The legacy of Yogi Berra

Seldom is this world graced with a human who shows joy throughout their life and embodies the positive attributions of a generation.

Yogi Berra, the son of an Italian immigrant, stormed the beaches of Normandy at age 19. He was a family man, a folk icon and the winner of 10 World Series while playing for what many would consider some of the best baseball teams the game has ever seen.

The loss of Yogi Berra was the loss of an American generation.

Growing up like millions of other children, playing stickball on the sandlots of St. Louis, rising from the depths of the Great Depression to lead the Greatest Generation to places this nation, or any nation on Earth, had ever been before.

Upon his death, Sporting News published a piece focusing on Yogi Berra’s military career during World War II. On a day with approximately 10,000 Allied casualties, Yogi Berra survived with a determination to improve the wellbeing of the country he loved so dearly.

His medium was baseball, but his quotes are unforgettable.

Chances are, most of the people reading this column never saw him play the game, but some have heard of his timeless “Yogi-isms” that can make even the most hardened individual crack a smile.

The New York Post compiled a list of such sayings, ranging everywhere from “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4,” to “It gets late early out here,” to perhaps his most famous “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

His playing days will not be forgotten – 15 consecutive All-Star Games, winning the coveted Most Valuable Player award three times, and entering the Hall of Fame as arguably the best catcher to ever play the game.

In an era where ‘famous athletes’ and ‘good role models’ do not frequently appear in the same sentence, individuals are able to appreciate even more the legacy left by Yogi Berra.

In his later days, Berra stuck with America’s pastime, managing his beloved New York Yankees as well as the New York Mets. And while his hobbies remained the same, his passions took on a very philanthropic pursuit.

Yogi Berra established the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Little Falls, New Jersey, designed to preserve and to promote the values of respect, sportsmanship, social justice and excellence through inclusive, culturally-diverse, sports-based educational programs and exhibits, according to the museum’s website.

If there was one man who fully embodied this goal, it was Yogi Berra himself.

Though it can be easy to discount his death as a sign of changing times, gleaning characteristics from men like Yogi Berra can help individuals move forward.

Yogi Berra, more than a Hall of Fame ball player, is a Hall of Fame man.

This story has been updated for accuracy. 

Philip Grossenbacher is an english education major from Lynnwood. He can contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected]. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of the Office of Student Media.