Rob Manfred’s statement on Yogi Berra

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Yogi Berra signed with the Yankees in 1943. The Commissioner at the time was Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Which means that Berra was in baseball in some actual capacity though every single Commissioner in the game’s history.

  • He signed under Landis;
  • Won his first MVP under Happy Chandler;
  • Managed his first team to a pennant under Ford Frick;
  • Coached under Spike Eckert;
  • Won his second pennant as a manager under Bowie Kuhn;
  • Left his last manager job under Peter Ueberroth;
  • Coached the Astros under Bart Giamatti;
  • Retired from uniformed service under Fay Vincent; and
  • Reconciled with the Yankees under Bud Selig.

Now, the current Commissioner, Rob Manfred, issues a statement on Berra’s passing:

“Yogi Berra’s character, talent, courage, extraordinary experiences and inimitable way with words made him a universally beloved figure in Baseball and beyond.

“Born to Italian immigrant parents in St. Louis, Lawrence Peter Berra grew up to serve his country on D-Day as a member of the U.S. Navy.  Upon his return from his service, he often played in the substantial shadows of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, and yet he quietly became no less than one of the most accomplished players in baseball history himself.  The slugging catcher was an anchor of 10 World Championship Yankee teams, a three-time American League Most Valuable Player and a 15-time All-Star.  The Hall of Famer played on more World Championship and pennant-winning clubs than any player in the history of our National Pastime.  

“Renowned as a great teammate, Yogi stood for values like inclusion and respect during the vital era when our game began to become complete and open to all.  With his trademark humility and good humor, Yogi represented only goodwill to baseball fans.  His proud American story will endure at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, New Jersey.

“Yogi Berra was a beacon of Americana, and today Major League Baseball and all of its Clubs stand together in mourning his passing and celebrating his memory.  On behalf of the game he served with excellence and dignity, I extend my deepest condolences to Yogi’s children and grandchildren, his many friends throughout our game and his countless admirers.”