An American Icon: A True Wordsmith

Sitting here with the flu, I assumed I wouldn’t be writing this piece today. But something happened and I have to give a shout out to a “master of verse” who has left this Earth at the age of 90: Yogi Berra is gone. Yes, he has a list of baseball accomplishments that spans decades. He was a professional baseball catcher, coach, manager, and all-round great guy (according to 100% of the people you ask), who played 19 seasons. This man was an 18x All-Star, being a World Series champion ten times. 358 home runs; MVP award three times…and the list goes on. But this was also a man who landed on Normandy, risking his life for this country in WWII.

All of this matters. But the one thing I have always loved about Mr. Berra were his words. Even though some will claim that clichés should never be used in novels, quotes from this man are not only well-known, they are necessary, and they are as correct in 2015 as they were the day they came out of his mouth.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

You can observe a lot by just watching.

It ain’t over till it’s over.

It’s like déjà vu all over again.

A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

This was a man who observed, fought, enjoyed and loved life. His words were ones that touched our hearts and taught us that no matter how low things get, they also get better. He may have been the face of baseball, but he also was a writer who will continue to stand the test of time.

Rest in Peace, Yogi. I really would have loved to hear more.