Memories


Blow dat horn.
Blow dat horn.

“How can you hit and think at the same time?” — Yogi Berra

There you have it. I awoke yesterday morning reading about the passing of Yogi Berra. For those of you who live in other places, he was an American baseball player. A catcher. He caught the ball after it was thrown by the picture. By all accounts, not only was he a great ball player, but he was a good and kind person. He was good for the sport. He was good for the planet. He was 90 years old when he passed.

My memories of him stretch way back in time. Remember, you’re dealing with an old guy here. But, memories aren’t always accurate. We color them. They fade with time. We save the good ones and try to forget the bad ones.

I really started to follow baseball when I was about six years old. I swear that I saw him catch in his last season as a New York Yankee player. But, the data and stats prove me wrong, or partially so. By the time I was ten years old, he was mostly playing left field and a little first base. The Yankees had a new young catcher named Elston Howard. He caught in Yogi’s last year as a player. Yogi may have filled in from time to time, but I doubt I saw him. He played in New York. By that time, we moved to Los Angeles.

Because he passed at 90, I’m not so sad. Mostly, I’m nostalgic. I see ghosts from time-to-time. I’m sure they’ll be in my dreams this week. That’s not always a bad thing. I miss some of those people. And, I get to see them as I remember them.

So. How does this picture and Yogi’s quote fit together? I think y’all are pretty bright and very perceptive. But, I need to remind you. Or, maybe just me.

The picture. Well, you know. In New Orleans we walk in jazz funerals. We blow those trumpets. We sing. We dance. We know that death is just part of life. That’s why we say the word passed instead of died. Death is so final. Passing is not.

The quote. Yogi said that in 1947 to a batting coach who was trying to tell him to think when he was at bat. He did. And, he struck out. Keep in mind that he had great bat control. He did not strike out often. When Yogi returned to the dugout, he looked at the coach and said,  “How can you hit and think at the same time?”

I often write, “Practice, practice, practice.” Do you know why? The more you get used to taking pictures without having to fiddle around with dials, without thinking about this, that and the other, the more you just see, react and shoot… the better and more real your pictures become. Don’t think. Just take pictures. But, in order to do that… well, you know.

RIP Yogi Berra.

 

4 Comments

  1. Yogi will be so missed by the baseball community. I only got to see him play at Old-Timers Day a few times, but he attended a lot of games. Yankee Stadium, especially the old one, always felt complete with Yogi sitting in George’s box and Bob Sheppard announcing the line-up.
    “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” RIP Yogi

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  2. Thank you, Anne Marie. He was one of those people who we knew was just always there. His loss is one of those things that will be felt for a long, long time. And yet. he was 90. We knew it was coming. We lost another one like him down here this week. Willie Mae Seaton. Her fried chicken was called the best in the country. The President just ate at her restaurant a few weeks ago. She was a little older than Yogi. She passed at 99. Her funeral is tomorrow. I don’t believe it will be a jazz funeral.

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