A Tribute to Leaders of Society Who Have Passed Away: Yogi Bera

By Danielle Andreani, Trending Writer

“It ain’t over till it’s over” – Yogi Berra. This well-known quote from Berra is as true in life as it is in the game of baseball. Nothing is completely certain until it is unequivocally over; anything can happen. The world lost a legend when Yogi Berra passed away at the age of 90 on September 22, 2015. He was known for his successful career as a catcher with the New York Yankees, as well as his humorous quips – “Yogi-isms”. With 10 World Series wins, 3 MVP awards, and 18 All-Star appearances, Berra was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. His career spanned decades, consisting of him playing baseball professionally and later transitioning into a coaching role with several teams including the Yankees, Mets, and later on the Houston Astros.

Berra quit school after only 8th grade and eventually found himself playing Minor League Baseball. Prior to becoming a baseball legend, Yogi Berra joined the Navy in 1943. He put his amateur baseball career on hold to participate in World War II. While being a war veteran was not unusual for someone of Berra’s age around that time period, what differentiated him was his personality and character. He went on to receive the Lone Sailor Award from the U.S. Navy Memorial over sixty years after his service. According to Military.com, the president and Navy Memorial CEO said, “Our honorees are living examples of how service to country changes lives and helps develop leaders.”

Berra can be considered a source of inspiration and admiration for Americans across the nation. Fans from across several generations adored Yogi Berra due to his average appeal. Upon initial inspection, Berra was not the typical baseball player. He was 5’7”, average weight, and his run elicited laughter from the crowds. Nevertheless, Berra was able to command attention from the moment he stepped up to bat. According to the Washington Post, Berra had a reputation as a “bad-ball” hitter since he was able to hit pitches outside the strike zone. He was a great catcher and a renowned hitter, rising to baseball fame.

From unassuming beginnings, Yogi grew into an American fan favorite. While arguably most well-known for his signature phrases, such as “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical,” Berra was a phenomenal baseball player, a Navy Veteran, and a source of inspiration for millions of Americans.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 26th print edition.

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