Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lawrence Peter Berra

He was the master of misstatement, a lovable cartoon character, an everyman who was anything but. Side by side with the grace of DiMaggio, the combativeness of Martin, the astounding natural ability of Mantle, the eye was not first drawn to him. But he was the picture of pinstripe pride and despite his longstanding feud with the Boss and his dalliance with the crosstown rivals, he was always our Yogi, once and forever a Yankee.

There are the iconic images indelibly ingrained, as he jumps into the arms of Larsen  after the last strike or rages at the umpire after Robinson's steal of home. That is the Yogi we knew, full of passion, playing the game on it's biggest stage, living or dying with every twist and turn, much as we did.

In the later years, when he returned to the Stadium an old man, he was small in being, far too physically inconsequential it seemed to have ever made a lasting impression on the game. But there was no mistaking his mark, the numbers telling of his majesty.

However, in the final telling, it will be the man himself, not the hits and homers that we most recall. Yogi, ugly but beautiful, little but large, butchering a phrase but with intent, unremarkable but actually amazing. And most certainly one of a kind.

1 comment:

Michael Gansl said...

Beautiful tribute to a great ball player and human being!