Happy 90th Birthday Uncle Yogi…and Many More!
By Tom Palermo // May 12, 2015
'As everyone knows, he’s an American treasure'
Please Sign the Petition requesting the President To Honor Yogi With the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Happy 90th Birthday Uncle Yogi!
It never ceases to amaze that, although still one of the most recognizable celebrities in the country, he remains one of the most modest, genuine, good-hearted and affable individuals you could ever meet.
Over the years, my brother Jim and I have had the pleasure of spending time with Uncle Yogi and Aunt Carmen (who passed away in March of last year), both here in Florida during their annual Spring Training trips, and at their home in Montclair, New Jersey.
The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair chronicles those incredible Yankee teams from the 40s, 50s and 60s, and his truly amazing career as a player, coach, manager and now American cultural icon.
It is regarded as one of the best baseball museums in the country, and provided a great venue for us to showcase the Palermo family’s exceptionally rare MLB game-used bat collection from the mid-50s.
‘WHEN YOU COME TO THE FORK IN THE ROAD…’
During one of our trips to Montclair, we were driving back to his house from the museum when he stopped and said, “Right here is the famous fork in the road.”
Jim and I gave each other the puzzled look and asked Yogi what he was talking about. He pointed out to us that the street into his neighborhood ended in a “T” so that you had to go either right or left.
It just so happens that both streets merge after making a wide circle through the neighborhood and Carmen and Yogi’s home was equidistance around the circle from the T.
After the “Aha” moment sunk in, Yogi’s oft-quoted direction to friends coming to his house, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it,” made perfect sense to both of us.
If we add very analytical and logical (in his own way) to modest, genuine, good-hearted and affable, we start to understand why he is one of the most beloved and frequently quoted persons of our lifetime – perhaps in history.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION
A petition campaign is now underway requesting President Barack Obama to honor Yogi with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award that has been given to nine other Major League Baseball players, including Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial and Ernie Banks.
“We’re thrilled Yogi is being considered for this wonderful honor, which is befitting his accomplishments, values and military service,” said Dave Kaplan, the director at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair, N.J.
“As everyone knows, he’s an American treasure.”
CLICK HERE to award Yogi Berra The Presidential Medal of Freedom for his military service and civil rights and educational activism.
If you would like to know more about Yogi’s career and life, see the New York Daily News excellent story below, which was published last Sunday.
As Yogi Berra Turns 90, Baseball Tips Its Cap
NEW YOKR DAILY NEWS – Yogi Berra hits the Big 9-0 on Tuesday and all we can say is, Happy Birthday to an American icon, who always knew where he was going and always knew what he was saying, even if we were never quite sure.
Yogi, who never looked like a ballplayer; Yogi, who never hit in an orthodox manner; Yogi, who never seemed like the manager type; Yogi, who never spoke with the most elaborate vocabulary, remains baseball’s all-time winner, with 13 World Series rings, including 10 as a player, as well as being one of the most respected baseball minds of all time and one of the world’s most quoted philosophers.
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going,” Yogi once told us, “or else you might not get there.”
Words he’s lived by.
When Yogi first reported to the Yankees’ Triple-A farm team in Newark after being discharged from the Navy in 1946, the manager there, George Selkirk, didn’t know what to make of him, this funny-looking 5-foot-7, 185-pound gnome of a man who Selkirk at first thought was a clubhouse attendant.
It wasn’t until Yogi got into the batting cage and began hitting almost every pitch thrown to him — high, low, outside or whatever — into the farthest reaches of Ruppert Stadium did Selkirk and the rest of the Yankee brass quickly come to realize they had something special.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A resident of Brevard County, Florida for the past 30 years, Tom Palermo has more than 35 years experience in the media business as a publisher, editor and industry consultant. During his career in both corporate and small business entrepreneurial environments, he has founded dozens of local, state, regional and national print and digital publications.
Palermo has written thousands of articles and columns for daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, trade publications and web sites – and hosted a weekly radio talk show for seven years.
In 2005, Palermo founded Maverick Multimedia, Inc., which specializes in media-specific IT development, niche multimedia publishing and devising comprehensive strategic business and marketing plans.
Palermo is also co-founder of Brevard Production Inc., an organization that owns and produces some of the most significant and compelling annual special events in the East Central Florida region.
The founder and president of the Space Coast Publishers Guild, Palermo works diligently on behalf of his industry in regard to innovation, and in upholding the highest standards of integrity.