Hall of Famer and New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra died of natural causes at his home in New Jersey on Tuesday. He was 90.
Dave Kaplan, director of the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, confirmed the news with ESPN. Berra's death came exactly 69 years after his major league debut on September 22, 1946.
"While we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with Mom," Berra's family said in a statement released by the museum to ESPN. "We celebrate his remarkable life, and are thankful he meant so much to so many. He will truly be missed."
The Yankees took to their Twitter account to express condolences in what's sure to be the first set of many statements from the franchise's front office and players.
A legendary baseball player, manager and lovable personality who became known to a younger generation for his one-liners, Berra's memory will live on.
A 15-time All-Star and three-time American League MVP, Berra helped lead the Yankees to 14 World Series appearances during his 18 seasons in pinstripes, being the only player in Major League Baseball history to have won 10 championships. In 1956, the legendary catcher even caught the lone perfect game in World Series history, recorded by pitcher Don Larsen. Berra was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
After playing for the Yankees from 1946-1963 and the New York Mets in 1965, Berra wound up managing both clubs, guiding the Bronx Bombers in 1964 and from 1984-85 and the Mets in between from 1972-75.
When he was fired by George Steinbrenner in 1985 it sparked bitterness between Berra and the Yankees' owner, with Berra vowing to never step foot inside Yankee Stadium again. Eventually, he relented and threw out the first pitch for the Yankees in 1999, returning to the Stadium frequently from that point on with Derek Jeter even rubbing his head for good luck before games.
To a younger generation, though, Berra was known for delivering classic sayings, which became known as "Yogi-isms." Quirky sayings like: "It ain't over 'til it's over," "You can't think and hit at the same time," "It's deja vu all over again," "When you come to a fork in the road, take it," and "Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical."
Rest in peace, Yogi Berra.
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(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
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