Thursday, May 1, 2014

Yogi Berra's House for Sale

The local paper reports that Yogi Berra's home in Montclair, N.J., is now on the market.

Yogi and Carmen

It is a handsome house, but downright humble given the scale of homes of big-name athletes the days.  Yogi (it seems ridiculous to refer to him as Mr. Berra) and his wife, Carmen, bought the house in 1974, trading in another place they had owned in town.  Carmen died this March, just after their 65th anniversary in January. They had three sons, two of whom were also professional athletes.

Just another tag at the plate

The listing price, $888,000, apparently refers to Yogi's jersey number, 8, when when he was the New York Yankees' catcher.  In those days, Yogi made the American League All-Star team every year from 1948 to 1962.  He was also a prodigious hitter.  One year, he struck out only 12 times in an amazing 597 at-bats.  He of course is in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There are many amusing Yogi quotes, but I am not going to talk about them here.

In Montclair, Yogi is at least as much loved for his post-baseball good works as for his career on the field.  So was his wife.  There is a Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, which he has promoted and stocked with memorabilia. Yogi Berra Stadium is home to a minor league team and the Montclair State baseball club.  Yogi has raised money for countless causes, and he has interested himself in the development of good sportsmanship in children.

Several years ago I met a woman who told me about a smallish Montclair city event; each year, Yogi Berra would show up and read books to children.  I can picture that.  He is a modest and generous man, the kind we'd like our sons and daughters to emulate.

 No doubt local residents are hoping that, after the house sells, Yogi will relocate in town.

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