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Jeter pens appreciation of 'magician' Yogi

Derek Jeter paid tribute to fellow Yankees legend Yogi Berra on Tuesday in a piece published on The Players' Tribune.

Berra passed away on Sept. 22, the 69th anniversary of his Yankees debut, and a funeral service was held Tuesday. He was 90.

Complete coverage: Yogi Berra

Jeter recalled going through a slump as a young player, and he wrote that Berra came to his locker with a simple solution that lit up the room: "Swing at strikes."

"Yogi was a magician when it came to making people feel comfortable," Jeter wrote. "He made everyone he interacted with feel at ease. Yogi always wanted to know how I was doing, whether I was playing well on the field or not. He was so easy to be around that you could actually forget you were talking to a baseball legend."

Jeter's five World Series championships spanning his 20-year career are an impressive feat, but not nearly as impressive as Berra's 10 titles in 19 years. One time Jeter pointed out that Berra's 10 championships only counted as five, because the playoffs were shorter in his days as the American League and National League champions each went straight to the World Series.

Berra, who was lying on the training table, responded: "If you're having trouble with math, you can come over to my house and count the rings yourself."

"Yogi's baseball numbers speak for themselves," Jeter concluded. "He was a great Yankee, a great man and a great husband to Carmen, whom he praised every chance he got. To me, he was a great friend.

"My locker may be gone now, but I can still see Yogi next to me, smiling and ready to light up the room with a response."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth.
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