Everyone knows Yogi Berra, the American icon. He was the backbone of the New York Yankees through ten World Series Championships, managed the National League Champion New York Mets in 1973, and had an ingenious way with words that remains an indelible part of our lexicon. But no one knew him like his family did. My Dad, Yogi is Dale Berra's chronicle of his unshakeable bond with his father, as well as an intimate portrait of one of the great sports figures of the 20th Century.
When Yogi wasn't playing or coaching, or otherwise in the public eye, he was home in the New Jersey suburbs, spending time with his beloved wife, Carmen, and his three boys, Larry, Tim, and Dale. Dale presents--as only a son could--his family's history, his parents' enduring relationship, and his dad's storied career. Throughout Dale's youth, he had a firsthand look at the Major Leagues, often by his dad's side during Yogi's years as a coach and manager. The Berra's lifelong family friends included Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Whitey Ford. It's no coincidence that all three Berra sons were inspired to play sports constantly, and that all three became professional athletes, following in their dad's footsteps.
Dale came up with the Pittsburgh Pirates, contributing to their 1979 championship season and emerging as one of baseball's most talented young players. After three strong seasons, Dale was traded to New York, briefly united with his dad in the Yankee dugout. But there was also an extraordinary challenge developing. Dale was implicated in a major cocaine scandal involving some of the biggest names in the sport, and his promising career was ultimately cut short by his drug problem. Yogi supported his son all along, eventually staging the intervention that would save Dale's life, and draw the entire family even closer. My Dad, Yogi is Dale's tribute to his dad--a treat for baseball fans, and a poignant story for fathers and sons everywhere.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction: B-E-R-R-A vii
Chapter 1 The Redoubtable Mr. Berra 1
Chapter 2 Number 8 29
Chapter 3 "Carmen, Let Him Go" 61
Chapter 4 A Work in Progress 90
Chapter 5 Ten Feet Tall 111
Chapter 6 Eight Miles High 127
Chapter 7 A Bronx jeer and a Snowstorm in Pittsburgh 146
Chapter 8 Going, Going, Gone 168
Chapter 9 Requiem for a Heavyweight 182
Chapter 10 Last of the Ninth 204
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Whether or not one is a baseball fan, it is likely that person knows who Yogi Berra is. Many remember him as a Hall of Fame baseball player for the New York Yankees who also managed both the Yankees and New York Mets to the World Series. Maybe the person knows Yogi from his famous quotes that are humorous and still repeated by many now, more than three years after his death. Whatever the reason, people still love the man. One of his three sons, Dale, also became a major league player and has written a memoir about the entire Berra family that will tug at heartstrings and also show a side of Yogi that many people may not know. Dale writes about his father during his childhood years as a man who, while he didn’t say it often, would know that his children are loved by him. Dale and his brothers Tim and Larry were all fine athletes but only Dale made it to the big leagues. If there is a downfall to this book, it is that Dale will write long passages about himself instead of Yogi, Carmen and his brothers, especially about his battle with drug addiction. That will be a disappointment to readers like myself who wanted to read only about the entire family. However, what he DOES write about his parents is excellent. The story of how his father met Carmen, who would become Yogi’s wife (Yogi felt he married up by wedding Carmen) was beautiful as well as the exchange between Yogi and Dale that the latter said was what would get him through another day: “You all right, Kid?” “Yeah, Dad, I’m all right” “That’s all I want to hear, Kid.” While this was the best of the stories, there are plenty of other fine stories about Yogi and the family as well. The day that Yogi decided to end his self-exile from Yankee Stadium 15 years after being fired as Yankee manager is one. The intervention called by Carmen after Dale was arrested for drug possession and usage years after they thought he was over his addiction was eye-opening. Even in Dale’s younger days when he would be excited to be in the same clubhouse as star players on the Mets that his dad was managing such as Tom Seaver and Willie Mays, the stories would be fun to read. This book does give a reader insight into the Berra family that other books don’t and when that insight comes from a family member, it gives it even more credibility. Despite the long passages about Dale himself, this book nonetheless is a worthwhile addition the library of anyone who is a fan of Yogi Berra. I wish to thank Hackett Books for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.