RIP, Carmen

March 7th, 2014 by Jane Heller


Really sorry to read in the Daily News about the death of Yogi’s wife, Carmen, the love of his life. The obit below says it all.

Yogi Berra’s wife of 65 years, Carmen, dead at 85 following complications from recent stroke

Carmen Berra, the beloved wife of Yankee legend Yogi Berra, died Thursday night in the Crane’s Mill Assisted Living Facility in West Caldwell, N.J., near the couple’s longtime home in Montclair.

The couple, whose love affair was legendary, had celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Jan. 26; Carmen Berra’s death was the result of complications of a stroke she suffered earlier this year.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Montclair.

Born Carmen Short in Missouri in 1928, Carmen Berra married Yogi on Jan. 26, 1949, when he was a 23-year-old catcher with the Yankees. They went on to raise three sons, Larry, Tim and Dale, and have 11 grandchildren. Dale Berra played for the Pirates and Yankees and Tim played for the then- Baltimore Colts.

“She died peacefully — she went the way she would have wanted to,” larry Berra told The News Friday. “We’re grateful that she and dad were able to spend some good time together (Thursday). I’m not just saying this because she was my mom, but she was one of the great women of all time.”

Yogi and Carmen Berra met in St. Louis in the late 1940s, when he was a minor leaguer just back from World War II and she was a waitress at Biggies, a St. Louis restaurant.

Carmen served Yogi lunch and he asked her name and whether she was married. Their first date was a hockey game in St. Louis. Berra proposed marriage by placing a ring on the table in front of Carmen while they dined at his family’s home.

In recent years, Carmen Berra was instrumental in the operation of the Yogi Berra Museum on the campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls, N.J. On display there are some of the romantic letters Yogi sent to his wife from the various cities he traveled to playing ball. She worked closely with the museum’s donors and helped organize fund-raising events.

Carmen Berra was known not only for her beauty but for her quick wit and charming personality.

In an interview with Daily News baseball columnist Bill Madden, Carmen Berra related how her husband once sent her an anniversary card signed, “Yogi Berra.” She said she was glad he signed it that way because it eliminated any confusion about all the other Yogis she knew.

“On behalf of the entire New York Yankees organization, we offer our deepest condolences to the Berra family,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “Having known Yogi and Carmen for so long, it is almost impossible to imagine two people who complemented each other better than they did. We will always remember Carmen’s smile and sense of humor, and her kindness and generosity will be deeply missed by all who knew her.”

In the recently closed Broadway play “Bronx Bombers,” Peter Scolari and Tracy Shayne, who were married in 2013, starred as Yogi and Carmen.

A casting call for an understudy for the part of Carmen summed her up this way: “Character ages to 80s, petite, strong-willed, elegant, beautiful, Yogi’s wife of 30-60 years and the epitome of all that a Yankee wife should be. She exudes confidence without ever seeming pompous, and exemplifies the good citizen without ever appearing plain. She is dynamic, energetic, embodies sex appeal; men are attracted to her and women are drawn to her. A fashion maven, she has an instinct for saying, doing and wearing the right things at all the right times. All respect and admire her. Always in control. Must be 5’5” and below.”



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7 Responses to “RIP, Carmen”

  1. Peggy says:

    Repost from previous posting:

    Hi Jane & Fellow Baseball Fans…

    Sad news today …Carmen Berra has passed away. It’s going to be so tough on Yogi. I don’t usually read Loopy but this is a lovely article. Prayers for Yogi and RIP Carmen.

    Go Yankees 2014!!

  2. Diane Anziano says:

    It’s truly sad when someone passes, but what beautiful things were said about her. And its amazing that their relationship lasted that long when they were both so young when it started. They didn’t grow apart, they grew together. This is going to be hard on Yogi but his family will hold him together.

  3. Jane Heller says:

    “Loopy?” Never heard Lupica called that, Peggy. Or are you turning into Girardi with his “y” nicknames? Anyhow, thanks for posting the column.

    Yes, the durability of their relationship was rare, Diane, especially when you consider both their youth in the beginning and the life of a ballplayer.

  4. YankeeCase says:

    I just saw the article on ESPN NY and was shocked. All I ever heard was that she was such a great woman, and how she and Yogi complemented each other. This is very sad to hear….. I’m just at a loss for words and can’t even imagine what Yogi is going through right now.

    RIP Miss Berra

  5. Bob Cerv says:

    Saddened and sorry to learn about it. Given their closeness, not sure how long Yogi will last. Nonetheless, every sympathy to the Berra family, and thank you for this posting.

  6. john says:

    Just back from 7 days in Tampa. Went to 6 games but the Bradenton game vs Pittsburg got rained out Monday and boy did it rain. The Skyline Bridge was a real challenge.

    Saw the same group of Yankees 4 times and the Jeter crew once. Mo’s Panama gala made Tampa several games of numbers in the 80’s and 90’s. A real bummer for big $$$$$”s.

    Tanaka looked good as did Cervelli. Teixeira looks bad and he has become the new ARod attitude standard bearer. He doesn’t even look at fans. Nova and Phelps look good as does Robertson. Ichiro is actually signing for fans but doesn’t allow pictures. Jeter had decent game Tuesday but he doesn’t seem to be running well. I’m not sure about Beltran but I like Roberts.

    The bee attack was more thrilling then the lineup the Sox brought to Tampa.

    I’ve done Spring Training about 15 times and it really has changed and not for the good. Long time ushers and security people have quit because of the new absurd rules at the stadium. Fans are not treated like they used to be. I think the thrill is fading. I spent a day at Epcot and actually had more fun.

  7. Jane Heller says:

    Thanks for checking in and giving us a report from the field, John. Really sorry to hear the thrill has faded for you. Not good news. Glad to hear about Tanaka, Cervelli, etc. Maybe Tex isn’t signing for fans because of his wrist? (Trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.) That bee attack was scary to read about! Welcome home.