Fitts: Yogi Berra in Japan

From SABR member Rob Fitts at on December 13, 2012:

Here’a a cool card that I picked up a few weeks ago — a Japanese Yogi Berra bromide from the mid 1950s.

Yogi toured Japan three times.  The first came in 1953 when the Mainichi Newspaper sponsored Eddie Lopat and a team of all stars for a series of games against Pacific League squads and Japanese all star teams.  The American team included Hall of Famers Bob Lemon, Robin Roberts, Nellie Fox, Eddie Mathews and Enos Slaughter.  Mickey Mantle had planned to make the trip but a knee injury kept him home.  After dropping the first game 5-4 to their hosts, the Mainichi Orions, Lopat’s All Stars reeled off eleven straight wins.  Yogi played in all twelve games pounding out 6 HRs and hitting .386. 

Yogi returned to the Land of the Rising Sun two years later with the New York Yankees. Arriving in October 1955, the Bombers cranked out a perfect 15-0-1 record.  Berra once again played in every game; this time hitting .380.

Berra returned in 1974.  This time as the manager of the New York Mets.  Yogi’s Mets got off to a rough start, winning only two of the first nine games.  But seven wins in the second nine games- including a streak of five straight, helped them to a 9-7-2 final record.

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Originally published: December 17, 2012. Last Updated: December 17, 2012.