MONTCLAIR, NJ - Beloved Yankees Hall-of-Famer, Yogi Berra died Tuesday at the age of 90.
Berra, a Montclair resident, is one of four Major League Baseball players to be named Most Valuable Player of the American League three times. As one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series, Berra has appeared in 21 World Series, winning 13 of them as a player, coach or manager.
According to a statement released Tuesday, the Berra family said, “While we mourn the loss of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather, we know he is at peace with Mom. We celebrate his remarkable life, and are thankful he meant so much to so many. He will truly be missed.”
Just a few short months ago, in May, friends and family of Berra gathered with the baseball great to celebrate his 90th birthday at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center located on the campus of Montclair State University.
Berra, known as one of the greatest catchers and clutch hitters in the history of baseball, anchored the New York Yankees' dynasty for 19 seasons from 1946 to 1963. He went on to become manager of the Yankees in 1964 and manager of the New York Mets from 1972 to 1975.
During his career, Berra became a 15-time All-Star winner of 10 world championships, the most in baseball history, and three-time MVP award winner in his career (1951, 1954 & 1955). Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 and named a member of Major League Baseball's All-Century Team in 1999, Berra also became the first man in over 40 years to win pennants in different leagues (Yankees in 1964, Mets in 1973).
During a ribbon-cutting ceremony held during the May celebration, Berra was able to see replacement items as they were revealed to the public after being stolen in a heist at the museum.
Among the exhibits were a complete set of 27 Yankee championship rings, including 10 he won as a player. Also on display were three of his Most Valuable Player awards, which were among the memorabilia that had been stolen in October 2014. Despite reward offers, the items stolen have not yet been recovered. Then-Commissioner Bud Selig and Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets teamed-up to donate the replica items taken in the heist.
In honor of Berra's birthday, May 12, 1925, both New York State and New Jersey officially proclaimed May 12, 2015 as Yogi Berra Day.
Berra was beloved by fans all over the world for his integrity and respect that he displayed on and off the field. Over 111,000 Berra supporters had recently signed a petition for the legend to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for what petitioners state is his "unimpeachable integrity and respect." They go on to cite Berra's service in the U. S. Navy during World War II and value of education among other reasons.
Berra was predeceased by his wife Carmen and leaves to mourn his three children Dale, Tim, Larry, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.