Class of 1972

Yogi Berra


Class of 1972
One of baseball’s greatest characters and catchers. The World War II veteran and 13-time World Series champion (10 as a player, 3 as a coach) was described by Casey Stengel as “a very strange fellow of very remarkable abilities.”


Birth year

About Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra is a cultural icon whose fame transcended the baseball diamond. “Yogi-isms” such as “it ain’t over till its over” and "a nickel ain't worth a dime anymore” have found their way into the vernacular.

People think of Yogi as funny, but as his manager Casey Stengel once put it: "They say he's funny. Well, he has a lovely wife and family, a beautiful home, money in the bank, and he plays golf with millionaires. What's funny about that?”

Lawrence Peter Berra got the nickname Yogi during his teenage years, when he was playing American Legion Baseball. One afternoon, after attending a movie that had a short piece on India, a friend Jack Maguire noticed a resemblance between him and the “yogi”, or person who practiced yoga, on the screen. Maguire said “I’m going to call you Yogi” and from that moment on, the name stuck.

One thing is clear, as colorful as Yogi’s stories were and as popular as his star shined off of the field, he was also quite the character behind home plate. He had a reputation as a talker, attempting to take opposing batters off their game. In the 1958 World Series, Yogi kept telling Hank Aaron to “hit with the label up on the bat”. Finally, Aaron turned and said “Yogi, I came up here to hit, not to read.”

In addition to his colorful persona, what made Yogi so great was that he was one of the most feared hitters the game had ever seen. Teammate Hector Lopez said: “Yogi had the fastest bat I ever saw. He could hit a ball late, that was already past him, and take it out of the park. The pitchers were afraid of him because he'd hit anything, so they didn't know what to throw. Yogi had them psyched out and he wasn't even trying to psych them out.”

What was even more amazing was that when he donned the “tools of ignorance,” he had a reputation as being one of the best in the business behind the plate.

“Why has our pitching been so great?," Stengel once asked. "Our catcher, that's why. He looks cumbersome but he's quick as a cat”.

Yogi hung up the spikes for good after the 1965 season, a 15-time All-Star, a three time American League MVP Award winner and a 10-time World Series champion as a player.

Berra was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972. He passed away on Sept. 22, 2015.

The Basics

Year inducted
Birth Place
St. Louis, Missouri
Birth Year
2015, West Caldwell New Jersey

Career at a Glance

Primary Team
New York Yankees
Primary Position
Played For
New York Yankees, 1946-1963
New York Mets, 1965

Career MLB Stats

At bats
Home Runs
Stolen Bases
Batting Average
On Base %
Slugging %

Yogi Berra Stories

Explore the archives and go deep into the lives, careers, and stories of the Hall of Fame's honorees.

Late rally earns Berra 1951 AL MVP Award

Berra, Koufax inducted amid star-studded Class of 1972

Yogi Berra: He said - and did - it all

Berra delivers first pinch-hit home run in World Series history