Dave Kaplan sent me an email Wednesday to remind me of that fact. He should know; he’s the director of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair.
Kaplan was responding to last week’s column about lettuce cooling and shipping in the Carbona area in 1958. I started it by writing, “As the late, great Yogi Berra was often quoted as saying, ‘It’s déjà vu all over again.’ ”
Kaplan wrote me: “You got the great part right, but Mr. Berra is renowned for his punctuality and hasn’t been late in his life. Seriously, he’s alive and well at 88….”
I called Kaplan yesterday to thank him for setting the record straight, and he was pleased I had called.
“I can understand how you made the mistake, since you live on the other side of the country, but here in the New York metropolitan area, people know Yogi Berra is still an active, beloved part of our world.”
The museum is on the campus of Montclair State University in Montclair, which Kaplan said is in New Jersey 12 miles west of New York City.
I asked Kaplan if he sees Yogi Berra often, and he said he does on a regular basis, and the legendary New York Yankees catcher is doing well at the age of 88.
“He is proud of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, a marvelous tribute to a remarkable life and which conducts year-round character education programs,” Kaplan said.
The museum, established in 1998, contains memorabilia and photos of Berra as a player, a generous community leader and “the most-quoted American.”
Described as the New York metropolitan area’s premier sports education center, the museum offers a number of programs for young people.
Kaplan said that if I’m ever in the New York area, he’d love to show me through the museum.
“Hope you can visit before you’re too late,” he said.
He could have been referring, of course, to Yogi Berra’s advancing age.
But Yogi is still among us — and as someone once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
I think a onetime New York Yankees great still living in Montclair, N.J., said that.
• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at email@example.com.