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He wanted to take a shower.

REVIEW: Driving Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball's Greatest Gift -

She implored him to call Carmen, who was not home, and to get to the hospital. Remembering she had clients waiting for her at the salon, Duke finally decided to leave. On the ride back to the shop, she came up with a number for Larry Berra, the oldest of Yogi's three sons, and told him to contact Carmen immediately and get someone to the house.

Larry reached Carmen on her cell phone, in her car, which at the moment was plugged into a pump at the gas station. Within a couple of hours, Carmen Berra, no slouch in the face of her husband's legendary stubbornness, finally coaxed him to go to a nearby emergency room. Doctors attended to the cuts and, strangely, sent him home, where blood continued to ooze. The following morning, Carmen convinced him to return, and this time — noticing that Berra was walking stiffly and fearing he had suffered a fracture — the doctors decided to admit him. Sadly, he was forced to watch Old-Timers' Day on television, fielding get-well calls from a lineup of heavy hitters: Joe Girardi, the manager and former Yankees catcher; Derek Jeter, the beloved captain; Nick Swisher, the congenitally cheerful right fielder.

On it went, the lines burning up from the South Bronx, where the collection of former heroes trotted out from the dugout for the first time in eleven years without the greatest of all living Yankees. Berra wound up stuck in the hospital for almost two excruciating weeks, hating every minute of it. Except for the day Ron Guidry came to visit.

What Guidry initially saw when he knocked on the door and walked inside — Carmen sitting on the edge of the bed, with an expressionless Yogi slumped in a chair, his chin sinking into his chest — was sobering. His eyes crinkled, and his craggy face broke into an illuminating smile.

Guidry kissed him on the top of his head, and they proceeded to talk for a while about Old-Timers' Day and the coming Hall of Fame weekend, which Guidry was still planning to attend, though less happily now that Berra wasn't going. He knew how much Berra relished the few daily ounces — three was the current allowance — that his doctors permitted him to have.

Soon a physician arrived to say that the battery of tests they had run on Berra had checked out well. There were just a few minor concerns — residual issues from the fall — that would require him to remain in the hospital for a few more days of therapy and observation. Guidry decided yes, matter of fact, he did have one. Berra can have vodka? Guidry nodded.

ISBN 13: 9780547746722

The doctor thought about it for a few seconds and said, "Sure, I don't see why not. Inside were a few ounces of Ketel One, the Dutch brand Berra insisted on. Berra and Guidry passed the next hour doing what they usually did in each other's company — talking baseball and teasing each other — the storied Yankees pitcher and iconic catcher drawing on an endless reservoir of camaraderie. Of course he would.

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After all these years, did he really have to ask? The answer, Guidry knew, was yes — Berra had to ask, over and over, until Guidry was ready to scream. In the weeks and months ahead, as Berra plotted his Florida journey, his rite of baseball renewal, he would badger Guidry by phone to quiz him on a multitude of arrangements. Carmen, meanwhile, began to have doubts about whether her husband was in any condition to make the trip, to be away from home and from her for weeks on end. As is often the case with the elderly, the fall had a permanent effect on the man she had been devoted to for six-plus decades, having married him in The facial cuts had healed, and he was walking again without pain.

But he moved more slowly, spoke more softly, and no longer drove or tested the theory that the Jaguar had a protective bubble around it when he was at the wheel.

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As spring training drew closer, Carmen picked up the telephone one day, dialed Guidry's number, and found herself on the line with his wife, Bonnie. Bonnie Guidry didn't quite know how to respond. She and Ron loved the Berras more than anyone they'd known around the Yankees. She considered Carmen a special friend, too. She had gone out in the city with Carmen several times, once taking in a show with Carmen and Yogi's adult granddaughter Lindsay.

Bonnie understood why Carmen was apprehensive. Really, she did. But she also knew how much Yogi loved spring training and how crushing it would be for him not to go, especially this of all years, given the franchise's losses of the previous summer. With Steinbrenner gone, he'd want to be there to help with the healing. But if anything were to happen in spring training, at least you know he would be doing something he absolutely loves.

And you know that Ron will take care of him. That much she could count on. Waiting by his truck, smoothing his mustache, Guidry wondered what the next few weeks were going to be like. No doubt, he figured, this spring training would be much harder than any previous one. Berra was going to need more looking after than usual.

Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry & the Talking Duck

Ron had spoken to Carmen after the decision had been made that Yogi would come — which, truth be told, Guidry had never doubted. Continues… Excerpted from "Driving Mr. Yogi" by. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Yogi is the story of how a unique friendship between a pitcher and catcher is renewed every year. It began in , when Yogi Berra was reunited with the Yankees after a long self-exile, the result of being unceremoniously fired by George Steinbrenner fourteen years before. A reconciliation between Berra and the Boss meant that Berra would attend spring training again.

After all, Berra had been a mentor in the clubhouse back when Guidry was pitching for the Yankees. Guidry knew the young players would benefit greatly from Mr. Yogi's encyclopedic knowledge of the game, just as Guidry had during his playing days, so he encouraged Berra to share his insights.

Soon, an offhand batting tip from Mr. And in Yogi, Guidry found not just an elder companion or source of amusement — he found a best friend. At turns tender and laugh-out-loud funny, and teeming with unforgettable baseball yarns that span more than fifty years, Driving Mr.

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  5. Yogi is a universal story about the importance of wisdom being passed from one generation to the next, as well as a reminder that time is what we make of it and compassion never gets old. A warm, sentimental look at a baseball icon.

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