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Publisher's Summary

The definitive biography of Yogi Berra, the New York Yankees icon, winner of 13 World Series championships, and the most-quoted player in baseball history 

He is at once one of America's best-loved-and least known-heroes. The Yankees' Everyman to Joe DiMaggio's Royalty, Lawrence "Yogi" Berra is famous for winning titles, his leadership, and the superlative play that secured his spot in the Hall of Fame. And his paradoxical quotes are nothing less than national touchstones. He is the quintessential American success story: a first-generation immigrant from a poor but determined family who went on to become one of the greatest players in baseball history. 

But Yogi was never supposed to be a major league player. That's what his immigrant father told him. That's what Branch Rickey told him, too - right to Berra's face, in fact. Even the lowly St. Louis Browns of his youth said he'd never make it in the big leagues. 

Yet baseball was his lifeblood. It was the only thing he was ever good at. Heck, it was the only thing he ever thought about. Berra couldn't allow a constant stream of ridicule about his appearance, taunts about his speech, and scorn about his perceived lack of intelligence to prevent him from becoming one of the best to ever play the game - at a position requiring the very skills he was told he did not have. 

These are but a few of the rich ironies of a life well lived, as author Jon Pessah reveals in this meticulously reported and superbly written biography. Drawing on more than 100 interviews and four years of reporting, Pessah delivers a transformational portrait of how Berra handled his hard-earned success - on and off the playing field - as well as his failures; how the man who insisted he didn't say half the things he said nonetheless shaped decades of America's culture; and how Berra's humility and grace redefined what it truly means to be a star. 

Overshadowed on the field by Joe DiMaggio early in his career and later by a youthful Mickey Mantle, Berra emerges as not only the best-loved Yankee but one of the most appealingly simple, innately complex, and universally admired men in all of America. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2020 Jon Pessah (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"A vigorous biography of the New York Yankees legend... Yogi emerges as a man who was more thoughtful than many give him credit for...A welcome life of the Yankees icon and worthwhile reading for any baseball buff." (Kirkus)

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What listeners say about Yogi

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  • Overall
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"YOGI BERRA HITS A GRAND SLAM!"

This book on Yogi Berra's life, his MLB career, his 65-year marriage to Carmen Berra and their Sons, his friendship with Joe Garagiola and Phil Rizzuto and many more, and his Selfless Service to his Country as a part of WW2's Greatest Generation, is touching and amusing. Yogi hit a Grand Slam with his life, and this book aptly celebrates it well! A+ and more than worth the time of true MLB Historians and Fans!

17 people found this helpful

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Never enough Yogi!

It was 21 hours and I wish it had been 42 hours. The story of Yogi never gets old and each new biography seems to cut new ground. Pessah’s Version is the best I’ve read. The audio performance was exceptional.

12 people found this helpful

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A Wonderful Book - and Man!

This is the best baseball book I’ve ever read - or listened to. I didn’t know of the many accomplishments in Yogi’s career and didn’t realize what an outstanding person and how highly revered he was by everyone. The narrator was excellent although I did find a little slow at first. I changed the speed to 1.3 and it was absolutely perfect. You will not regret using a credit for this one. I thought at 20+ hours I would find it too long but I could have easily listened in for another 20. Enjoy!

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

A well told story of the most devoted New York Yankee.

This 21 hour Audio book was literally captivating. My emotions were all over the place. I was angry at papa. I was happy when Yogi became a Yankee. I was saddened by Yogi's treatment by Gorge Steinbrenner. I laughed, cried, & laughed again. For ALL fans of baseball /reading, THIS IS A MUST READ! Keep tissues nearby; you WILL need them!

8 people found this helpful

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excellent story. performance over dramatic

Even if you ever hated the Yankees you will love this story
The reader does over dramatize however

7 people found this helpful

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Interesting life

I enjoyed hearing about Yogi Berra's life and career. Many things I did not know. The book is very long, over 5 hours dedicated to Yogi after his retirement. The reader's style get into the way. Too dramatic. Overall a good story that baseball fans will enjoy,

6 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Life

Great story and better example of a life well lived. Should be read by anybody interested in learning more about Yogi.

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Well-written biography of an American original

Nice narration, I looked forward to advancing in the story every day. Yogi had a remarkable life, tons of good baseball stories, and Yogi was a nice guy to spend time with, someone you enjoy being with.

1 person found this helpful

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Best audiobook of the year!!

This book is my favorite of the year, and one of the best sports books I have ever read or listened to. I loved it from the start, and it never let up. Yogi is a great human being, He has an amazing story, beyond his baseball success, This captures growing up in an immigrant family in St. Louis, and deals issues of the time, including racism and his service in WW2. Yogi's career in baseball spanned the old-time era and went into the big-money modern era. This is funny, heart-warming, and has incredibly exciting baseball. I am a Red Sox fan, and found myself rooting for the Yankees and Mets! The author is a master at knowing the right balance of baseball details and personal stories. Brilliant writing. And the narrator is as perfect as can be. He captured the spirit of the book, and did voices so well, too. I have reviewed many hundred of books, and I do not give many 5's. And this biography stands out among that group.

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Well done!

Recently, I started listening to audio books that were biographies. From political figures like Lincoln and Jefferson, to titans of industry such as Carnegie and Rockefeller. But when I came across this gem about one of the most beloved Americans ever, I jumped on the opportunity to listen.

The author does a great job of exploring the depth of Yogi's life and career and provides a lot of interesting insight into the American treasure that is Yogi Berra. The narrator excels at using inflection and tone of voice to convey the different moments throughout the book. The voice he uses to speak Yogi's lines is impressive.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book from "cover to cover".

1 person found this helpful