Yogi: A Life Behind the Mask

Yogi: A Life Behind the Mask

by Jon Pessah

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The definitive biography of Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees icon, winner of 10 World Series championships, and the most-quoted player in baseball history

Lawrence "Yogi" Berra was never supposed to become a major league ballplayer.

That's what his immigrant father told him. That's what Branch Rickey told him, too-right to Berra's face, in fact. Even the lowly St. Louis Browns of his youth said he'd never make it in the big leagues.

Yet baseball was his lifeblood. It was the only thing he ever cared about. Heck, it was the only thing he ever thought about. Berra couldn't allow a constant stream of ridicule about his appearance, taunts about his speech, and scorn about his perceived lack of intelligence to keep him from becoming one of the best to ever play the game-at a position requiring the very skills he was told he did not have.

Drawing on more than one hundred interviews and four years of reporting, Jon Pessah delivers a transformational portrait of how Berra handled his hard-earned success-on and off the playing field-as well as his failures; how the man who insisted "I really didn't say everything I said!" nonetheless shaped decades of America's culture; and how Berra's humility and grace redefined what it truly means to be a star.

Overshadowed on the field by Joe DiMaggio early in his career and later by a youthful Mickey Mantle, Berra emerges as not only the best loved Yankee but one of the most appealingly simple, innately complex, and universally admired men in all of America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316310987
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 27,706
File size: 51 MB
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About the Author

Jon Pessah is The New York Times bestselling author of The Game, a critically-acclaimed examination of the power brokers who built the major league baseball into a multi-billion dollar business. A founding editor of ESPN the Magazine, where he ran the investigative team, Pessah has also managed the sports departments for Newsday and the Hartford Courant.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Wait 'Til You See Yogi 3

Part I American Dream / 1925-1946

Chapter 1 Decisions, Decisions 9

Chapter 2 Dago Hill 16

Chapter 3 Rickey's Mistake 24

Chapter 4 Yogi's Luck 36

Chapter 5 War 52

Chapter 6 Looks Are Deceiving 61

Chapter 7 The Longest 12 Miles 69

Part II Making It Big / 1947-1949

Chapter 8 Dreams Can Come True 83

Chapter 9 The First Ring 93

Chapter 10 The Girl Who Has It All 107

Chapter 11 Hits & Mrs. 116

Chapter 12 Learning Experience 124

Chapter 13 Season of Surprises 130

Part III Superstar / 1950-1956

Chapter 14 Main Man 145

Chapter 15 Big Money 159

Chapter 16 Passing the Torch 166

Chapter 17 Big Shoes to Fill 179

Chapter 18 Four of a Kind 187

Chapter 19 Simply the Best 197

Chapter 20 Most Valuable 205

Chapter 21 History Lessons 214

Chapter 22 The Most Popular Player 224

Chapter 23 Almost Perfect 231

Part IV Yogi, Inc. / 1957-1963

Chapter 24 The Tipping Point 253

Chapter 25 Season of Losses 268

Chapter 26 Beginning and the End 279

Chapter 27 Last Hurrah 288

Chapter 28 Witness to History 298

Chapter 29 Taking Charge 307

Part V Something to Prove / 1964-1985

Chapter 30 It's Over Before It's Over 327

Chapter 31 Surprise Ending 339

Chapter 32 A Second Chance 357

Chapter 33 Ya Gotta Believe 373

Chapter 34 Going Home 388

Chapter 35 The Bronx Zoo 399

Chapter 36 Sixteen Games 414

Part VI Saint Yogi / 1986-2015

Chapter 37 Different Stripes 435

Chapter 38 Filling the Void 443

Chapter 39 As Good as It Gets 450

Chapter 40 Perfect Timing 460

Chapter 41 Friends of Yogi 467

Chapter 42 Immortal 488

Epilogue 499

Acknowledgments 508

Notes and Sources 513

Index 551

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