A Medal for Yogi

Give this man a medal

Give this man a medal

Well, I did something I never do. I got involved in politics. Now I have a standing rule about staying away from politics if I can. There are too many lunkheads who are willing to take a swing at you if you happen to disagree with them on the subject. But I couldn’t help it this time. I added my name to the list to grant Yogi Berra the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

I don’t know if you’ve seen the petition, but there’s a drive to have the President present Berra with the Medal of Freedom. A number of ball players (Ernie Banks and Stan Musial among them) have gotten it and now there’s a push for Yogi Berra to get one. He’s a vet, was a gunner on a naval vessel during World War II (including serving at D-Day), a great ballplayer, an oft quoted philosopher (hey, he makes as much sense as a lot of philosophers), and a humanitarian.

What he isn’t, apparently, is one of the four greatest living ball players. Have you seen MLB.com’s poll? They want to unveil at the All Star Game the four (why not five or three?) greatest players from each team, the four most significant pioneers, the four greatest Negro League stars, and the four greatest living players. They gave you a list to choose from and there was the possibility of a  write-in (those never work in things like this). The list of greatest living players showed the following eight: Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez, Willie Mays, and Tom Seaver. According to MLB.com the voting is over and a preliminary list of the four is out: Aaron, Mays, Koufax, and Seaver. Apparently there was voting after this, so the final tally may change.

What I noticed was who wasn’t there, and Yogi Berra is prominent on my “are you kidding me?” list. He made the Yankees team list, but not the final cut for greatest living player. That’s kind of a shame, because it means that Yogi the clown has replaced Yogi the ballplayer in a lot of minds. Shame isn’t it? Anyway, here’s hoping Berra gets his medal.

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2 Responses to “A Medal for Yogi”

  1. wkkortas Says:

    I think the perception of Yogi has been changed for a long time–there are a couple of generations of fans who never saw Yogi the player and only know Yogi the quote. I would agree with you on the notion of Yogi as one of the four greatest living players–unless you give Bench a huge benefit of the doubt for his defense (and it’s not like Yogi was a bad defensive catcher) Berra’s argument for the best catcher in history is an awfully strong one.

  2. The Baseball Bloggess Says:

    Absolutely! I agree with you 120% … which, I’m guessing, Yogi would think is just about right. 🙂

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