Yogi Berra’s Urn: A Fitting Tribute For One of Baseball’s Greatest Legends

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It is often said that while men only live for a short time, a legend never truly dies. While Yogi Berra lived a long, full life, his legend has taken on a life of its own that will continue well into the future. Berra, a famous baseball player, coach and manager, was laid to rest in September in an urn from In The Light Urns that is a perfect symbol for the man in life.

Yogi Berra The Man Behind the Plate

Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra got his start in baseball much like other legends did, with a love of the game that surpassed all else. After dropping out of school in the eighth grade, he found his way through the American Legion baseball teams and got his chance to join the major leagues at the tender age of 17. He earned the nickname “Yogi” from friends in the American Legion who thought that he looked like a Hindu Yogi as he sat behind the plate as catcher. After he signed with the New York Yankees, he took a break to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II. At the war’s conclusion, he formally began a long career in baseball that is unrivaled in many ways, even today.

In Berra’s time with the Yankees, he was a part of many championship years. In fact, of his 19 years in the major leagues, he was an All-Star 18 times and World Series champion 10 seasons. He was voted Most Valuable Player of the American League three times. Many consider him to be the best catcher in Major League Baseball history. After he retired, he took a new career as coach and manager for the Yankees and the Mets. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

The Legend Writ

After Berra retired from playing baseball in 1963, his life in the limelight had hardly dimmed. The man became a legend known as much for his personality as his powerful ability to hit the ball. When he died in September at the age of 90, USA Today published a number of his most famous phrases. Berra had a way of expressing himself in terms that were at once evocative, comical, unique and wise. In fact, Berra’s personality was so enigmatic that many of the sayings that are generally attributed to him may not actually be something he said. There is one, however, that is genuine and acts as a true representation of the man, the myth and the legend that people worldwide are so pleased to remember:

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

This sentence, said by Berra when he was the coach of the Mets, was intended to provide his team with necessary support for them to come back and snatch the division title from the Chicago Cubs in 1973. It is recalled today as a part of the quintessential American lexicon, a symbol of the American drive to endure.

The urn

It makes perfect sense that Berra’s family and loved ones should think to put this commentary on Berra’s urn when he died. In The Light Urns was delighted when Berra’s family selected an urn from the company’s wide variety of sports-themed urns for ashes. The Baseball or Softball Mitt Cremation Urn is a simple yet elegant design. The urn itself is made of hardwood, stained to resemble a Louisville Slugger and made by a local Navy veteran, and wood craftsman Dave M. It measures 9.5” tall, 10.5” wide and 6.5” deep and holds up to 250 cubic inches of cremated remains. On top of the urn sits a bronze mitt, just large enough to hold a baseball or softball, based on the buyer’s preference. One imagines that Berra’s final rest is with one of the balls he was so famous for hitting in the strike zone, or one of the thousands he caught. The urn has a brushed brass nameplate for up to four lines of engraving. On Berra’s urn, the engraving is simple: “It’s over.” The man may be gone, but his legend will never die.

Yogi Berra's Cremation Urn

A Fitting Tribute

This choice of cremation urn is such an ideal tribute to Yogi Berra. For a man who was so much larger than life, he was also simple, down-to-earth and easy to know. The urn itself is also basic without being plain, largely unadorned with unnecessary decoration. It represents the dedication from In The Light Urns to create urns that work for anyone, regardless of personality. While some deserve urns that are out there in style or impression, others wish for a symbol that does not overstate. Berra does not need an urn that makes him seem bigger or more significant. He was who he was, and that is more than enough. He is a reminder of a different time in American history, one that requires no adornment. Instead, all that is left is simple truth and wisdom for the ages.

Memories For All Time

Now that Berra has officially passed into the world of baseball legend, he leaves behind a collection of memories that cannot be undone by the spread of time. When people pass into the next life, they do the same. Loved ones can mourn the loss of a friend or family member, but they will never forget. This is the goal of a cremation urn, to provide families with a perfect tribute to the person who died. In The Light Urns aims to offer the widest variety of choices in urns, from simple and traditional to whimsical and delightful. Families feel like they are given the greatest options for urns that suit their loved ones best, with a customer support environment that is always helpful.

When people lose loved ones, they look for urns that fit the person as they were in life. It seems an obvious choice that Yogi Berra, a good, strong man who was such a character, should be buried in solid, unchanging oak. It shows that not all people necessarily need a fantastic burial. Sometimes it is the traditional, the simple, the beautiful that turns a wonderful life into a legend.

Yogi Berra's Funeral
Tim Berra left the Church of the Immaculate Conception with the ashes of his father. Credit Alex Goodlett for The New York Times

1 Comment

  1. That is a nice honor to be chosen by Yogi Bera’s family.

    Dave Savage Co-author of Heartfelt Memorial Services: Your Guide for Planning Meaningful Funeral Celebrations of Life and Times of Remembrance.

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