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Question 11- Who Was I?

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 tryoWho Was I???ut.  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."

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