Yogi Berra is a regimented man. If he does something one way that works that will be the way he does it. Those plans, though, will have to deviate this year as the 87-year-old baseball legend will see spring training start for the Yankees without him.
It is not so much that Berra is in ailing health, but his age and limited travel ability that have made him a no-show at George M. Steinbrenner Field when players began to report Monday, according to David Kaplan, the director of the Yogi Berra Museum,
Berra’s name is synonymous with the Yankees and the “Golden Era” of baseball. With 10 World Series championships and three MVPs in 18 years of service with the Yanks from 1946-1963, Yogi is truly a living legend among baseball greats.
After a 14-year dispute between him and late Yankees owner George M. Steinbrenner ended in 1999, Berra has been a staple with the team down in Florida when players report for spring training as a consultant.
Being at spring training was a way for Berra to hold on to the sport he loved. But as he has aged and health has become a factor, Berra’s involvement has decreased to the point where he will most likely only be able to attend a few home games.
For years a few things were almost certain as winter rolled into spring. Snow would melt, flowers would bloom and a short old man sporting a No. 8 on his back would be donning pinstripes. It seems all good things must come to an end.