OAKLAND, N.J. — Yogi Berra gave young Robin Alhers the thrill of a lifetime 52 years ago when he carried her from the stands of the old Yankee Stadium onto the field.
"Yogi picked me up and took a bite out of the hamburger I was eating, " the Oakland resident recalled. "I just remember hugging his neck because I was shy from the clapping [of the crowd]."
Memories of the beloved Hall of Famer -- and longtime New Jerseyan -- swelled like The Wave throughout North Jersey following this morning's news of his death at 90.
“It’s sad because I grew up following the Yankees of the 1950s and 60s,” Bob Wendelkin told Daily Voice outside the Fair Lawn Promenade. “That’s all you did — follow the Yankees’ drive to the World Series.”
A former Woodcliff Lake resident, Berra was regarded not only as one of the best catchers in major league history but also for an offbeat wit that produced such humorous "mis-statements" as: "When you get to a fork in the road, take it."
"My grandmother used to help Yogi return fan mail,” Jessica Mary told Daily Voice, sharing an old photo of her grandmother and aunt with him in Woodcliff Lake.
"Yogi to me was an ambassador of baseball and an American icon," said lifelong Bronx Bombers fan Jeffrey R. Magnusson of Wood-Ridge. "Not only was he involved with his museum in Little Falls on the campus of Montclair State University — he was a big supporter of the Boy Scouts."
"It seems like there are always a few people that we assume will always be a part of our culture," Bronx Bombers fan Scott Morrissey of Harrington Park said. "Yogi was a figure who always managed to contribute even without saying a word. He was the good that sports should be: a genuine person, a legendary player, and an all-time champion."
Berra was "a champion and hero in more ways than can be counted, " Congressman Bill Pascrell said of the WW2 veteran and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
As Cresskill historian Andrew Paspalas noted: "We lost a member of the Greatest Generation, who saw combat on D-Day.”See Attachment
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