The Life and Legacy of Yogi Berra: An American Icon
On 12 May 1925, a child was born in St. Louis, Mississippi. He was named Peter Lawrence Berra. Born of parents of Italian descent and with a father working in a brickyard, Berra was not inspired into sports by his parents. It was his own and his friends’ interests in baseball that led them to spend most of their time in the neighborhood sandlot. This interest in baseball eventually yielded fruits when at age 14, Berra started playing in the youth league sponsored by the American Legion.
His exemplary sports career and his contribution to society especially in New Jersey will be the central theme of this paper (Acad).
2. Brief Biography of Yogi Berra:
Berra’s baseball talents started manifesting themselves at an early age. When he was just 16 years old, he started playing semi-professional baseball with the Norfolk Naval Yard team. After serving for three years in the United States Navy during World War II, Berra returned to his first love which was baseball. He played for the New York Yankees minor league team before finally being called up to play for the Yankees in 1946 (Yogi).
He quickly became an important part of the team and helped the Yankees win 14 pennants and 10 World Series championships between 1947 and 1963 (Yogi). He also won three American League Most Valuable Player awards during his time with the Yankees (Yogi).
Apart from his successes on the field, Berra was also known for some of the Yogi-isms that he would often say. Some examples of these Yogi-isms include “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over”, “You can observe a lot just by watching”, and “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical” (Yogi).
In 1972, Berra retired from playing baseball but he remained active within the sport. He became a coach for the New York Mets and also managed both the Mets and Houston Astros. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 (Yogi).
3. His impact on American society:
Berra’s impact on American society goes beyond his accomplishments as a baseball player. He is also widely respected for his character and his down-to-earth personality. In 1999, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the highest civilian honors in America, for his contributions to sports and society (Yogi).
In conclusion, Yogi Berra is not only one of the most successful baseball players in history but he is also someone who has made a lasting impact on American society. His carefree personality and wise words continue to inspire people even till today.