Here is a sports memoir that is not so much about the game as it is about the friendships that develop. Driving Mr. Yogi focuses on the relationship between two Yankee Hall of Famers – the incomparable catcher Yogi Berra and the ace pitcher Ron “Gator” Guidry. Yogi Berra returned to the Yankee fold in 1999 after a reconciliation with Yankee owner George Steinbrenner following a fourteen-year absence. Berra and Guidry first met in 1976, when Guidry was a young Yankee pitcher and Berra a bench coach. Their paths crossed throughout the years, but they didn’t truly become friends until Guidry volunteered to pick Yogi up at the Tampa airport for spring training in February 2000. Guidry took his responsibility seriously, chaufeurring Berra to and from the stadium and taking him to dinner. Over the years other rituals were added, and soon Yogi became the respected elder statesman, inspiring the young Yankee players by his mere presence. The book is poignant, as it shows Yogi’s frailties, but hope always springs eternal. When the team heads north, Yogi and Gator know that they can always “wait til next year” to start the ritual again.
If you enjoyed this book, you will also enjoy Ron Santo: a Perfect 10 by Pat Hughes