Monday, May 15, 2017

Yogi At War-- Part 1: Almost Went With the Army

From the October 12, 2015, Navy Times "Yogi at war: Before pinstripes, Berra donned Navy blue" by Kevin Lilley.

Many consider Yogi Berra as the greatest catcher in history, but in 1943, he first year in pro baseball, he hit .253 with a midlevel minor league baseball team.  But, like many other professional sports figures of the time, Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra joined the military.

Yogi Berra died September 22, 2015, at age 90.

But, before getting to the majors, he left the diamond to serve in the Navy during World War II.  He remembered:  "I almost joined the Army after I had enlisted in the Navy.  The Army would have allowed me to spend a couple weeks back home before I shipped out.  But, off I went to the Navy."

He headed to Europe aboard the Buckley, a Coast Guard attack transport.  Both his ship and Berra had been pressed into Navy service for the Allied invasion of German-occupied France.

There is some confusion here as I can find no mention of a Coast Guard ship named the Buckley, but several sources have Berra serving on the USS Bayfield, an attack transport.

--More to Come.  --GreGen


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