(5.12 No.33 — 162 Baseball Poems 2015)
90 YOGI 90
By Steve Hermanos
I am old,
But not old enough
To’ve seen Yogi Berra
I saw him manage the Mets
To the World Series in ’73,
Be a human pressure valve for the all-time
Most pressurized human,
Get canned as Yank manager
by George Steinbrenner
after the 16th game,
one of the most savage cannings in history
(Perhaps the nadir of George Steinbrenner’s
Life of abuse);
Yogi vowed to never again
set foot In Yankee Stadium—
And no one could blame him
(King George formally apologized a dozen years later);
I stood in his presence as he signed a baseball in green ink,
“Here ya go”,
And he was baseball’s greatest poet:
• It gets late early out here.
• If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark,
nobody’s going to stop them.
• Pair up in threes.
• You can observe a lot by watching.
• We make too many wrong mistakes.
• The future ain’t what it used to be.
• It’s déjà vu all over again.
• Love is the most important thing in the world,
but baseball is pretty good, too.
• Baseball is ninety percent mental,
and the other half is physical.
• I never said most of the things I said.
• You should always go to other people’s funerals.
Otherwise, they won’t come to yours.
Today he’s 90,
He’s outlived Steinbrenner and Martin
Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard,
Roger Maris, Phil Rizzuto, Hank Bauer,
Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson,
His wife Carmen,
Married 65 years;
Well, Mr. Berra,
You’ve got the rest of us,
The baseball populace—
Nice guys finish first!