We come across 90th birthday celebrations for celebrities on a semi-regular basis. A glance at the headline, a split-second reaction… and move on. But Yogi Berra reaching 90 — that is special.
OK. Let’s start with the most notable of “Yogi-isms” — “It ain’t over until it’s over.” Then it is almost mandatory to mention Yogi’s pure baseball talents: 10 World Series Championships with the New York Yankees, and manager of the New York Mets, in 1973, to a National League pennant. Oh, and somewhere during those glorious years he came up with, “I never answer an anonymous letter.”
In New Jersey, they declared Yogi Berra Day on his 90th. The ceremonies, spearheaded by his granddaughter Lindsay, featured a stirring plea for people to retrieve an online petition that seeks to make Yogi the recipient of a Medal of Honor! Did I mention Yogi also coined the phrases “Its déjà vu all over again” and “You can observe a lot by watching.”
Yogi, who has three sons and 11 grandchildren, isn’t quite as mobile these days, but it is still hoped he will make the Yankees “Old Timers Day” this year. Perhaps he will trot out his old saw, “If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.” I’ve reserved my two favorite “Yogi-isms” for last: “Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” And the iconic, “Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore. It’s too crowded.” Happy 90th birthday, Yogi. I’m looking forward to 91!