We lost a veteran, a legend, a 10 time world series champion last week. Although I never met Yogi Berra or had the opportunity to live during his playing years, I feel a deep connection, as I am sure all baseball fans do. Rivalries and hatreds are squashed when it comes to relating to people that truly change the character of the game. I wanted to share my experience with Yogi's death, because I will never forget the night and the next day where I learned that he had passed away.
I was watching the YES Network broadcast on the 22nd of September, 2015. Playoff baseball. The Yankees controlled their own destiny pitted against the first place Blue Jays. One part of the broadcast that stood out to me was the mention of Yogi Berra when the guys in the booth were discussing Greg Bird and his MLB debut this year; he had already put up some great numbers. That night marked the 69th anniversary of Yogi Berra's MLB debut. After the guys reiterated Yogi's debut stats, they gave him a shoutout, wished him well and gave a nod to his typical television viewing attendance. And then it really hit me and stuck with me, that, it'll be so sad when Mr. Berra finally passes away. The following day I got a text from my mom about how sad she was that Yogi had passed away. As I am sure you can probably tell, I was shocked.
But what made things that much more special was how the game ended. The young man, Bird, who stirred up the conversation of Yogi and his influential MLB debut, was the player who put the Yanks ahead in extra innings and ultimately was the one who won the game for them. I can't help but think Yogi provided a little extra inning support for his team and for Bird.
I will never forget where I was and what happened that night. Someone who transcended baseball lore and was more than just a Hall of Famer will be greatly missed. Here's to #8.
I will now leave you with a collection of Yogisms.