Ten Rings: My Championship Seasons

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9780060513818: Ten Rings: My Championship Seasons

In more than a century of baseball history, there is only one player who has won the most championship rings—Yogi Berra. He has ten of them, in fact. One for each and every finger.

In Ten Rings, Yogi, for the first time, tells the stories behind each of those remarkable championship seasons, spanning 1947 through 1962, baseball's golden years. It was a time when players played for the love of the game, a time when dynasties were born and baseball became the national pastime. And what a pastime it was.

With Yogi Berra at their heart, Casey Stengel's Yankees took on their heralded archrivals: the Cleveland Indians, the New York Giants, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and, of course, the Boston Red Sox. And with those teams was Yogi's constellation of contemporaries, a who's who of the Hall of Fame: Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays, Duke Snider, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Phil Rizzuto, and many others.

Each season brought its own drama, and it's all brought to life by the man who witnessed it. Ten Rings is a one-of-a-kind story told by a one-of-a-kind guy, baseball's elder statesman, the beloved Yogi Berra.

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Review:

Near the end of Yogi Berra’s memoir, Ten Rings: My Championship Seasons, he observes that he was never that popular with the media because "I’d always never tell too much." He could have said the same thing about his book. While entertaining, Ten Rings is no Ball Four. It is a light, quick, uncontroversial trip through Berra’s All-Star career with the Yankees, punctuated by details of his ten World Series victories.

Berra, who grew up in St. Louis in an Italian section of town know as "The Hill," has always been a bit of comic relief in the baseball world. As a young Yankee, he notes, he was labeled "the Ape" by fellow players and coaches who were surprised that someone so short and stocky could hit so well. Indeed, Berra is the first to admit that, early in his career, he was a poor catcher and an easy mark for pranksters. But he would go on to win the American League MVP award three times, and his fourteen World Series records (detailed, along with his overall Series stats, in an appendix) belie the Neanderthal image portrayed in the press.

Yankees fans and serious baseball scholars may be frustrated by Berra's lack of interest in overturning the myths that surround him. Berra confesses that many of the malapropisms associated with him were actually fabricated by reporters, but he does not name names. And the Georges (Weiss and Steinbrenner)--who caused Berra so much grief during his career as a player and manager--are lightly forgiven. Despite the lack of major revelations Ten Rings offers a pleasant refresher course in, arguably, the greatest string of baseball seasons in history. --Patrick O’Kelley

About the Author:

Yogi Berra was a Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees for seventeen seasons and later became a manager and coach for the Yankees and the New York Mets. Off the field, his folksy wit and generosity of spirit have made him an American icon. Yogi is also a bestselling author and the inspiration for the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, a nonprofit sports education center. The museum is in Yogi's hometown, Montclair, New Jersey.

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