A monk once asked Yogi Berra, ‘What is Yogi Berra?’ Yogi answered, ‘First base, second base, third base, home plate.’
~ Blue Cliff Record, Case 9
Chiao Chou, of course, answered, “East gate, west gate, south gate, north gate.’ But that sounds rather, well, exotic. Where is that monk when you need him? When the San Francisco Giants are playing the San Diego Padres, tied in the bottom of the 9th inning and seven games out of first place?
Yogi himself answered, ‘It ain’t over til its over.’ Lawrence Peter ‘Yogi’ Berra died a few days ago, at 90, but it still ain’t over.
Growing up, I was not a very good athlete and an even worse fan: I never read the sports page, never talked baseball with my brothers or friends, never listened to games. But about six years ago, my Mom got sick and I would visit her and we watched the Giants games together. The star pitcher, Tim Linsecum, became her fourth son. Laying on her couch, I sometimes I fell asleep, but we shared that time together. She did not live to see the Giants win the World Series in 2010, the first time in 52 years.
And now Yogi, you want to tell me it is over. You got your name from teenage friends who thought you sat like a Hindu Yogi when catching behind home plate. You were one of the greats, winning a record 10 World Series titles. In a universe of over-inflated egos, you were a good man; people felt comfortable around you. One said he always thought you were ready to pull out from your pocket a piece of licorice to give to people.
The Giants, Yogi, will likely lose this year. The El Nino rains may come, or they may not. Fires will burn and glaciers will melt a bit. Mom is gone. But it’s not over, Yogi. The monk asked, what are you? Still touching the bases.
Love this (young) Lenny Kravitz cut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkURz6H0I0I