My God, he had his own museum!
I followed Yogi as I matured near the Stadium in the Bronx.
He was a crazy Harry Potter with his bat, swirling that magic wand
Seemingly uncontrollably, swinging at pitches that
He had no right to try to reach in the logical world
Of the sport that he excelled in, but then again,
There is no logic in a body shaped like a fire hydrant
Wildly flailing at darts and swirls and accumulating
Three hundred and fifty-eight homers in regular season games
And another twelve in the World Series!
Berra was underestimation personified, a lump of a man —
But all muscle — a stumbler when it came to words and
Thoughtful expressions, but with the wisdom of a man
Who wanted to be overlooked but who shone in the spotlight
Of the Stadium as comfortably as a sloth in a tree.
He might have been overshadowed by the poster boys —
Mantle, Ford, Di Maggio — but he was a star that glittered
When he was called on to flaunt his baton and orchestrate
Another almost overlooked percussion piece.
I saw the man one time, in his coaching years; he entered
A cross-town stadium as I waited for another coach to conduct
A Little League clinic, and I saw a man, more human than
He seemed to be in uniform, only five foot eight — but when I focused,
I could see his strength, his sinewy body covered by run-of-the-mill clothes.
(And, after all, doesn’t Clark Kent wear ordinary garb?)
It’s interesting: Berra came into his own under Stengel,
Who possibly saw in his squat catcher a man not enough appreciated
In those early years, speaking a language and expressing sentiments
And observations few understood but many laughed at; an interesting
Pair, Stengel and Berra — so simple in their guise yet so complex
Out of their disguise.
Hall of Famers do not take tests to gain admission;
Their entrance exams are written with their deeds.