I know there are a few Yankee haters here. Forgive me, but I've gotta do something about Yogi.
A couple of weeks ago, NY Times sports columnist Harvey Araton wrote this wonderful story about the lasting friendship between Berra and Ron Guidry. It's also, I think, a touching tale of aging, the dicey relationship between "Old Timers" and current players, and also gives a glimpse into the magical and inspiring marriage of Yogi and his wife of 62 years, Carmen.
Berra, the catching legend and pop culture icon, slips back into the uniform with the famous and familiar No. 8. He checks into the same hotel in the vicinity of George M. Steinbrenner Field and requests the same room. He plans his days methodically — wake up at 6 a.m., breakfast at 6:30, depart for the complex by 7 — and steps outside to be greeted by the same driver he has had for the past dozen years.
The driver has a rather famous name, and nickname, as well.
“It’s like I’m the valet,” said Ron Guidry, the former star pitcher known around the Yankees as Gator for his Louisiana roots. “Actually, I am the valet.”
When Berra arrived on Tuesday afternoon from New Jersey for his three- to four-week stay, Guidry, as always, was waiting for him at Tampa International Airport. Since Berra forgave George Steinbrenner in 1999 for firing him as the manager in 1985 through a subordinate and ended a 14-year boycott of the team, Guidry has been his faithful friend and loyal shepherd.
Guidry had a custom-made cap to certify his proud standing. The inscription reads, “Driving Mr. Yogi.
Here's the rest of the story. Enjoy!