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Antonelli Remembers Yogi Berra

John Guardo, NPR News

Rochester native and former Major League Baseball pitcher Johnny Antonelli is remembering baseball great Yogi Berra, who died Tuesday at the age of 90.

"He was a funny, funny person, a very nice person, and I was so sad today to hear that he had passed away," Antonelli said.

Antonelli and Berra's baseball careers overlapped, but Johnny remembers seeing Yogi play when he was still in the minor leagues.

"When he played for Newark, he came into Rochester and my father took me to Red Wings Stadium to see him play. He played right field at that time."

Antonelli recalls striking out Berra during spring training in Miami in 1949 when Antonelli played with the Cleveland Indians.

"I had two outs, Yogi Berra at the plate, and Joe DiMaggio on deck. I looked over there and saw Joe DiMaggio, and being only 18 or 19 years old, I was a little afraid to pitch to Joe. Luckily, because Yogi didn't strike out too much, I struck out Yogi Berra and they took me out and I never had to pitch to Joe DiMaggio."

The Hall of Fame catcher is renowned as much for his lovable, linguistically dizzying ``Yogi-isms'' as his unmatched 10 World Series championships

Berra played in more World Series games than any other major leaguer, and was a three-time American League Most Valuable Player.

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two-decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York, to Miami, Florida.
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