Reading time, two minutes:
▪ The late Yogi Berra, besides being the most successful catcher in baseball history, became a cultural touchstone. How? By being Yogi Berra, and he didn’t need a single marketing expert.
▪ He looked like the clubhouse janitor but played like Paul Bunyan.
▪ There are the 10 World Series titles, 14 pennants, three MVPs, All-Star status for 15 years, 358 home runs (only three fewer than Joe DiMaggio) and 1,430 RBIs. The numbers alone make him immortal.
▪ But here is the point that elevates him even higher than his résumé and all those Yogisms: Berra was the first ballplayer to hire an agent.
▪ Berra changed the game, and not just by saying, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six
▪ He was more than the guy in the barber’s chair confounding the Aflac duck: “And they give you cash, which is just as good as money.”
▪ His impact was larger than the ballplayer who inspired the Yogi Bear cartoons or pushed Yoo-hoo chocolate drinks.
▪ The man also did commercials for Miller Lite, Pringles and Visa. Berra was cash.
▪ Baseball-wise, Berra was a notorious bad-ball hitter. But again with him, there’s more. He was Pablo Sandoval times 10.
▪ Remarkable: In 1950, while Berra hit 28 home runs, drove in 124 runs and batted .322, he struck out only 12 times in 597 at-bats.
▪ Remarkable, Part II: He played 148 straight games without an error.
▪ Remarkable, Part III: He struck out only 414 times in over 8,300 career plate appearances. Reggie Jackson K’d more times over three seasons.
▪ Remarkable, Part IV: He ended his 15-year feud with the Yankees when they honored him in 1999, the day David Cone threw a perfect game.
▪ Remarkable, Part V: In 1962, at age 37, Berra caught all 22 innings of a seven-hour game.
▪ Just because: Ryan Theriot.
▪ The Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor is no dim bulb. He ended his holdout by dodging the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. He’ll break in with Chicago (0-2) and Detroit (0-2).
▪ A reminder about Suzann Pettersen’s refusal to concede a short putt, which ignited an American comeback in the Solheim Cup: She could have cleared up all the confusion by simply changing her mind. A chance at honor missed.
▪ Pettersen’s apology the next day seemed genuine but far too late ... for the European team.
▪ Mike Dowd, the head pro at Oakdale Country Club, is an author. “Lessons From The Golf Guru: Wit, Wisdom, Mind-Tricks and Mysticism For Golf And Life” was launched this week on Amazon.com.
▪ Tangible progress by the Raiders’ Derek Carr: He completed 6 of 8 passes against the blitz last week against the Ravens.
▪ Coming soon to ESPN, the NFL Network and every TV-smartphone-laptop-tablet: Breathless updates each hour on Tony Romo’s rehab.
▪ The 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick (Pitman High School) said, “I would say the biggest thing is I’m being asked to be myself this year.” Translation: More Nevada-like pistol offense by the 49ers.
71 Yogi Berra’s record hit total in the World Series
▪ The 49ers validated the degree of that offseason fallout at Pittsburgh. You can’t lose that many important players and coaches without consequences.
▪ Why the Giants soon will be eliminated: Down a run in the ninth inning this week with runners at second and third, the Giants sent to the plate Mac Williamson (first career at-bat), Kelby Tomlinson and Trevor Brown.
▪ Lane Kiffin, the subject of ugly rumors, out-trended Pope Francis’ visit. Hell hath no fury like Alabama losing a game in September.
▪ About Jackie Robinson’s famous steal of home in the 1955 World Series: Berra was right all along. Robinson was out.
▪ Check out the game photos, including the one Berra handed to President Barack Obama signed thus: “Dr. Mr. President, he was out.”
▪ Berra died 69 years to the day of his major-league debut in 1946.
▪ Perhaps the greatest one-word description of Berra was coined by his lifelong friend Joe Garagiola: “Underrated.”
▪ Finally, when Berra came to a fork in the road, he took it. And baseball never will be the same.