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AJ Reilly: A Victory Cigar for the Winningest Catcher in MLB History

Updated: Aug 13, 2018

By Guest Author: AJ Reilly.....

Yogi Berra didn’t create the victory cigar, but he damn sure should have

Cigars and sports - throughout history the two have gone hand in hand. Whether reminiscing of bygone days at the ballpark with men in fedoras smoking a hand-rolled cigar, or champions draping their cigar studded fingers around their recently won trophy, cigars and sports are constantly intertwined. And, nothing tastes sweeter than the taste of victory inhaled through the bouquet of your favorite hand rolled treat.

The most famous victory cigar-man is undoubtedly Red Auerbach. Red deserved every cigar he smoked, especially after nine NBA championships. But, the face of the victory cigar, the man who should be labeled in history as the greatest victory cigarsmen is none other than Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra.

Little league Baseball is a very good thing because it keeps the parents off the streets. ~ Yogi Berra

Yogi is best known probably more for what he said off the field than what he did on it. His quirky quips are oft quoted and timeless. Anecdotes like, “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical,” great directional advice like, “When you come to a fork in the road take it,” and the ever famous, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” Of course, we can’t fully know his true wit because he did once claim, “I never said most of the things I said.” For as great as Yogi’s words look in print, his play on the field far outshines his wisecracks off of it.

Yogi won, and won a lot. During his 18 year career, he and the Yankees won 10 World Series Championships and appeared in 14 Fall Classics. No player has won more in Major League history. To add to his already stellar postseason resume, it is Berra that created one of the most iconic images in baseball history when he jumped into the arms of Don Larsen after he threw the first and only perfect game in World Series History. That occurred on October 8, 1956 and helped in securing Yogi’s seventh World Series Ring.

There is no doubt that after each one of these Series clinching games, Yogi was adorned at his locker with the sweet blue smoke radiating from the tastiest of cigars. The most famous being the post game cigar he shared with Phil Rizzuto.

But even more than this, the Yankees backstop accrued throughout his career over 7,500 at-bats, 2,150 hits, and nearly 400 home runs. He was an 18 time All-Star (from 1959-1961 MLB played two All-Star games and players got credit for two if voted in twice) and thrice the Most Valuable Player in the American League. One notable and insane stat: In 1950 Berra had 656 plate appearances and hit .322, but more incredibly, he struck out only 12 times! And even though Bill Dickey shared his number after he left the Yankees, both men have their number retired by the club.

Yogi rightfully entered the Hall of Fame in 1972, being voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America on 85.6% of the ballots. His career, accomplishments, and quips enshrined forever. So when thinking about the victory cigar, think no farther than the number eight in pinstripes, taking his cigar from his mouth, with a World Series Ring wrapped around each and every finger.


AJ Reilly is an author and writer based in Detroit, Michigan. He can usually can be found puffing on a good cigar, drinking a smooth whiskey, and watching his beloved game of baseball.

AJ is the author of a forthcoming novel, The Askren Boys, the story of Raymond Askren, a young pre-teen boy who grew up in the

midst of the second World War.

Not only did Raymond face a world of uncertainty during these times, but he was especially connected to the war as he watched his two heroes, his brothers -- Ralph and Floyd -- head off to battle after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The Askren Boys will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will take you back to a time and place where life was simple. As you follow Raymond through his daily adventures from 1941-1944 you will be taken back and experience life as it was during this "greatest generation."

Learn more about AJ @

Find his book on Amazon >

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