Friday, July 17, 2015

Yogi: An Evolving Collection and Thoughts on the Franchise Four

Ask anyone who knows me how I feel about the New York Yankees.  As they run away with the AL East this season, my disdain for the Evil Empire continues to fester and grow, as it has since some little brat interfered with a play in a playoff game back when Bill Clinton was president.

As my collection continues to grow and evolve, I have noticed something happening, especially recently.
I have noticed that I have quietly amassed quite the vintage collection and among some of my favorites are Yankees.  Several of my favorite cards in my collection are Mickey Mantles, and I noticed recently that I have a BUNCH of vintage Yogi Berra cards.  I just have gotten lucky at shows lately and in trades.  I have found a lot of Yogi cardboard and was smart enough to grab them when I could.
It helps that I had a discussion with my good friend, and Yankee fan, Drew, about a year ago which consisted of analyzing stats of some legendary catchers.  Yogi, for the most part, turned out to be the standard bearer when it came to legendary catchers.  He also has 10 World Series rings, which doesn't hurt.
He's Yogi.  He's a legend.  Yet, when it comes time to recognize said legend, Yogi always tends to need some help.  Just recently, Yogi needed an online petition to allow his name to be entered into consideration for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Maybe this will be one time where the president actually performs an act that The People really want, instead of something he thinks they want.
Additionally, Yogi didn't make the cut for the Yankees' franchise four that was announced a few days ago at the All Star game.
It is very understandable that Yogi would miss the cut when one is choosing only four great Yankees.  I mean, who could leave Ruth or Gehrig off of the list.  Those two should always be locks on any Yankee Mount Rushmore.  Mantle was a great choice.  I can't argue that at all.  Which leaves us Joe DiMaggio...
DiMaggio made the cut, and Yogi is left out.  A compelling argument can be made to include DiMaggio in the Franchise Four, but I would honestly like to hear the argument AGAINST Yogi.  Seriously, I want to hear it.  Ten rings carry a lot of weight.  Their weight in gold, so to speak.  Yogi and DiMaggio have similar career numbers.  MVPs: Yogi - 3/DiMaggio - 3; Rings: Yogi - 10/DiMaggio - 9; World Series Appearances: Yogi - 14/DiMaggio - 10; Hits: Yogi - 2,150/DiMaggio - 2,214; Homers: Yogi - 358/DiMaggio - 361; Avg.: Yogi - .285/DiMaggio - .325.
DiMaggio and Yogi could probably be swapped and Yankee fans would be ok either way.  I won't go into the travesty that was the "living Franchise Four" that also saw Yogi left off.

I just feel that Yogi is kind of underrated when it comes to legendary players, and could quite possibly have his legend grow far after he is gone.  Lucky for us, at 90 years old, he is still around.  Sadly, it won't be for much longer, but I, for one, am glad I was able to realize and appreciate him before he was gone.

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