Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra passed away earlier today at the age of 90.
Yogi is, of course, best known as an indispensable part of the New York Yankees dynasty that spanned from his call up in 1946 until the early 1960’s. He played a total of 19 seasons with the Yankees and the New York Mets and was a three-time American League MVP (1951, 1954, 1955) as well as an All-Star every year from 1948 to 1962. He was a ten time World Series champion as a player and also won a National League pennant as manager of the Mets in 1973.
Known for his humorous sayings such as “if you see a fork in the road, take it” and, of course, “it ain’t over ‘till it’s over,” Yogi became an icon that transcended sports.
Yogi was also a big hockey fan. Having grown up playing the game in his native St. Louis, he would live most of his life in Montclair, New Jersey. He became friends with fellow Montclair resident and former Houston Astros owner, Dr. John McMullen (Yogi would later serve as a coach on the Astros’ staff). When Dr. McMullen purchased the Colorado Rockies and moved them east, Yogi would become an early supporter of the New Jersey Devils. He was in attendance for the Devils’ first-ever home game at the Meadowlands (as can be evidenced in a game program from the 1982-83 season chronicling opening night) and would make appearances for the Devils on-and-off over the years.
Yogi was many things. He was a World War II veteran who served with the Navy during the D-Day invasion of Europe. He was a great baseball player. He was a great baseball manager and coach. To his family he was a beloved father, grandfather and husband. To his fans he was a great quote. But above all, Yogi was a great man. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on forever.
Rest in peace, Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra.