Sports

Montclair Prepares for Private Yogi Berra Funeral Tuesday, Public Memorial Sunday

14078cad8947e30981c3_FC9C0976.JPG
Credits: W.L. Bill Allen, NJ Sports Action
650174fafdc2055170f5_IMG_2426.JPG
Credits: Natalie Heard Hackett
14078cad8947e30981c3_FC9C0976.JPG

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Baseball Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra will be memorialized during a private ceremony to be held at Immaculate Conception Church in Montclair on Tuesday. The ceremony will be televised starting at 10 a.m. on the YES Network, confirmed YES Network executives.

After the news of his passing on September 22 at the age of 90, fans and neighbors began showing an outpouring of love for the baseball great. Many took to social media to share memories and photos of him through the years. 

Montclair Mayor Robert Jackson said, “I am dee‎ply saddened by the loss of Mr. Berra and my heartfelt condolences go out to his wonderful family.”

Sign Up for E-News

On Sunday, a public ceremony is scheduled at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center located on the campus of Montclair State University from 12 noon to 5pm.

In an official statement, his 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.”

Berra, known as one of baseball’s greatest catchers and clutch hitters, was a 15-time All-Star, winner of 10 world championships (the most in baseball history), and a 3-time Most Valuable Player award winner. (1951, 1954 & 1955.) In 1972 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and in 1999 was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.  

In addition to his accomplishments during his baseball career, Berra was also know for his down-to-earth persona and words of wisdom. 

Berra's son Larry once said: “Basically, he loves everybody, as long as you are trustworthy and loyal – doesn’t matter whether you’re the garbage man or the president of the United States.” Comedian and lifelong Yankees fan Billy Crystal noted: “He is cherished because he has never really changed….the most caring, honest, decent, and good-humored player and person of his generation.”

Berra was also known for his compassion for others and his unwavering leadership. Despite racial tensions in baseball across the nation, Berra treated all people with respect regardless of race, gender or class. 

When Elston Howard joined the Yankee roster in 1955 as the team’s first African-American player, Berra went out of his way to befriend his new teammate. As recently as 2013, Berra's open-minded tolerance and respect for others prompted him to become an ambassador for Athlete Ally, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homophobia and transphobia in sports.

Born in 1925, the son of Italian immigrants, Berra came of age in “The Hill” section of St. Louis during the Great Depression. He dropped out of school in 8th grade to help his family financially. At 18 he joined the U.S. Navy and served as a machine gunner on the USS Bayfield during the D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Berra often said that his military service in Word War II was more significant to him than anything he did on the baseball field. In 1949 he married his wife Carmen, the great love of his life for 65 years, and together they raised three boys, who in turn produced eleven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Yogi nurtured close friendships with fellow Yankee greats Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin and Whitey Ford while remaining first and foremost a family man, returning at the end of each day to his home in Montclair, where he was known as a kind, generous and approachable member of the community.

Much of Yogi’s personality is captured in what are fondly referred to as “Yogi-isms,” the pithy statements he delivered throughout his life that served to illustrate his unique worldview in the most memorable ways. Lines like: “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over;” “If there’s a fork in the road, take it;” and “You can observe a lot by watching” made him one of the most quoted Americans in history and a trusted spokesperson for a wide array of products.

Berra's desire to share the wealth of his experience with others came through in his characteristically understated 1972 Hall of Fame induction speech: “I want to thank baseball. It has given me more than I could have ever hoped for. And I hope that when I’m through with this game, I will put something back.”

He continued to attend Yankees spring training as a trusted advisor until he was 87. Nonetheless, in 1998 he “put something back” in a concrete way by helping to create an institution that secures his legacy for generations to come: The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center.

Conceived as a reflection of Yogi’s spirit and values, the YBMLC offers year-round programming and exhibits that instill lessons in the ideals that made Yogi an American treasure: perseverance, respect, teamwork, social justice and excellence. Set on the campus of Montclair State University, next to Yogi Berra Stadium, the museum provides workshops for coaches, parents and athletes; panel discussions and screenings on topical issues in sports; special events with professionals in the sports industry; and camps for student athletes on its neighboring fields.

Berra's devotion to the Museum that bears his name came directly out of his love for young people. When news reached him of a 2014 break-in and theft of his MVP plaques and World championship rings, his first response was: “Can the kids still go?” Upon hearing that they could, he added, “That’s all that matters. I don’t need a plaque. I know I was MVP."

“When you get to a fork in the road take it,” was how Mr. Berra told his friend Joe Garagiola to get to the Yankee legend’s home in Montclair.
 
The fork is located at the corner of Edgewood Road and Edgewood Terrace has been memorialized to honor the Township’s famous one-time resident with the alternate name of Yogi Berra Way. 
 
Montclair passed an ordinance in November of 2012 to add Berra’s name to Edgewood Terrace as a tribute to the local hero. The Yogi Berra Way street sign was officially unveiled at a commemorative ceremony in January, 2013.

For further information about the Yogi Berra Museum & Leaning Center, contact Kevin Peters at 973-655-2378 or visit www.yogiberramuseum.org.

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Police Blotter

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25, 11:00 AM

East Brunswick Jewish Center, East Brunswick

PurimFest

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Sun, February 25, 1:00 PM

St. David's Episcopal Church, Cranbury

Organizing for the 2018 Mid-terms: Elections, ...

Education Giving Back Government

Sat, March 3

New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble, Summit

NJDTE Summer Dance Intensive & Young Dancers ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Nutley Police Department: Video Does Not Contain Direct Threat to Nutley Public Schools

February 16, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department report that the video that led to Nutley Public Schools being closed did not post a direct threat to any of the township's schools.

Police report that the person responsible for the video has been cooperating with the Nutley Police Department in their investigation. Interviews are on-going, The department is also investigating all ...

East Brunswick Business Owner Sues to Stop New Hotel Going Up in New Brunswick

February 16, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -The owners of an East Brunswick hotel are suing to halt the construction of another such establishment a few miles away in New Brunswick.

Shan & Dylan LLC, who own a Comfort Suites just off Route 18, filed suit in an effort to press the New Brunswick Planning Board to rescind its approval of the four-story hotel, which ​was issued in November.

That proposal calls for ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

Rutgers to Host Exhibit of Sen. Frank Lautenberg Papers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Frank Lautenberg, New Jersey’s longest-serving U.S. senator, left an outsize imprint on state politics and national policy by the time he died while in office, in 2013.

His papers, now curated and maintained by the Rutgers University Libraries, encompass 2,250 boxes of hats, buttons, campaign stickers, vinyl records, paper documents and other artifacts that, laid end ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

Rep. Watson Coleman Statement on Indictment of 13 Russian Nationals

February 20, 2018

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller of indictments of Russian businesses and nationals for a criminal conspiracy to interfere with the presidential election in 2016:

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments are the latest ...

Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Feb. 23 benefits SPUR

Come in from the cold and join Special People United to Ride, Inc. (SPUR) at its Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the SPUR Scholarship Fund. The event will be hosted by On the Deck Restaurant and Bar and will feature live music and a 50/50 raffle. Food will be available for purchase.

Tickets can be obtained for $25 at ...

Author Donates Portion Of Sales To Equestrian Aid Foundation

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Author Shane Ledyard will donate a portion of the paperback sales of his latest book, “Sycamore Whispers,” to the Equestrian Aid Foundation through February.

Equestrian Aid Foundation provides financial assistance to horse people from all corners of the U.S. equestrian world who are facing catastrophic injury or illness.

Purchase “Sycamore ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...