Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center

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Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center
File:Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center Entrance.jpg
Entrance to the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center
Established December 4, 1998 (1998-12-04)
Location 8 Yogi Berra Drive
Little Falls, New Jersey 07424
Architect gsdg
Website yogiberramuseum.org

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center is a museum on the campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls, New Jersey. It serves to honor the career of Yogi Berra, who played for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The museum, which contains artifacts from Berra's career, opened on December 4, 1998. It is adjacent to Yogi Berra Stadium.

History

File:Ron Guidry 05122013.jpg
Ron Guidry autographing a baseball at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on May 12, 2013

"The Friends of Yogi Inc.", a nonprofit organization, raised $2 million through donations to build the museum to honor Yogi Berra, who played his entire Major League Baseball career for the New York Yankees. John McMullen, the owner of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League, was among the museum's benefactors.[1] The museum was built adjacent to Yogi Berra Stadium, which hosts the New Jersey Jackals, a Minor League Baseball team in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, and the Montclair State Red Hawks baseball team. The museum was dedicated in October 1998, with fellow Baseball Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Larry Doby in attendance.[2] It opened to the public on December 4.[3] In 2010, IKON 5 Architects redesigned the museum,[4] and Brian Hanlon sculpted a statue of Berra to go in front of the museum.[5]

Berra had feuded with Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner since his firing 16 games into the 1985 season. Berra refused to have any part of Yankees events, including Yankees games.[6] In January 1999, Berra and Steinbrenner resolved their feud with a public event at the Yogi Berra Museum.[7]

Berra frequently visited the museum for signings, discussions, and other events. It was his intention to teach children important values such as sportsmanship and dedication, both on and off the baseball diamond.[8]

On October 8, 2014, a burglary occurred at the museum, in which a team of "professional" thieves stole specific pieces of Berra's memorabilia.[9]

Exhibits

The museum contains items from Berra's career, including baseball cards, a jacket worn by Berra while throwing out the first pitch of Game 1 of the 2009 World Series, two of his MLB MVP awards, and all 10 World Series rings he received as a player.[1][9] Following the resolution of Berra's feud with Steinbrenner, the Yankees loaned the Commissioner's Trophy from the 1998 World Series to the museum.[10]

In 2013, the museum teamed up with Athlete Ally to develop an exhibit called "Championing Respect", which aims to support the inclusion of LGBT athletes in sports.[11] An exhibit in 2014 celebrated the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig's farewell speech.[12]

The Museum offers a wide range of school and public programs on all aspects of sports and society. It conducts guided school tours and character education programs (Grades 2-8), provides off-site assemblies on anti-bullying and sportsmanship, and also collaborates with Montclair State University on programs examining topical issues in media and sports.

In promoting the values of respect and sportsmanship, the Museum, in partnership with Investors Bank and the Super Essex Conference, developed a Best Teammate Award program in 2013,[13] recognizing outstanding leadership by student-athletes.

The Museum also offers an array of summer camps, including youth baseball and softball camps, and hosts the annual Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle Sports Broadcasting Camp for high school students. Each August the Museum, in partnership with Lunar Sports Group, hosts a three-day sports business academy, designed to give high school and college students advice and insights into careers in sports.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Berra Museum opens in June". TimesDaily. Florence, Alabama. Associated Press. January 11, 1998. p. 20. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Gold, Jeffrey (October 25, 1998). "Hall of Famers help Yogi dedicate his museum". Bowling Green Daily News. Associated Press. p. 5B. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Baseball was berra, berra good to him". The Spokesman-Review. October 27, 1998. p. C2. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center / ikon.5 architects". ArchDaily.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Statue of Hall of Famer Yogi Berra to stand in front of his museum". ESPN New York. ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 24, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Lupica, Mike (September 28, 1997). "Berra's Exile Self-Imposed". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Araton, Harvey (January 6, 1999). "Sports of The Times; Yogi and the Boss Complete Makeup Game". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Posnanski, Joe (July 4, 2011). "Yogi Berra Will Be A Living Legend Even After He's Gone". Sports Illustrated. 115 (1). pp. 64–68.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Madden, Bill; Bondy, Filip; O'Keeffe, Michael; Tracy, Thomas (October 8, 2014). "Break in at Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center, priceless memorabilia linked to Yankees legend stolen". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Berra museum to show Yankees' trophy". Boca Raton News. January 9, 1999. p. 2B. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Branch, John (May 1, 2013). "Berra Museum to Highlight Inclusion in Sports". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Collier, Jamal (September 9, 2014). "New exhibit pays homage to Gehrig, Frates". MLB.com. Retrieved October 9, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Yogi Berra honors unsung high school athletes with "Best Teammate Award" (Politi)". NJ.com. Retrieved September 23, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links