December 20, 2001
It's a nice little place, but the visit caused me to think about an ongoing conversation I've been having with Rachel about changing perceptions and their relation to true talent. The original conversation had to do with Elton John and Dolly Parton, two extremely talented musicians who essentially traded critical acclaim and respected public perception for more easily understood, flamboyant and popular images.
Anyway, in a strange sort of way, Yogi fits into that category. The man was an amazing ballplayer who won three MVP awards and finished in the top five for an incredible seven straight years, including four straight seasons as either #1 or #2. He played on 14 pennant winners and managed both the Yankees and the Mets to the World Series. But for reasons perhaps beyond his control at first, though certainly embraced later on, he became known as a funny little guy who used to play baseball and said a lot of dumb things. He almost never gets thought of in the same category as Mantle or DiMaggio, or with Musial, WIlliams, Duke Snider, Mays, etc., even though he was certainly on that level. Hopefully the Museum will help restore the idea of Yogi as a ballplayer a little.
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