In some very unfortunate news, the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center was broken into late Tuesday night with numerous collectables and personal effects being taken during the heist. Police currently do not have many leads but the prevailing belief is that it was a group of "professionals." The items stolen include: two of the Hall of Famer’s MVP awards, a jacket worn by Yogi when he threw out the first pitch of the 2009 World Series and some baseball cards. The thieves also took all ten of Yogi’s World Series rings as well as a series of love letters from him to his then girlfriend and future wife, Carmen. Carmen Berra tragically passed away at the age of 85 earlier this year due to complications suffered from a stroke. As his wife of 65 years, Mrs. Berra was the love of Yogi’s life and an instrumental piece in getting the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center built.
As an individual, the news of this theft saddens me on a multitude of levels. This is not because Yogi Berra is a Yankee from the first great dynasty, or one of the greatest catchers to ever wear the pads. What troubles me the most is that these people chose to steal from a person who has spent his entire life helping his fellow man. We are talking about a WWII vet who fought to protect this nation and others from the Axis powers. A man who had long denounced the evils of discrimination at a time when African-Americans could not share the same washroom as a white person. More recently, he has lent himself towards helping fight against the discrimination of the LGBT community. This incident leaves me asking "Why?" I can understand the perceived value in a big gold MVP trophy or the expensive World Series rings, but why steal something as personal as love letters? Why take something meant to be a shrine to an elderly man’s beloved wife?
I truly hope that the police are able to find these thieves and return Yogi’s things back to where they belong. No one ever deserves to have their personal things taken from them, especially not Yogi Berra.