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Yogi’s Rules

In 1964, before Spring Training, former Manager of the Yankees, Ralph Houk, had been promoted to the front office as the new General Manager.  The new Yankees’ Manager had a familiar face, Yogi Berra.  He had played 18 seasons with the Yanks, so he knew the Yankee way of doing things.  He was a smart baseball man, but he had no managerial experience.  The first obstacle for Yogi would be the transition from being one of the guys to manager.  He would now be the man making the decisions.  He went from being their peer to their boss.  The transition got off to a rough start.
Second baseman, Bobby Richardson, always brought his family to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for Spring Training.  The day before Spring Training was to start, Yogi called Bobby and asked if he could come over to the home Richardson was renting.  “I want to try something out,” said Yogi.  “Tomorrow I’ll be talking to the ball club for the very first time as the manager.  I’m gonna set some rules,” said Yogi.  Berra then began listing his rules:  no tennis, no swimming, no golf, no card playing, and so on and so forth.  Then, Yogi said, he would tell the players, “We’ll work hard on the field, but we’ll have some fun, too.”   Then he looked at Bobby and asked, “How does that sound?”  “That sounds good,” said Bobby. 
The next day, Yogi gathered all the players and began reciting what he had said to Richardson the day before.  Yogi had made it to about his third or fourth “No” rule when Mickey Mantle stood up, threw down his bat onto the concrete floor and said, “Aw hell, I quit,” and walked out to a chorus of laughter from the rest of the team.  There went Yogi’s big opening speech.
                                                             Andy Purvis

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