Just in time for the holiday season, Mets 101's Seven in Seven series returns as our gift to you. Each week, the Mets 101 staff will begin a countdown of something related to the New York Mets ( i.e. best third baseman, worst defeat, etc.). We will begin our countdown on Sundays with the number seven and work all the way to number one. Inspired by recent comments from Curtis Granderson and Carlos Beltran, this week's countdown takes a look at the seven most notable people to wear both a Mets and Yankees uniform. We continue our countdown today with catcher and manager Yogi Berra.
#5) Yogi Berra
Mets Stats (1965): 4 Games, .222 Avg. (2 for 9), 1 Run
Yankees Stats (1946-63): 2,116 Games, .285 Avg, 2,148 hits, 358 Homers, 1430 RBI
Mets Story: After managing the 1964 Yankees to a World Series loss in his first year of retirement, Berra briefly returned to the field in 1965. For the first time in his career, Berra donned a new jersey, this time of the fledgling third-year Mets. However, he only appeared in four games, retiring for good just three days short of his 40th birthday. Berra then joined the coaching staff and spent the next eight years with the club, winning his first World Series as a coach in 1969. When Gil Hodges died suddenly of a heart attack in April, 1972, Berra took over managing duties and would lead the Mets for the next four seasons. In 1973, he coined the famous phrase "It ain't over 'til it's over" as the miracle Mets rallied to the NL Pennant despite being in last place midway through the season.
Yankees Story: For eighteen years, Berra was a mainstay in the New York Yankees lineup, winning 13 World Series, 3 AL MVP awards and appearing in 15 All-Star Games representing the Bombers. The numbers speak for themselves, as Berra was one of the greatest catchers of all-time. Immediately following his Hall of Fame playing career, he assumed managerial duties and despite some tumultuous incidents with his players during the season, led the Yankees back to the World Series. However, they lost in seven games and it appeared GM Ralph Houk had his mind already made up, firing Berra after the season.
Who Got the Better Player? The Yankees obviously had the better player but as a manager, Yogi brought a league pennant to both clubs and posted similar records. As Mets manager for parts of four seasons Berra went 292-296 (.497) and in two stints as Yankee manager went 192-148 (.565). Considering his long tenure as coach and that Berra was able to lead the '73 club to one of the greatest and most memorable Mets seasons in club history, we'll give the managerial edge to the Mets.
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