I was born in 1925 in a largely Italian neighborhood in
St. Louis, Missouri. Joe Garagiola lived right across the
street from me. We both played American Legion ball together.
We both went to a St. Louis Cardinals tryout.
Garagiola signed with the Redbirds for $500, but since they
offered me less money; I signed with the Yankees instead
for $500. In 1949, I became the New York Yankees'
catcher and the following season, I slugged 28 home runs
with 124 RBI's and batted .322. I won consecutive
Most Valuable Player Awards in 1954 and 1955. My first name
is Larry but my nickname sets me apart from others. I was
a top defensive catcher and in 1958; I was perfect; recording
a 1.000 fielding pct.
Players considered me the top handler of pitchers during
my era. I was also rated a wizard at the double play.
My clutch late inning hitting helped the Yankees win many
pennants in the 1950's and we won five consecutive World
Series. Oh, Yes - "It ain't over till it's over, and
this Who Was I is now over."