Growing up I was a huge baseball fan, and although I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, being a fan of the game, Yogi Berra’s name was more than just familiar to me. The man was more than just a baseball player. He was a manager, coach, writer, actor, husband, father and oftentimes philosopher. Although he never made more than $65,000 a year during his storied playing career, he was rich in character and had a real affinity for the game.
Today with great sorrow we must report on the death of Berra at the age of 90. Passing away peacefully in his sleep at an assisted living facility yesterday, exactly 69 years after his 1946 Major League debut, Berra was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 65 years, Carmen, who had passed away in March of last year.
“While we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with Mom,” Berra’s family said in a statement released by the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. “We celebrate his remarkable life, and are thankful he meant so much to so many. He will truly be missed.”
While Berra is remembered for much more than his playing career, the accomplishments attributed to him during his playing days are simply incredible. In his 19 year playing career, he was selected as an All-Star 18 times. He was a three-time American League MVP and won 10 World Series, more than anyone else in the history of the game.
After his playing days were over, he went on to manage the Yankees, Astros, and Mets, taking both the Yankees and Mets to World Series, and in 1972 was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Berra is also known for his rather philosophical, yet odd quotes, many of which have become common sayings over the years. Examples of these quotes are as follows:
“It ain’t over till it’s over.”
“It’s déjà vu all over again”
“90% of the game is half-mental.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.”
When asked by his wife some time ago, where he’d like to be buried, his reply was simply, “I don’t know, why don’t you surprise me?”
Yogi will certainly be missed, not only by his loved ones, but by the general baseball community and all the lives that he touched over the years.