One of the downsides of growing older for me is seeing all of your baseball idols pass on. I understand it is a normal part of life and is ultimately inevitable, but it still sucks. No matter what team pulls at your heart-strings and makes your blood boil at times, how could you not like Yogi Berra? With his passing today baseball has lost another great ambassador to the game. They have lost another link to the golden era of the game and New York baseball. If you look closely these links are becoming few and far between. It is just a normal part of life but still not one I find any appreciation for. You are hard pressed to find anyone that had a bad thing to say about Yogi. A modest character who at times seemed bigger than life but was a down to earth guy who loved his wife, his family and of course his game.
Yogi was the author of an incredible career that was capped by Hall of Fame enshrinement in 1972. An imported New Yorker through and through, he became a symbol of one of the things that made New York great. His death is not just a loss for New York or the Yankees and Mets, but all of baseball. Every team, league, player, manager, coach, executive and fan has lost something here and is in some way a fan of Yogi’s. Everyone has heard some sort of version of one of his Yogisms and honestly they even make their way to non-baseball fans. His death transcends just the baseball world and may even be considered a loss for the entire world. Everyone had opinions of the players who are considered the games greats. Mantle Williams, DiMaggio and even Duke Snider, people either loved them or hated them, and there are plenty of both. But in all honesty it seems that everyone loved Yogi. It’s easy to leave your mark on the game of baseball if you have talent, but he has left his mark on people, which is an even bigger accomplishment.
So how does all this tie into baseball books, since that is what this blog is about? Well much like other popular subjects, there are a lot of Yogi books. If you havent taken the time to look at any of them, maybe you should. Most are a joy to read and give the readers an opportunity to see what the man was like behind the scenes. He seems to be a very what you see is what you get kind of guy. He was nobody’s fool and seemed like a great guy. So take the time to pick one up you wont regret it, and this is coming from a self-proclaimed Yankee hater.
Godspeed Yogi, we’re gonna miss ya!