Baseball Hall of Famer Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, who passed away Sept. 22 at age 90 in West Caldwell, N.J., had one of the most fantastic careers anybody could imagine. From 1946 to 1965, he was a 15-time All-Star, three-time American League MVP and member of 10 World Series champion teams as a New York Yankee.
Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks loved baseball so much that he once famously walked onto Chicago’s Wrigley Field before a game and proclaimed, “It’s a beautiful day, let’s play two!” It became his slogan.
There was a time when sports fans watching a live game on TV had no choice but to play close attention throughout. If they missed a spectacular play while reaching for the bowl of chips, they didn’t get a second chance to see it.
The game he loves has honored the man many say is its finest chronicler. On July 26, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., presented the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to Roger Angell, for 50 years of writing about the national pastime. In The New Yorker magazine and in a number of books, Angell shared his passion for a sport he calls " the hardest game to play."
As a left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians in the 1940s and 1950s, Ralph Kiner was one of baseball's greatest power hitters. Kiner, who died on Feb. 6 at age 91 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., led the National League in home runs seven straight times, and once clouted 54 of them in a season, more than even Willie Mays or Hank Aaron ever did.
Joe Price had just rolled back into town, looking weary but still possessing the excitable manner of a guy who might burst into song at any moment. He had just completed half a year on the road visiting 104 minor league baseball parks in 40 states, where he had sung America's national anthem to start their games. It was a labor of love and academic duty.
During World War II, major league baseball stars who were called up to serve in the military often got relatively cushy assignments, working as physical education trainers or playing in exhibition games to entertain their fellow troops. But not pitcher Lou Brissie, at the time a promising prospect coveted by the Philadelphia Athletics' Connie Mack.
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