Thursday, September 24, 2015 headlines: New York Mets Statements on Yogi Berra

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Thursday, September 24, 2015, september 24, 2015 back cover
New York Mets Statements on Yogi Berra:



  • An Amazin' Man: Yogi Berra was once King of Queens for Mets (New York Daily News)

  • Don Larsen, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken, Tom Seaver lead tributes to Yogi Berra (New York Daily News)

  • Photo of last game at Shea shows Berra and Carter (New York Daily News)

  • The greatest eight there ever was: Yogi Berra's career by the numbers (New York Daily News)

  • Willie Randolph on Yogi Berra: ‘Made me feel like I was a Yankee’ (New York Daily News)

  • Yogi Berra earned place in Mets history with one miracle run (New York Post)

  • Yankees and Mets fans alike pay tribute to Yogi Berra (New York Post)

  • Yogi Berra’s legacy: The most beloved man in baseball (New York Post)

  • Berra on Mantle, DiMaggio, Yogi-isms in never-published Q&A (New York Post)

  • Heartbroken Jeter, Hal, baseball world remember Yogi (New York Post)

  • Bobby Richardson’s fondest Yogi memories: One came after brutal Series loss (New York Post)

  • It meant everything to see Yogi Berra smile: Willie Randolph (New York Post)

  • Yogi Berra, New York Yankees legend, dies at 90 (Newsday)

  • Those who played for him recall Yogi Berra as being a players' manager (Newsday)

  • Yogi's Mets years remembered fondly (

  • Baseball mourns passing of Yogi Berra (

  • The city loses a big favorite, but it'll be all right (

  • Mets honor Yogi Berra by holding moment of silence at Citi Field (PHOTO) (NJ Advance Media)

  • Mets' Curtis Granderson, Terry Collins remember Yogi Berra (NJ Advance Media)

  • Tom Seaver, Mets stars remember Yankees legend and 'utter delight' Yogi Berra (NJ Advance Media)

  • Mets remember Yogi Berra: He 'played a key part in our history' (NJ Advance Media)

  • Yogi Berra's most memorable quote came as Mets manager (NJ Advance Media)

Mets Fall to Braves, 6-3, But Magic Number Reduced to Five:

  • Rapid Reaction: Braves 6, Mets 3 (

  • Mets' David Wright 'angry' at Braves' Freddie Freeman, 'but more in a playful way' (

  • Mets lose to Braves again, not making clinching NL East easy on themselves (New York Daily News)

  • Mets captain David Wright has no issues with Freddie Freeman (New York Daily News)

  • Mets end dreadful homestand with another loss to lowly Braves (New York Post)

  • Curses! Freddie Freeman gets the better of the Mets — again (New York Post)

  • Where it all went wrong for the Mets and Bartolo Colon (New York Post)

  • Mets fall to Braves, but magic number is reduced to five (Newsday)

  • Braves’ Freddie Freeman Reprises His Role as a Mets Nemesis (New York Times)

  • Mets stumble late, but magic number cut to 5 (

  • Bartolo Colon flirts with perfect game, but Mets fall to Atlanta Braves, 6-3 | Rapid reaction (NJ Advance Media)

  • David Wright, Freddie Freeman engage in 'competitive banter' during Mets' loss to Atlanta Braves (NJ Advance Media)

  • Sore wrist doesn't stop Braves' Freeman from driving in 5 (Associated Press)

Other Mets News:

  • Morning Briefing: Nationals can't take advantage of Mets' poor homestand (

  • Cal Ripken Jr. says Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is in 'no-win situation' (New York Daily News)

  • Daily News Sports Talk Podcast: Cal Ripken Jr. and Ron Darling talk Matt Harvey and innings limits (New York Daily News)

  • Mets’ backing-into-playoff approach is dangerous (New York Post)

  • Terry Collins says Mets need to get back to being patient at the plate (Newsday)

  • Mets' bullpen has tough time on homestand (

  • Rookie Matz can move Mets closer in Cincinnati (

  • Experienced Colon should start in postseason (

  • Mets notes: Bats are quiet (The Record)

  • Mets injury report: How're Juan Uribe, Carlos Torres doing? (NJ Advance Media)

  • Mets prospect Gavin Cecchini talks breakout season, Arizona Fall League (NJ Advance Media)

  • How does Mets' Terry Collins feel about being a candidate for National League Manager of the Year? (NJ Advance Media)

  • Autumn Arrives at Citi Field (The New Yorker)

New York Mets Press Release
‘Yogi Berra was a baseball legend who played a key part in our history. He was kind, compassionate and always found a way to make people laugh. With us he was a player, coach and managed the 1973 'Ya Gotta Believe' team to the National League pennant. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
New York Mets Press Release

“They threw away the mold in regards to Yogi. He was one of a kind. He loved the game. As a manager, he never tried to complicate things. He let his players play. He respected what you did on the field. He was an utter delight to be around.”


“He was a true gentleman. As a manager he was very, very reassuring. When things were bad, he always stayed positive.”


“He did so much good for so many people in this world. Every time I think of Yogi I have a smile on my face. That’s the effect he had on people.”


“Yogi was a fun-loving guy who never had an enemy in the world. I dressed next to him for 10 years when I was with the Mets. He was on one side and Joe Torre was on the other. He was a special man.”

An Amazin' Man: Yogi Berra was once King of Queens for Mets
The Mets, down two runs in a 1965 game against the Cincinnati Reds, had loaded the bases when rookie Ron Swoboda came to the plate.
Swoboda hit a long fly that hit a wooden extension the Reds had erected on top of Crosley Field's cement outfield wall to block the glare from construction lights on a nearby highway. Balls that hit the wooden extension were supposed to be home runs, but the umpires called it a hit instead of a grand slam.
Yogi Berra, then the Mets' first base coach, screamed loud and long before he was. Reporters gathered round him after the game - Swoboda remembers the Mets lost by two runs - and asked him what he had said to the umpires to earn the ejection.
"He said, 'If you couldn't hear the ball hit the wood, then you must be blind," Swoboda says.
Berra, who died Tuesday at the age of 90, will rightfully always be remembered as a Yankee icon.
But the Hall of Fame catcher and New York fan favorite also spent a decade with the Mets as a player, coach and manager - and helped turn a team of losers into a contender that went to two World Series in four years.
Berra, in fact, coined one of his most famous Yogiisms - "It ain't over 'til it's over - when he led the barely .500 Mets and to a seven-game World Series against the mighty Oakland A's in 1973.
"It was sometime fairly late in the season when so many people thought we had no chance," says Rusty Staub, who was one of the stars of the 1973 team despite suffering injuries for much of the season. "Everybody appreciated the fact that Yogi refused to say it was over, and I think we believed it when he said it."
Berra joined the Mets in 1965 after the Yankees fired him as their manager after the 1964 World Series and although he was hired as a coach, he appeared in four games for his new team that year. The Mets gave him a locker next to Ed Kranepool, who wound up dressing next to the baseball great for seven seasons until when Berra was named as the Mets manager in 1972.
According to Kranepool, Berra was a powerful antidote to the frustration many Mets players felt in the 1960s, when the club regularly lost 100 games a season.
"Yogi brought his own winning tradition from the Yankees," Kranepool remembers. "That was important for a losing team. It's difficult to go to the ballpark when you lose all the time. Yogi was always upbeat, always positive. He wouldn't let you feel sorry for yourself."
Berra was a member of manager Gil Hodges’ coaching staff when the Mets shocked the world by winning the 1969 World Series. He took the helm when Hodges died in 1972.
The injury-plagued Mets struggled through most of the 1973 season and were 11 ½ games out of first place in early August. But Berra's team surged late in the season, winning 21 of their last 29 games to win the National League East despite a milquetoast 82-79 season. The Mets beat the Big Red Machine to reach the World Series, where they lost to the A’s in 7.
Berra was fired as the Mets manager in August 1975 despite compling a 56-53 record. He returned to the Yankees as a coach, just in time to help George Steinbrenner's Bombers win three straight American League titles.
But former Yankee public relations executive Marty Appel says Berra didn't think about himself as a figure in some kind of baseball drama.
"When Yogi returned to the Yankees in 1976, people would say, 'Is it good to be back?' And Yogi would say, 'Yeah, you only have to pay one toll to get to the Bronx.'"
Don Larsen, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken, Tom Seaver lead tributes to Yogi Berra
“He was always there for you in the game. Oh, yes, I'll miss him. Anybody would miss Yogi. It was a lot of fun when he jumped in my arms. I thought something was going to happen there. I enjoyed that. We had good times together. It was always fun being around him and with him."
Don Larsen, the Yankee pitcher who worked with Berra for his perfect game in the 1956 World Series:
"My family and I very much mourn the passing of Yogi Berra. We of course admired Yogi's contribution to the game. And Yogi and his beloved Carmen and I enjoyed a lasting relationship -- often greeting each other through the years with a humorous exchange of "He was out"/ "He was safe" related to that first game of the 1955 World Series. I extend my love and deepest sympathy to Dale, Tim and Larry and their families. Farewell, dear Yogi."
Rachel Robinson, widow of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson
"Just a great person. He had a seven-year stretch where he was first, second or third in the most valuable player award (voting). That's how I would define him as a player. As a person -- everybody loved Yogi. There were no bad words said about Yogi, and that was because of his character and personality. He had a confidence like all great people, but he never presented it with arrogance, he never presented it with cockiness. The person he exemplified -- every person that met Yogi had admiration for his character and his heart. He goes straight to heaven, straight to 'go.' If God had an example of how to be an exemplary human being, there would definitely be a picture of Yogi. It's not a sad day. It's a day to acknowledge him and a day for him to be where he should be -- next to God. We watched him and interacted with him and hopefully we've learned something from him along the way."
Reggie Jackson
"My favorite Yogi moment was in my first year in '03. We went on a road trip and I must have had a good game on the road and when I got back, I show up at my locker at the Stadium and Yogi was waiting for me. He said, 'Kid, you had a great game. I was watching.' I was like, 'Wow, Yogi knows how I'm doing. I just got a compliment!' I was blown away.
"A lot of Yankee greats are around and it's intimidating and awe-inspiring, but when you're around Yogi for an extended time, he was comfortable to be around.
"Then I also remember in spring training he'd be there and he'd watch the catching drills and whoever was running them would ask his opinion or if he had anything to add. We make things so complicated and overanalyze them, but with Yogi, he was always easy and old-school. It was refreshing to deal with him.
"It was a treat, it really was."
John Flaherty, former Yankee catcher (2003-05) and current YES Network analyst:
"My favorite memories of Yogi were from the field. He would be walking around the hallways or stop in the food room and stop me with the same greeting: 'How's it going, slim?' I never understood why - I'm not that tall or skinny, but maybe he thought I was tall compared to him. It would always put a smile on my face. It was always great to see him every time he came around.
"He was always great to the young players, always had a joke to share or a great story to tell. He was nice and respectful to everyone and he brought a great positivity to the clubhouse. He's a legend, so it was just nice to be in his presence.
"I felt like we were instant friends the first time I met him. I felt like I've been around him my whole life. That's how comfortable he made you feel.
"He wasn't the biggest guy, but I wish I'd had been around to see him play. He must have been the toughest, hard-nosed competitor ever. It seems like everyone says he was a bad-ball hitter, which sounds like a nightmare to face."
David Robertson, former Yankees closer
"It's a sad day for everyone. It's like losing a parent. You know the end is in sight, and that the last days are nearing, and even though you prepare for it, you're never prepared for it. Yogi was Yogi. He was a character. One of the great highlights in my whole life was meeting Yogi -- I had never met him before I came to the Yankees. Growing up a Yankee fan in Colorado, we didn't have any major league teams then. The Yankees were the team and Yogi, of course, was a big part of those teams. I often think back on how great it would have been to play on those Yankee teams (in late '40s, '50s and '60s). Ten rings - I mean, you just shake your head. Getting to know him, playing golf with him -- every little conversation you had with him he would come up with a Yogi-ism. One funny story, I was in the back of the plane with (Graig) Nettles one time and Yogi came back to make sure we weren't tearing up the plane or anything. Nettles was going to be a free agent that winter. Yogi came back -- he would always have a couple cocktails with us -- and he asked Nettles about re-signing with Yankees and what kind of money he was looking for. And Nettles said, 'Ah, hell Yogi, just your ear full of nickels and I'll sign,' because Yogi had those big ears. Yogi touched all of our lives and we all loved him dearly. A very, very sad day."
Goose Gossage
"Yogi was the Hall of Famer I wanted most to see and sit with. We laughed! We loved each other! It was a bond. A very big void will occur at the next ceremony."
Johnny Bench
"Yogi was a not just a Hall of Famer, he was a very special guy. When Yogi spoke, everyone was quiet and hung on every word. He owned the room. He was a legendary figure and will be missed by all of us baseball fans."
Cal Ripken Jr.
"We've lost Yogi, but we will always have what he left for us: the memories of a lifetime filled with greatness, humility, integrity and a whole bunch of smiles. He was a lovable friend."
Joe Torre
"They threw away the mold in regards to Yogi. He was one of a kind. He loved the game. As a manager, he never tried to complicate things. He let his players play. He respected what you did on the field. He was an utter delight to be around."
Tom Seaver
"He was a true gentleman. As a manager he was very, very reassuring. When things were bad, he always stayed positive."
Jerry Koosman
"He did so much good for so many people in this world. Every time I think of Yogi I have a smile on my face. That's the effect he had on people."
Rusty Staub
"Yogi was a fun-loving guy who never had an enemy in the world. I dressed next to him for 10 years when I was with the Mets. He was on one side and Joe Torre was on the other. He was a special man."
Ed Kranepool
"Yogi Berra was an American original - a Hall of Famer and humble veteran; prolific jokester and jovial prophet. He epitomized what it meant to be a sportsman and a citizen, with a big heart, competitive spirit, and a selfless desire to open baseball to everyone, no matter their background. Michelle and I offer our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and his fans in New York and across the world."
President Barack Obama
"We paid tribute to Yogi this morning in our team meeting. We recognized him. I've had an opportunity to meet and be in Yogi's company. Yogi was a very, very nice man, nice to meet, always gracious. I always look at him as a terrific representative of those great Yankee years. I asked Eli (Manning) about him, too, and Eli said he was a very nice man.
"But to imagine the player that he was. I remember him as a kid, obviously. Can you imagine what he accomplished - three MVP's, 10 world championships. How many batting titles? He was unbelievable. And not a big man. He swung that bat and he had that classic (routine) in the on-deck circle the way he did that then threw the bat off to the side. It was a classic.
"And he was in D-Day. He and Joe Garagiola were neighbors in St. Louis when they were kids. But how magnificent for a young kid like that. And the fact that he could stick to his business all those years, when quite frankly, others weren't. And he was devoted to his wife Carmen. He lost her last year. But what a sports icon he was. Did his talking on the baseball field, and that was the key.
"When I was a kid, I was a Dodgers fan. But it was always the Yankees on television. My grandfather, who lived with us, he was a Yankees fan, so the black and white set was always on, it was always the Yankees. So I knew them all."
Tom Coughlin, Giants head coach
"He used to walk around the Yankee clubhouse naked. Any clubhouse. That was his M.O. And it was not a pretty picture. The word Sharpei comes to mind. Picture Yogi top to bottom.
He was a great player, we tend to forget that. And Such a nice person.
He was royalty. He was one of those people that go beyond the next level. It's the country's loss.
He had what? A 8th grade education? But he was educated in baseball and how to be nice to people.
Hated to see him without his wife, but their together now."
Rick Cerrone, rormer Yankee Catcher
"Yogi as an icon but I never once observed him being disrespectful or short or curt with anyone. He was such a nice man. Yogi was the manager when the Yankees drafted me and the club brought me to the Stadium after I signed. I walked into Yogi's office and he could not have been nicer even though I was a kid just out of high school. He made a reference to a high school game in which I had 32 strike outs (in 13 innings) and said 'Were you able to lift your arm for a week after that?'
"I'm 6-3 and Yogi was maybe 5-8, and he looked me over and said 'You are big enough, you better be able to pitch.' He posed for pictures with my family. That day will always be emblazoned in my mind. Yogi could not have been nicer."
Al Leiter, former Yankee and Mets pitcher, YES broadcaster:
"It's just a sad day. We're losing a great man and I'm losing a great friend. He was always a very good friend of mine. All I know is every time I hear the word 'baseball,' I think of Yogi."
Ron Guidry
"What an honor it was to have rubbed shoulders with Yogi. He embraced me from the first day I met him. Heck, he embraced everyone he met. Yogi loved talking baseball and sharing stories, and I was always excited to hear them. He was a special man who brought smiles to the faces of an awful lot of people.
He served our country with honor, and I can't think of a better ambassador to have represent this game.
He will be sorely missed, and my heart goes out to his family during this difficult time."
Joshua Raymond, left, holds his son, Max Raymond, 9, while paying their respects at a statue of former New York Yankees hall of fame catcher Yogi Berra outside of the Yogi Berra Museum,

Andy Pettitte

"When you were around Yogi, he had a way of bringing out the best in you. He made you feel good inside. That was his gift to so many of us, and why people always tended to gravitate to him. I don't care what team you play for or what team you root for, if you love baseball, then you love Yogi Berra.
My prayers go out to Yogi's family, and to the countless people he touched over the years."
Jorge Posada
"Yogi Berra was my wonderful, long-time friend. Not only a teammate a lot of my career, but my manager in 1964.
What can I say about Yogi? He was a friend and a wonderful clutch hitter. He had so many accolades in the world of baseball that it is almost impossible to realize how many. He was a World War II veteran and a great friend. It's a deep loss."
Bobby Richardson
"At the end of his life Phil was in a rehab facility in New Jersey and Yogi would visit him twice a week. He would come every Thursday and then Saturday or Sunday. He would kiss Phil before he would leave and tell him that he loved him. He would feed him and hold his hand as they watched Yankee games together. Yogi didn't want anybody to know. They truly loved each other. They were like brothers."
Spencer Lader, sports memorabilia dealer who worked with Phil Rizzuto when he sold his 1950 MVP award and other memorabilia in 2006:
"I'm a big Yankees fan. I didn't see him play, but I've seen a lot of highlights and old games on classic networks. And from everything I hear about him, he was an outstanding player and an outstanding human being."
Todd Bowles, New York Jets coach
"One of the great legacies of the game and one of the great, tremendous people. My time with Houston I got to know Yogi. He had a great relationship with Matt Galante and (Craig) Biggio. Everything that they say is true: a wonderful man, tremendous player. The game's not as good as it once was today."
Terry Collins, New York Mets manager
Photo of last game at Shea shows Berra and Carter
We've lost two of the greats.
The photo of Yogi Berra and Gary Carter at the last game at Shea Stadium on September 28, 2008 shows two of the game's greatest catchers seeing the stadium they called home for one last time.
All the Mets greats were out that day including Daryl Strawberry, Rusty Staub and long-time announcer Ralph Kiner.
Sadly, the Mets lost the game to the Florida Marlins in the second-straight late season collapse that saw them miss the playoffs.
However, the postgame ceremony was a happier occasion with Mets greats return to say farewell to the beloved stadium after the Mets played there for 44 years.
The ceremony concluded with each player touching home plate and a final pitch from Seaver to Piazza.
Even though the Mets had collapsed again, that ceremony helped fans remember a better time.
Carter played for the Mets from 1985-'89 and was a major contributor to the 1986 World Series championship. He died in 2012 of brain cancer at the age of 57
Berra played four games with the New York Mets in the 1965 season, but would later go on to be a major contributor to the young franchise as a coach and manager.
Berra played 4 games early in the '65 season with his last at bat coming on May 9 of that year. From there he was a Mets coach for the next 8 years, including the 1969 World Series.
He was promoted to manager in 1972 after the sudden death of Gil Hodges in spring training.
Berra would continue to coach with the Mets until the 1975 season. He would continue his career, returning to the Yankees as a coach and manager, and later going on to manage the Houston Astros.
Yogi Berra died Tuesday night at the age of 90

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