Yogi Berra was one of my Yankee heroes. As a kid, I loved watching him play at Yankee Stadium, anchoring my beloved Bronx Bombers behind the plate, or slamming a bad pitch over the short right field fence.
Yogi won ten World Series championships – more than any other player in baseball history. Even the great Joe Dimaggio sported just nine rings, while the legendary Lou Gehrig had but eight. Mickey Mantle matched his number 7 with with seven world titles, the same as Babe Ruth.
But I loved Yogi most for his witty “Yogisms” – even more than his on-field exploits. Who could argue the logic of “You can observe a lot just by watching,” or “If people don’t want to come to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”
One time Yogi was asked what he would do if he found a bag with a million dollars in it. “Well I’d find out who it belonged to,” said Yogi, “And if he was poor, I’d give it back to him.”
Yogi was always a mentor in the Yankee clubhouse, offering sage advice to the rookies. He told them, “Never answer an anonymous letter.” And “Never buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel.”
But my favorite Yogi story goes something like this. Yogi was home with his wife Carmen and she asked him, “Yogi where do you want to be buried?”
“What do you mean?” Yogi asked.
“Well,” she said. “You were born in St. Louis. You played for the New York Yankees. And you live in New Jersey. So where do you want your final resting place to be?”
Yogi pondered the question for a moment. “Carmen,” he said, “Surprise me.”
There’s a hole in the universe now that he’s gone. As Yogi would say, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
I will miss his wit, his dedication to the Yankees and his love for baseball. MLB network put together this nice tribute to Yogi. It’s called “8 minutes In Honor of Number 8.”
Enjoy – Or as Yogi once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over.”
Click on the link below: