Today is a big day in Yankees Universe. Yogi Berra, the greatest living Yankee, turns 90 years old. We want to wish him a big Happy Birthday, and also bring you some news about how we can honor him.
Yogi Berra's name has been put forward for consideration for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I would not have believed it if I had not seen it myself, but there is a page on the White House website that runs petitions for these things and his name is on it. You can click HERE and add your name to the list. According to the site, Yogi needs 100,000 votes by June 8 in order for the White House to be obligated to respond, which should not be a problem if everyone who is a Yankee fan knows about it. So tell your friends and have them tell their friends.
It should be no surprise that he would be given serious consideration, given his history and his contributions to American society. He has been the ambassador of baseball for several generations and an icon of baseball fans everywhere. His humor is legendary, and everyone admires his presence.
After spending 18 years as a Yankee and several stints as a manager and coach, Yogi continues to contribute through several charitable organizations, as well as programs through the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center. He sponsors sports camps, seminars, and workshops for as many as 20,000 students each year. He is also an active supporter of Athlete Ally, an organization that stands in solidarity with the LGBT community in sports against systemic homophobia.
I have no need to tell you of his accomplishments in Yankees pinstripes, but I'm going to anyway because it bears repeating. He earned ten World Series rings as a player, five as a coach. He is a three-time American League MVP. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on his second ballot in 1972. Besides baseball, Yogi Berra had a distinguished military career, serving in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War, and was part of the Normandy invasion on D-Day.
The thing about 90-year-olds is that we do not know how long we will have them. Sorry to sound morose, but we will not have Yogi and his smile forever. It would be a great thing if he could get this honor from the President. Yogi needs 100,000 signatures on this petition to move it forward, but he is not quite there. We get that many people filing into Yankee Stadium over the course of any given weekend. We, his fans, need to take a minute of our time and put our names down. It is very easy - just click on the link HERE. Then post it on Facebook, Tweet it, and publish it on any social media site you use. Let’s get it done, people.
We wish Yogi the happiest of birthdays!
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
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