Yogi Berra's Son Reflects on His Father's Great Legacy

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Dale Berra, Author “My Dad, Yogi: A Memoir of Family and Baseball,” to talk about his father Yogi Berra’s great legacy on and off the field.

11/12/19 #2258






"Family and Baseball. Good to see you Dale. Thank you Steve. So we have done... I was coming back with him with this, as a longtime Yankee fan, as someone who just, along with millions of others, admired and respected your dad, and also as proud members of the community of Montclair who knew your dad very well, and your mom, Carmen. Mm hmm. People think they know Yogi. Or they knew who he was. Who was he to you? Dad was the most innate, intuitive, genuine man, I think that's ever walked the earth. He genuinely treated the landscaper, the dry cleaner, the exact same as the corporate CEO. And he did it without thinking. He did it without trying. And people sensed that. People picked up on that. People realized something about dad, something different. In the airport, when dad said, "Well, you're from Colorado. Hi! What's the weather like?" When they were finished with him, they were like, their world is better. There's something about him that comes off so genuine. And he does it without trying. And it's real. But I'm also curious about you. I mean, back in the day, when we were kids, you played at Montclair High? Sure. You were absolutely a superstar third baseman. Third base, shortstop... And shortstop. You played a lot of positions. Hockey. Football. All. You went right to the pros? Right? Yes. The obvious question... Look at him. In a Met uniform. As a Yankee fan, I'm having a hard time looking at that. But that's another story. I'm about 12 years old there. Look at you. Here's the thing. Yogi was the manager at the time? Yeah. Wow. More coach. That's right. Yeah. Here's the thing. How much pressure on you being Yogi's son, and also being an exceptional athlete and ballplayer for you? How much? How's none? It's a very very difficult explanation. My brothers and I felt no pressure, because dad didn't put pressure on us. Dad would drive up the driveway at the end of the day, and I'd say, "Hey dad, play catch with me!" And he'd say, "That's what you got brothers for." He didn't teach us. He had no interest in teaching us. He wanted us to have fun. He wanted us to succeed on our own. He knew somehow, intuitively, that his watching over us and trying to teach us would put pressure on us. And he knew not to do that. It was far more pressure for me being a first-round draft pick than being Yogi Berra's son. People from the stands would yell at me once in a while. "You'll never be as good as your old man!" They expected me to go, "You son of a...!" And I would go, "You're right." And..."