Student Advisory Board Member
On Tuesday baseball legend Yogi Berra passed away at the age of 90. Many remember him for being a mainstay on 10 Yankee championship teams; others may remember him as a manger that led both the Yankees and the Mets to the World Series. Either way, it is impossible to argue that Yogi was a hero to the baseball community.
The 15 time All-Star catcher was known for his incredible pitch calling and powerful hitting, but more importantly was known for overcoming adversity. His skills were often underestimated, and his intellect was often the target of humor. On top of that his appearance was belittled, despite being a prolific winner and a fantastic leader. To many people, this made him a hero not only as a player but also as a person.
Yogi joins a multitude of players such as Babe Ruth, Willy Mays, Hank Aaron, and Honus Wagner in having some of the biggest impacts on the baseball industry. These legends not only changed the game of baseball; they also had a remarkable impact on fans.
Several months ago I was assigned to complete a research project on a famous person in Pittsburgh history, and chose one of the most successful Pirates’ players of all time, Roberto Clemente. As a young fan I look back at Clemente’s career and can admire his skill and talent and refer to him as a legend, but those Pirate’s fans in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s; they lived it. To them, Clemente is so much more than a hero or a legend; to them he was a friend, a role model, someone they could count on. He was such a huge part of people’s lives.
It makes me wonder that as we watch players such as Andrew McCutchen and Clayton Kershaw take the field, are we living part of a legend? Some day our kids and grandkids may look back on McCutchen’s and Kershaw’s careers as we now look back on Clemente’s and Berra’s. They will wonder what it was like to be a part of these legends and to live these moments.
Sometimes we get so caught up in things that we don’t take the time tonotice what we are experiencing. So next time you watch a baseball game pay extra attention to that unbelievable catch, that 300th home run, or that no-hitter, because you may just be living a legend.