|Joseph Henry Garagiola, Sr.February 12, 1926 – March 23, 2016|
Joe Garagiola was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up on Elizabeth Avenue in an Italian-American neighborhood in St. Louis known as The Hill, just across the street from his childhood friend and competitor,Yogi Berra. (That block was subsequently renamed "Hall of Fame Place".) When Berra and Garagiola were both teenagers, almost all pro scouts rated Garagiola as the better baseball prospect, although Berra had a Hall of Fame career, and Garagiola always respected Berra's ability. About growing up living next to Berra, Garagiola once said, "Not only was I not the best catcher in the Major Leagues, I wasn't even the best catcher on my street!"
After his retirement from baseball, Garagiola lent his name to a 1960 book, Baseball is a Funny Game, which sold well upon release and helped establish Garagiola as a "personality." The book—largely ghostwritten—was a collection of humorous anecdotes surrounding his upbringing and his playing career, and showcased the folksy, humorous style that became his trademark as a broadcaster.
Good Night Mr. Garagiola