Thursday, September 24, 2015

Yogi, who else?

Yogi Berra died at 90. A good chunk of years to live and live well.

Yogi was so much a part of my childhood--along with Whitey and Mickey and Bobby and Elston and Rodger and Moose and Andy and all the other Yankees of the 50's and 60's.

My father was a Yankee fan because before shipping off to Europe for WW II someone gave him a ticket to a Dodger/Yankee World Series game and he decided whichever team won the first and only major league game he ever saw in person would be his 'team'. And the Yankees won.

So, I grew up in the mountains of West Virginia, unaccountably rooting for the New York Yankees. Always. And still do.

Yogi was the best of them all. Always good for a quote: "It's not over 'til it's over"; "Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical"; "It's hard to get a conversation started since everyone's talkin'".

On and one he went, saying one ridiculously true thing after another. And being one of the best guys who ever knelt down behind home plate, called pitches and caught them.

I  have two favorite memories of Yogi. One was from 1955 (or was it 1956? I'm awash in linear time) when he ran out and jumped into Don Larson's arms after the only perfect game in a World Series. The other was (I'll leave you to supply the year....1960, maybe) when Bill Mazeroski hit a home run over the left field fence and Yogi, playing left field, trotted back and back and looked up as the World Series was won by Pittsburgh.

And he always showed up for 'old-timers' games and said something in his interview that was priceless--ridiculous and true, always.

I hope Heaven has a baseball diamond. That's what I hope.

Farewell, Yogi, you filled my life up to overflowing.....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.