Yogi Berra would have turned 93 today.
Yogi is, first and foremost, a Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest catcher in baseball history. But he's also something that's all but extinct today's game: a quotable ballplayer. Every time I hear a guy say "I just took it one pitch at a time" for the hundredth time, I think of Yogi Berra. ("When you come to a fork in the road, take it" is a personal favorite Yogi-ism.)
And so it's in honor of the late great Yogi that I've decided to focus on him in this week's Top Five post.
#5 -- 1992 Ziploc #10 Yogi Berra
The world needs more cards packaged with random groceries.
#4 -- 2001 UD Hall of Famers #85 Yogi Berra
Quirky action shots are rare on the cards of '50s-era ballplayers -- this is one of the extreme few I own.
#3 -- 2010 Topps "Turkey Red" #TR-83 Yogi Berra
It seems to me that Yogi doesn't appear in nearly as many modern sets as he should, and that's a real shame for someone who has the propensity for creating absolutely beautiful cards like this one.
#2 -- 1965 Topps #470 Yogi Berra
From personal experience, I'd say Yogi's vintage in particular is often expensive and/or difficult to find, a bit more so than most stars of his era.
This is Yogi's sunset card (as well as an extreme Short Term Stops sighting given Yogi's brief four-game stint with the lowly '65 Mets), and it's been a coveted piece of my collection from the day I swung a forum trade for it many years ago.
#1 -- 1963 Topps #340 Yogi Berra
This is my only real vintage card of Yogi as a Yankee (a wonderful present from Dad a couple years ago), and for that reason it remains my favorite.
Like the '65 Topps, it features a rare "Catcher-Coach" designation, and I can't help but wonder how awesome it would be if Topps did that with veteran-leadership guys like Chase Utley or Ichiro nowadays.
It's a bit shocking to me that I've never found a vintage Yogi at a card show, and sometimes I get to thinking I never will -- but like Yogi himself once said: It ain't over till it's over.