"He'd fall in a sewer and come up with a gold watch", his manager once said of him.
Earlier this week, famed baseball catcher Yogi Berra died at the age of 90. His death has been mourned by millions of Americans.
You don't need to be a fan of baseball, or even know what baseball is, to mourn the death of an elderly athlete who did so much for a sport and for disadvantaged youth. But he was even better known for his sayings, full of mangled logic, that somehow made perfect sense.
Many believe the cartoon character Yogi Bear was named after Yogi Berra.
Sadly, another aspect of his old age was just like deja vu all over again. .
Over and over again - death due to complications of falling. In fact, my spouse's 103 year old aunt was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago, fighting an infection that was related to a fall she too last year, which resulted in a partial hip replacement. She's in rehab now.
But, speaking of Yogi....
Some five years ago, this athlete, one of the greatest baseball players of all time in his youth, fell and hurt himself. More recently, he had to be moved into assisted living.
He isn't the only mighty athlete who has ended up in assisted living. I read this inspirational story about howYogi would visit Phil Rizzuto, one of his teammates, when the elderly Mr. Rizzuto was moved into assisted living.
I don't know if Phil Rizzuto had fallen once he was elderly, but I wonder if Yogi Berra's fall somehow, eventually, contributed to the "natural causes" he died from.
Even the mighty athletes among us fall, it would seem. And if they fall, than what of us, the non-athletes?
You can observe a lot by watching.
I've watched, and I decided to lower my chances of falling again - I've fallen several times already in the past five years.
I've blogged about the falls prevention class I took earlier this year. Yes, I still do the exercises. Yes, it has made me feel more stable. But I have a ways to go to regain the steadiness of my youth.
I still fear falling, and rightly so. I sometimes wonder why old age brings the trials I dread, as I enter that part of my life.
But Yogi Berra knew why.
He once said "If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be."