Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yogi Scared To Be a Brownie

From Fay Vincent: essayist and former commissioner of Major League Baseball.

Yogi Berra told me a story once that summed up this Yankee attitude. In his first season, Yogi hit a soft ground ball to second base and in frustration jogged to first base. The next time at-bat, he popped up and again failed to run hard to first. During the next half inning Yogi told me three senior Yankees — Keller, Dickey and Henrich — came down the bench and stood before the rookie.

“Look, kid,” one of them growled, “we saw what you just did. But here we bust our (butt) on every play. We count on winning that World Series money, and our wives count on it. If you want to play that way, we can get you back to St. Louis in a week. Got it?”

Yogi said he was so frightened of being shipped to the lowly Browns that he ran out every ground ball or pop-up from that day forward. That was how the great Yankees enforced their culture, and it certainly was effective. Everyone hustled on those teams from the great DiMaggio down to the newest rookie.

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