On the Links… with Yogi
July 11, 2012 – On July 9, I attended the Yogi Berra Museum Celebrity Golf Classic in West Orange, New Jersey, and I spent a few minutes with the 87-year-old Yankees icon, whose philanthropic efforts have led to the creation of several educational and athletic programs for youngsters.
As much as I enjoyed speaking with Berra about those programs and the museum that bears his name, I also relished the conversations with several of the notable people who took the time to support all that Berra does.
Below are some of the comments that resonated with me about Berra and about the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center, which is located in Little Falls, New Jersey.
–Alfred Santasiere III
“Yogi was a coach when I played, and when he spoke, we listened. You have to listen to someone who has three MVP Awards and 10 World Series rings as a player.
Yogi has always loved kids, and he has always been very generous in the community. Everyone loves him for that, and I love him for that. He is the ultimate gentleman and the ultimate giver.”
“Yogi has done so much for his community. Montclair embraced him when he first moved here, and being the person that he is, he has also had a love affair with this community. The people of Montclair are very fortunate that Yogi decided to plant his roots here. It has made this community better.
It’s difficult for me to put into words how great of a friend Yogi has been to me. I met him in 1975, when he got a locker next to mine. We talked every day, and our friendship really blossomed quickly. When he started coming back to spring training, I just took it upon myself to take care of him, and that has made our friendship even stronger. We talk on the phone a lot while we’re watching the Yankees play from our respective homes in New Jersey and Louisiana. We both enjoy those conversations immensely.”
“Yogi has been a great ambassador for the game of baseball. He’s one of the most recognizable people in the United States, and he has been fantastic for the game. I spent some time at the museum a few years ago, and I can tell you, it is a special place.”
“Yogi is as kind as anyone you’ll ever meet. He is a gem of a human being, and I am a better man for knowing him.”
–Willie Randolph (pictured below with Berra)