Joe Garagiola, a St. Louis native who started both his playing and broadcasting careers with the St. Louis Cardinals, has retired at 87.
The childhood friend of Yogi Berra grew up in St. Louis and famously complained that he made the major leagues despite not even being the best catcher on his street on The Hill in St. Louis. But, while Berra ended up playing for the Yankees, Garagiola stayed home and was signed by the Cardinals. He made his big league debut in 1946 for a team that eventually would win the World Series.
Garagiola was with the Redbirds until 1951. He played for the Pirates, Cubs and Giants before retiring in 1954 when he got a job broadcasting St. Louis games for KMOX radio. He worked for NBC doing games of the week and World Series coverage through the 1980s and, in recent years, Garagiola worked a reduced schedule doing Arizona Diamondbacks games. Away from baseball, he worked on the Today show and sometimes even substituted for Johnny Carson as host of the Tonight Show.
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