Wednesday, September 23, 2015

For this farewell, there is no deja vu

What a night. The Yankees offer a glimpse of light - and maybe, just maybe, a future star. You go to bed dreaming of Greg Bird leading the team for 20 years. You wake up to learn Yogi Berra is gone...

When folks ask why I became a Yankee fan, I tell them it's simple: As a kid, my favorite cartoons were Mickey Mouse and Yogi Bear. I don't say anything else. Mickey and Yogi. That's it. There's a subset of baby boomers, created by lovable characters who never seemed to let us down. Mickey and Yogi. Pillars of a childhood. How could anyone not be a Yankee fan?

One was over-matched by fame, seduced and reduced into drinking and a premature death. The other fitted easily into his role as philosopher-jester, becoming the most universally loved character that American sports has ever produced.

I think it's relevant that two nicknames have never been appropriated by the machinery of modern sports marketing. There has never been another Babe. There has never been another Yogi. To say that nobody could match up is an understatement. Nobody ever will. There are Ruthian seasons, and there are Yogi-isms. Both will be remembered, - if not mythologized - as long as our culture survives.

Well, we knew this was coming. In public appearances, Yogi looked incredibly frail. It's too late to act shocked - shocked! - at the revelation that even a Yankee legend can die. But long after we're in the grass, people will be quoting Yogi about nickels and dimes, about forks in the road, and about deja vu happening all over again. But make no mistake: There is no deja vu for today's news.

There was never anyone like Yogi. And there will never be another.


John M said...

Amen, Duque. A sad morning waking up to this news after such a great win last night.

DiMag, Mick, Roger, Yogi...all gone now. Only Whitey is left, but he never had the personality to win hearts, just an arm that won minds.

Berra connected us to an era of greatness that will never be repeated under the Selig rules of baseball. All we have now are the old films and video to watch over and over.

RIP, Yogi.

KD said...


Leif H. Lund said...

Yogi Yogi, where did you go..

Gary Frenay said...

Couldn't agree more, Hart. See my FB post at: