Opinion: Remembering Yogi Berra

Lucas Misera

Lucas Misera

If you are a sports fan or check the news on a weekly basis, the announcement that Yogi Berra passed away last Tuesday may have shocked you.

The news made waves around the sports scene and beyond, as many across the nation were saddened by the loss of an American icon. He was playing baseball nearly three decades before I was born, so the research made him that much more intriguing.

Seriously, research him. Referring to him as only a “baseball player” feels like a disservice to his legacy.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s website best sums up Berra’s accomplishments. An all-time great catcher, Berra batted at an elite level and was nearly a brick wall behind home plate. His talent alone was enough to earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame, yet his quirky character and memorable sayings transcended sports.

Beyond his superior talent on the baseball diamond, Berra was downright brilliant.

After reading articles on him, it’s shocking how many phrases he actually coined. Berra was famous for the sayings “When you see a fork in the road, take it” and “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

Quite honestly, his insight was brilliantly simple. Phrases like “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over” and “The future ain’t what it used to be” are delightfully obvious, managing to become recognizable today thanks to the exuberant nature of Berra.

Also, it’s important to mention that Berra served on D-Day, one of the most important events of the 20th century. Formerly a member of the U.S. Navy, Berra was an American hero before he was an icon.

Reading about Berra and his storied past, one thing becomes evident: he is representative of baseball’s greatness.

While the NFL collapses under its numerous arrests and scandals, the MLB continues its reign as our most pleasantly mind-numbing sport.

By no means is this a slight. Many Americans’ passion for football has been buried under countless changes to the rules, endless talk of Tom Brady and lucrative contracts for mid-tier players.

Looking into baseball’s past reminds me that it truly remains America’s pastime. The sport has outlasted an ever-changing United States, allowing Americans a brief escape from our fast-paced lifestyle.

With Berra’s passing, I’m reminded why I love sports and why countless people across the globe find themselves passionate about athletics.

Thank you, Yogi Berra. I’m sorry I couldn’t watch you play, but I hope baseball players take time to carry themselves as you did. With the passing of a legend, I guess we’ll have to see who from the next generation of baseball talent can personify what baseball truly means.

Contact Lucas Misera at [email protected].