Washington, Sep 23: Iconic New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, an athlete as beloved for his folksy sayings as for his legendary baseball career, has died, the Yogi Berra Museum said today.
He was 90. The Hall of Famer and three-time Most Valuable Player died of "natural causes" late Tuesday, the museum said in a statement.
"Yogi conducted his life with unwavering integrity, humility and a contagious good humor that elevated him from baseball legend to beloved national icon," the museum said.
Berra, a 15-time All Star and 10-time World Series champion, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
But the baseball great was equally well-known for humorous quips and malapropisms such as "It's deja vu all over again."
Others include such one-liners as "it ain't over till it's over" and "when you come to a fork in the road, take it." Major League Baseball columnist Marty Noble said on the league's online news page that "a loss that unquestionably transcends the game has sent all of baseball into deep mourning."
We are deeply saddened by the loss of a Yankees legend and American hero, Yogi Berra. pic.twitter.com/Bf8uXxUPzR— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 23, 2015
Berra's museum announced his death "with a profound sense of loss and heartfelt sorrow." His family added that "while we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with mom."
Berra, whose real first name was Lawrence, was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1925 to Italian immigrant parents from Milan.
He began playing baseball in the American Legion leagues and it was there that he picked up the Yogi nickname - his friend Bobby Hofman felt he resembled a Hindu yogi when he sat around with arms and legs crossed while waiting to bat.