Monday, September 28, 2015

Thinking about Yogi Berra, (1925-2015), Hall of Fame Baseball Player and Cultural Icon

Good morning class and welcome back. It's a brand new week here on this Monday, September 28, 2015. Most of you are likely aware of the passing of baseball legend Yogi Berra last week. I'm particularly indebted to Yogi for all the 'yogisms' I've used over the years. Too many to count. I tried. I actually got to see Yogi play. It was a game that my Uncle Waymon arranged for me to see in Kansas City on August 26, 1961. Yogi was winding down his career. Those playing for the Yankees that day included Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Bobby Richardson, and Tony Kubek. Maris hit his 51st home run that day in the year that he broke Babe Ruth's record. I was a witness. Riding a Kansas City Southern (KCS) chartered train from Shreveport to Kansas city, visiting the Harry Truman library in Independence, Missouri, where President Truman actually came and spoke to us, along with getting to see my first major league baseball game was pretty heady stuff for a baseball loving kid from a rural Louisiana town. How much did I love the game back then? I slept with my glove. Enough said. Yogi went 1 for 5 and was playing left field the day I saw him play. Over the years I came to love Yogi for his funny sayings. He had a full life with a Hall of Fame career, a coaching career, and numerous other adventures including those memorable Aflac commercials.

Craig Biggio, the Astros Hall of Fame baseball player spoke about Yogi the man when he was on the Astros coaching staff. He said that Yogi went beyond just teaching baseball techniques as he would incorporate lessons about life itself. Here's another tidbit about Yogi that is worth remembering:  "Because before Yogi Berra was a catcher for the Yankees, and a coach for the Yankees, and the manager of the Yankees (not to mention stints with the Mets and Astros) - and before Yogi Berra supposedly uttered all kinds of funny sayings, most of which I suspect were made up by other people - Yogi Berra stormed the beaches of Normandy, and also helped take back Europe from the Nazis. On June 6,1944 - which we all know as D-Day - Berra served as a gunner's mate on the USS Bayfield." (Source: Herman Cain's website from a piece written by Dan Calebrese.)

I actually talked about Yogi the day I published my first blog. Here's that very first one that got this whole thing started:

~ Tuesday, May 8, 2007

May 9, 2007

Well, it took me over sixty years to get here and as Yogi Berra reportedly said, "You sure can observe a lot just by watching". That observation stuff, however, can be both good and bad especially if you are determined not to revise any of it, that is, if that's possible since reflections and memories over time tend to take on a life of their own as they all become fused together. Some days it's "Wow, I can't believe the life I have enjoyed!", while another day might be, "Hey, I'm not sure I can make one more day!". This is how it works in the so-called real world and we have trouble because the roller coaster ride can start without notice at anytime even right smack in the middle of one of those really great days and suddenly you find your heart pounding and breath interrupted by the crashing ride. Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic but with age, maturity, family, more family, relationships, issues, challenges, and chaos all around, it can be quite daunting.

However, I call this blog The View From Here because when it's all said and done, it's the way I see it. You most likely see it differently but that's what blogging is all about. We can speak from our viewpoint, our way of interpreting all the things we have to deal with, and in general, the viewfinder through which we see the world, and especially our world.

One final thought in this opening monologue: I know that without God as the foundation of my life through my identity with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, there would be little hope in all the ups and downs encountered in this journey called life. ~                                     

Enjoy the rest of your day and may God bless each one. Amen. .....More later.

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