The Fork Appeared in the Road


The Fork Appeared in the Road

~ Amy Lignor


People have spoken constantly this past week about the immense amount of clichés that were created from the mouth of this incredible man. He was quoted more often than any President or statesman this country has ever had, yet Yogi Berra was far more than a man who said things that the lot of us will repeat for the rest of time; Yogi Berra was, first and foremost, a baseball legend.


Yogi Berra, baseball legends, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”Passing away at ninety years of age, the pain and heartbreak of hearing that Yogi was gone was felt all over the world. Not just in the sports community, but by all different types of people. People who, for some unknown reason, had actually come to believe that the man who stated: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over,” was actually never going to be over, himself.


Humility is a gift which Yogi owned outright. He was one of the kindest people in sports (a trait which is almost impossible to find nowadays). He was not constantly talking about money. He wasn’t sitting out games until his contract would give him millions more. No. He was a man who lived for his family, team, and country. He actually served in the U.S. Navy during one of the most horrendous moments of this country’s history. During WWII, Yogi was a part of landing on the beaches at Normandy, yet never spoke a word about it; nor did he want congratulations or to be hailed as the kind, witty, legendary man he was.


But instead of thinking about the words he spoke, it is important to honor his baseball career, which was immense. Take away DiMaggio for a moment. Take away Mantle. There are huge baseball legends that will be remembered for all time, yet Yogi outshone them all. Which is a fact that many do not know because the others were a bit more “hailed” or “spotlighted” for their off the field antics than Yogi was.


Yogi was a quiet individual who can claim ten World Series rings. Ten. More than anyone else who ever played baseball. This occurred in his eighteen seasons with the beloved Yankees, and whether he went as a player, manager or coach, Yogi went to that grand World Series stage twenty-one times in total. A record that no one will ever match or surpass.


Yogi also remains one of only two baseball catchers who won the most MVP Awards. He also was an All-Star in fifteen seasons. But when it comes to data and facts, Yogi has a truly amazing period on his record where he led the entire league when it came to catches made in every one of his seasons.


Yogi will be seen in the tapes by everyone who studies them as that “bad-ball” hitter who was the player in the league known for being absolutely impossible to strike out. He was one of the best defensive backstops in the league, as well. During a time when players had more courage to do things in order to win a game, Yogi was the one who took base-stealers and threw out almost 50% of them.


The courage and toughness of Yogi cannot be beat. Without the “help” of drugs or extra-special workouts, Yogi was simply a man who loved the game. He was not even on a mission, Yogi just made sure that his Yankees – a team he loved like family – would find themselves at the end holding the trophy as often as humanly possible. He was a man’s man and a great friend to his teammates. A man that no matter what generation you came from touched your life in some way.


He said so many things, but his actions and his love of baseball outweighed his words. It was nice of him to create a legacy that all young people who are dreaming of playing on that diamond one day can witness. They also can revel in the fact that loving the game is what is most important when it comes to being a success. Baseball was what made up Yogi’s core. And he will continue to teach those coming up in the ranks his extremely valuable lessons.


All we can do is hope that the generations that follow will take the dollar signs out of their eyes long enough to learn that to win, thrive and achieve, takes humility, strength, and a Yogi love of the game.


R.I.P. Sir. You will be missed.

Yogi Berra, baseball legends, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”

Source:  Baret News