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Saturday, March 08, 2014

Wolff: Carmen and Yogi Berra: A love affair for the ages

May her memory be for a blessing.

Carmen Berra died Thursday night in West Caldwell, not far from the couple’s longtime home in Montclair. She was 85 and had suffered a stroke earlier this year.

She was in some ways the classic baseball wife, known publicly as the woman at Yogi’s side for yet one more bow at Yankee Stadium. In private, she might gently tease him for the lore that grew around him, but she relished the fans’ affection that came his way.

Asked to explain the longevity of their marriage, she deferred to one of her husband’s Yogiisms.

“Yogi said it best,” she would say. “‘We have a good time together even when we’re not together.’”

In New Jersey, Carmen Berra had a life separate from her husband’s stardom, raising three children — Larry, Tim and Dale, who played briefly for the Yankees when his father managed the team. Her survivors include Yogi and their sons, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

When her boys were young, she would chauffeur them between schools and baseball, football and hockey practice. When they were grown, she became more active in charities and political causes, and at scores of programs at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls.

Carmen Berra’s causes included the Salvation Army, Mountainside Hospital, the YMCA and breast cancer research, David Kaplan, the museum’s director, said yesterday.

She also volunteered for former New Jersey governor Tom Kean, who said yesterday that her marriage to Yogi was one for the ages.

“She was the staff he could always lean on,” Kean said.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees, yogi berra

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   1. Moeball Posted: March 08, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4668423)
Wow...so sorry to hear this.

Carmen and Yogi just celebrated their 65th anniversary.

My Mrs. and I will be hitting 25 years in another year - can't imagine adding another 40 years on top of that - for one thing, I probably won't be around that long.

   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 08, 2014 at 08:46 PM (#4668425)
By all accounts, a very nice person. R.I.P. Sadly, Yogi hasn't been in the best of health the last few years, either.
   3. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4668448)
R.I.P, Carmen.

Stay strong, Yogi.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4668450)
close pal of mine had a father who helped Yogi and Carmen find a house in North Jersey when they got married. He grew up with an "Uncle Yogi" as a family friend, and went to the 1973 World Series as a kid with tickets from Uncle Yogi.

his family also was very close to Rocky Marciano. I went to their house more than 30 years ago, and his mother choked up when she showed some of us a framed picture of gone-too-soon Rocky, who had died a decade earlier in a plane crash at age 45.

and yes, Yogi has slowed down considerably in the last couple of years. Brace yourselves, world. He feels and knows his rightful place, always, is with Carmen.

   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: March 08, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4668452)
When I first remember seeing the Berras as a couple, this was what they looked like.

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