I was in New York when I heard Larry Winograd had passed away. Naturally I was saddened by the news, especially since Larry had given me the opportunity three years ago to write this column for the Pine Island Post. May he rest in peace and my condolences to his family.
As you might remember from November, I wrote a column about Yogi Berra after he passed away on September 22. Well as you will shortly read, Yogi’s death had a profound effect on the public in general, and the baseball community in particular. As I’ve mentioned previously, I belong to the Society for American Baseball Research, better known as SABR. I attend their national convention every summer, which is held in a city with a major league team(s.) Last year it was in Chicago and this year it will be right here in Miami. I plan to attend the four day convention, including taking my two grand sons to a Miami Marlins game.
Every year, I also attend an annual SABR Conference Day that is held in January to commemorate the founding of SABR at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1971. It is held at the 42nd Street Library Annex at 40th street. Well I found out that the morning program was to be devoted to Yogi Berra and would be called, “SABR salutes Yogi- Commemorating his Legendary Career and Life.” There would be a panel discussion that would include Dave Kaplan, the founding director of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Also, Dave Anderson, Pulitzer prize-winning sports journalist for the New York Times and Lindsay Berra, the oldest grandchild of Yogi and Carmen Berra, who is a columnist for MLB.com. After I found out about the program I sent a copy of my November column to the people in charge of the meeting. They then requested my permission to give out copies to all the attendees. Naturally I agreed and was honored that all the panelists and over 50 attendees received copies before the program began.
Here are some interesting things I learned that I will share with you. After Yogi died, his grand daughter Lindsay started a petition for Yogi and had to get 10,000 signatures in a short period of time, which she did so that he was honored posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December of 2015.
Here is a “Yogi-ism” that turned out to be true and accurate. Yogi once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” He said this in reference to his home in Montclair, New Jersey. There was a fork near his home and you could take either road to get to his home.
Author of: Induction Day at Cooperstown-A History of the Baseball Hall of Fame Ceremony and fellow Knight of Columbus Council 12240-Davie, FL. I can be reached at [email protected] or 954-533-6242 / 914- 769-8819