THIS DATE IN BASEBALL HISTORY: NOVEMBER 17, 1964- METS HIRE FORMER YANKEE IMMORTAL AND RECENTLY FIRED MANAGER YOGI BERRA AS A COACH

Yogi Berra Said Some Funny Stuff, but His Career Was No Joke - Jugs Sports

A very bizarre move– On October 17, 1964 the New York Yankees fired their manager Yogi Berra. What was bizarre about this? Managers get fired all the time. Here is the thing- in Yogi’s rookie season as manager the Yankees won the American League pennant – with a record of 99-63. In the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals- they lost to the Cardinals in seven games. Two days after the World Series ended Berra was shown the door. Who did the Yankees hire as their new manager? The manager who just beat them Johnny Keane.

Yogi Berra was a Yankee immortal. He played for the team from 1946-1963. One of the greatest catchers of all time. Yogi Berra was an 18 time all-star. Berra was a key part of ten Yankee World Championships.Yogi as a player ten World Series rings- the most of any player in baseball history. When Yankee manager Casey Stengel was asked what the key to the Yankees success was he said: “I never go into a game without my man.’- who was his man? He didn’t mean Mickey Mantle- he meant Yogi Berra.

As it turned out- firing Yogi was actually a break for Yogi. While the Yankees went to the World Series in 1964- and came within a game of yet another championship- they were about to enter a dozen years of darkness -the so -called ‘Horace Clarke Era.’ The team was aging – in 1965 they would fall to 6th place- with a 77-85 record and then in 1966 the unthinkable- last place. The Yankees wouldn’t return to a World Series until 1976. Yogi got out of The Bronx just in time.

A month after he was fired he was hired as a coach by the other team in town. The New York Mets- under Yogi’s old manager Casey Stengel signed Yogi to a 2 year contract as a coach. Yogi would remain as a coach with the Mets- until the untimely passing of Mets manager Gil Hodges just prior to the 1972 season. Yogi replaced Hodges as Mets manager- and in 1973 took them to the World Series- where they lost to Oakland in seven games.

A couple days ago history kind of repeated itself in reverse. After the 2021 the Mets fired their manager Luis Rojas. The Yankees have hired Rojas as their third base coach for 2022.

6 responses to “THIS DATE IN BASEBALL HISTORY: NOVEMBER 17, 1964- METS HIRE FORMER YANKEE IMMORTAL AND RECENTLY FIRED MANAGER YOGI BERRA AS A COACH

    • The team wasn’t doing all that well- what I read was they decided in August to fire him at the end of the year–and then the Yankees caught fire down the stretch and won the AL…. they said the harmonica incident had nothing to do with it…. still they won 99 games.. I guess Yankee brass didn’t see what was about to happen- the decline.

    • They would do this kind of thing again- remember 1980 Dick Howser in his first year won 103 games- lost to KC in the playoffs and was fired…this time by Crazy George….. as far as Yogi goes- if this had been an outsider who came in- it would have been wrong to fire him with 99 wins and going to the limit in the WS before losing– but when you consider all that Yogi did for that franchise… criminal how he was treated.

    • I forgot totally about Dick Howser…if you would have asked me who the manager was in 1980…I would have said Bob Lemon. Crazy George had a turnstile.
      What makes the Yogi ordeal even worse…it was his first year!

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