A candid and nostalgic father-son memoir by Dale Berra, providing a unique perspective on his legendary Hall of Fame dad, the inimitable and highly quotable Yogi Berra.
Everyone knows Yogi Berra. The American icon 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.
In this heartfelt family memoir, Berra offers a peek into the private life of his father, the famous New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra. The author, who himself played infield for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros from 1977 to 1987, details the towering role model of his father, who played in 10 World Series championships in the 1940s and '50s and was known for his malapropistic "Yogi-isms." Berra recalls his father as the proud manager of the 1973 National League champion Mets, as well as for the pain he endured when he was unceremoniously dismissed as Yankees manager in 1986. While Berra praises his mother, Carmen, as a "hands-on parent" for her three children, he describes his father as "stoic, contained but full of fire inside." Berra tells of how his own addiction to cocaine derailed his baseball career and ended his marriage in 1989; his father intervened, saying, "I want to be your dad, but if you keep doing this you're not a Berra anymore." In one of the book's most memorable scenes, Berra describes the moment when Yankee owner George Steinbrenner apologized to Yogi for firing him 14 years earlier: "It's the worst mistake I made in baseball." Candid and touching, Berra's love letter will resonate with fathers and sons alike.