Yogi Berra to have statue in front of his museum
Yogi Berra took a quick look at a picture of the statue that
will be placed in front of his museum.
It showed a muscular Berra kneeling in the on-deck circle,
gazing upward while holding two bats. The statue is the latest
highlight for the colorful New York Yankees Hall of Famer, who won
10 World Series titles as a player and three MVP awards.
“It looks great,” the 85-year-old Berra said Monday after the
picture of the statue was unveiled at the Yogi Berra Museum and
Learning Center. “I didn’t know I looked that good.”
While many pictures were considered as the guide for the bronze
statue, museum director Dave Kaplan said the rendition came from a
1950s Sports Illustrated photo.
Sculptor Brian Hanlon said the pose combines Berra’s talent on
the field, his spiritual presence in the locker room and his
impeccable behavior off the field.
“His neck and his hands are just ripped,” said Hanlon, who
said it would take him 6-to-8 months to sculpt the statue in clay
before it is sent to a foundry to be bronzed. The cost will be
“He’s a baseball warrior,” Hanlon said. “I think as
Michelangelo was great at doing this, creating energy and
stillness, and would be my goal here, creating energy in this
Berra admitted there are really only a couple of statues he
likes. There is one of Mickey Mantle in Oklahoma and another of
“I just hope this looks like them,” Berra quipped.
Carmen Berra, Yogi’s wife of 61 years, said that she visited the
museum on a class trip about a week ago with her granddaughter,
Alexandra. The 5-year-old wanted to know what the circle was
outside the museum.
When told ‘that’s where they are putting Grandpa,’ the child
“You mean we have to come here to see Grandpa,” Carmen Berra
recalled Alexandra saying.
Yogi spent most of his time on Monday talking about his favorite
topic – baseball.
“I liked to play,” Berra said. “I loved to play the game and
I liked to watch the games, too. My wife gets mad at me sometimes
because I am taking away her programs. I have to get her a new
Berra said he remains on very good terms with Yankees owner
“He has done a heck of a job. It’s a beautiful stadium,
On his beloved Yankees, Berra said it was exciting watching this
past weekend’s Subway Series with the Mets.
“We had chances,” Berra said, not hiding his allegiance. “We
just didn’t hit at the right time. They scored all their runs
yesterday with two outs and we had men on first and third with no
outs and didn’t score. In the last inning, we got to within 6-4 and
with a base hit you never know what could have happened.”
Berra said injuries have limited the Yankees in recent
“I think if we can just hang on till everyone gets back, we’ll
be all right,” he said.
The former Mets manager also showed some love for the Flushing
team, which won the series, 2-1.
“I still root for the Mets, but not when we play them,” Yogi
When asked about his former teammates, many of whom have died,
Berra said that’s why he likes Old Timer’s Day.
“I like seeing the guys come back, but a lot of our guys are
leaving, the ones that I played with, a lot have passed away,”
Berra said. “It’s still good to see the guys and other teams, too.
While baseball has changed since he retired, Berra said the
essence of the game is the same.
“It’s baseball,” said the beloved icon who coined the phrase
`It ain’t over till it’s over.’
“You have to love to play it and I loved to play it,” he
added. “Where else could you make that kind of money playing ball.
I still love baseball. If I’m not out there, I could watch three or