I delayed the beginning of my Spring Things Wednesday feature because of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I was all ready to post some flower pictures until I found out, too late for yesterday's post, that Yogi Berra had turned 90 yesterday.
Yogi Berra was a major league baseball player back when I was growing up. But he is best known for his kindness, and for what are called "Yogi-isms", expressions that don't seem to make sense - until you really think about them, and then you realize they are profound in a strange sort of way.
But first, a little about Yogi the man. Lawrence Berra grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of poor Italian immigrant parents. He had to quit school in 8th grade to help his family, and always regretted not being able to complete his education. He served during World War II, fighting on D-Day. When his team, the New York Yankees, wanted to honor him in 1959, he asked that a scholarship for disadvantaged students be established. It was.
He has done many things for disadvantaged children and teens.
I remember him when he still played baseball (he was a catcher) but later he became a manager. I was in attendance with my then-fiance at game three of the 1973 National League playoffs. Yogi (who was the manager of the New York Mets at the time) was one of several members of the Mets who went out to calm down fans after a fight broke out on the field. The fans were so enraged over the incident that their behavior almost caused the Mets to forfeit the game, but Yogi and the others managed to restore peace. (I suspect that afternoon was one of the highlights of my spouse's life.)
Now, at 90, Yogi lives in assisted living. The past few years have not been kind to him, and he may not be able to make this year's Yankee Old Timer's game.
Now, for some Yogi-isms.
"You can observe a lot by watching."
"Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded."
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
"If the people don't want to come out to the park, nobody is going to stop them."
"You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours."
And, possibly the favorite one: "It's deja vu all over again."
This is the first time I've had a Spring Thing about a person. Some call baseball players "the boys of summer", and our spring weather, the last few days, has been summer like. So perhaps it is appropriate to write about a boy of summer after all.
Happy belated birthday, Yogi. You are a national treasure.