Writer friend Rob from Iowa remembers:
Funny how the mind works. I was around twelve, late 1950’s, on the third base side middle deck Yankee Stadium, kind of bored I guess watching a ho hum game, lets say Yanks behind 4-1 in the 8th. There was a guy sitting behind me who, sensing my discontent, leaned over, poked me and said something like, “Eyes front, Yogi’s due for one.”
And sure enough after a pitch or two Berra squared into one, a towering fly down the right field line. We had awesome line of flight. The crowd roared and rose to its feet. It landed upper deck foul by the slimmest of margins. Huge groan in the Bronx.
I never forgot that moment.
I was in Cooperstown once, the Friday of Induction Weekend in 2006. I went not because it was Induction Weekend (I may not have known) but because my Dodger-obsessed friend from LA was in town and she had never been either. We made a day trip out of it, which, Cooperstown isn’t really a day trip from Philadelphia, but I was taking Adderall at the time, so it was a quicker drive than it probably should have been.
Anyway, we saw Yogi Berra sitting and signing autographs at a small foldout stand in front of a store on Main Street (which is actually called Main Street, because it’s America).
Embarrassing fact #1: I thought it was Phil Rizzuto at first. I only figured out it was Yogi Berra (only after walking away, I think–we didn’t get any autographs because everything started at $20 or so, which was more than the museum, if I remember correctly) because I realized Phil Rizzuto was dead.
Embarrassing fact #2: Phil Rizzuto wasn’t dead (in summer of 2006– he died the following year).
But I’m pretty sure it was Yogi Berra.
Your story’s better.
I wrote Dodger-obsessed friend Carol separately about our Berra sighting. Her response:
We did? I don’t remember.
RIP, Yogi Berra.
Photo courtesy of https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/66/203198974_f6845dd936_z.jpg.