“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.