I’ve never been a big fan of professional sports. In fact, I have significant contempt for many of those in the world of professional sports, especially (NFL & AFL) football and (NBA) basketball. Many of the players are nothing more than overgrown teenagers turned entertainment stars with extensive criminal records. See Arron Hernandez and Keith Wright and let us not forget Orenthal James (O.J.) Simpson. and Ruben Patterson, to name but a few. There are more comprehensive lists found here for the NFL/AFL and one here for the NBA, but keep in mind that neither of these lists are complete.
Having said that, I do have a little bit of affection for the American pastime – the game of baseball. Most real sports enthusiasts consider the game boring, but those who love the game of baseball are usually deeply into the statistics related to the the players and teams. I enjoy the game from the perspective of a spectator. It is a nice easy game to watch on a hot and lazy summer day, while eating hot dogs and drinking beer. Inever got too deep into the stats. My favorite team, the New York Yankees are legendary with more than 25 World Series wins in 100 years. No other team holds that kind of record. To watch those boys of summer in post season play was always marvelous.
Which brings me to the real point of this post. Lawrence Peter (Yogi) Berra passed away this week at the ripe old age of 90. Yogi was a player with the Bronx Bombers for 18 seasons (a remarkable feat in itself) and then joined the N.Y. Mets as coach and later became their manager. Playing with the Yankees he joined the field along with many of the greatest names in the game, including Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. Berra is considered by many to be the best catcher to have ever played the game.
In addition to his prowess as a player and coach he had a humorous ability with malapropisms. Some of his funnies included gems like; “It ain’t over ’til it’s over” and “Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.” and my favorite, “It’s deja vu all over again.” Follow this link to read more of his wit and witticism.
Yogi Berra played sports in an era when professional athletes were looked up to as role models and maintained a standard of conduct more worthy of respect than many of the men involved in sports are today. Yes, pro ball players have always had a bit of mischief on and off the field, but none were on a par with the thuggery seen nowadays.