MONTCLAIR, N.J. — A gold catcher’s mitt was placed on top of his remains. But on a day filled with stories from a lifetime in baseball, Yogi Berra was remembered for being more than one of the game’s greats.
He was the man who served his country courageously on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in 1944. He was the man who delighted in the joys of family and someone who brought roaring laughter with his words wherever he went.
The beloved New York Yankees catcher — a three-time American League MVP and Hall of Famer who played on 10 World Series championship teams — also brought out sports royalty from all corners to an overflowing church, much in the way he helped fill ballparks for a generation.
“He was always so good, so honest, so human and so real,” former Yankees manager Joe Torre said in his eulogy. “You didn’t have to be a baseball fan to know who Yogi was.”
Berra, who in Torre’s words “personified the American dream,” died a week ago at 90 years old. He was cremated and his remains were placed by the altar, an American flag prominently displayed.
Among those at the service were ex-Yankees Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada and club president Randy Levine.
Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson, was there as was football Hall of Famer Harry Carson.
• If he has to use crutches, former Husky Tim Lincecum sure digs his snazzy set that comfortably get him around following surgery on his left hip earlier this month. They allowed him to be back at the ballpark this week with his teammates and support system, including the faithful Giants fans.
“I’m more into the moment just being at the field, being around the guys,” Lincecum said Tuesday. “It’s not going to happen again for a while.”
The San Francisco pitcher should be walking on his own again in a matter of days — “full weight-bearing for short distances in four days or so,” he said. He did his first light walking Monday and Tuesday in the training room, so Lincecum is appreciating the small steps and strides in his recovery.
“He seems to be all right,” pitching coach Dave Righetti said.
• Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton has been shut down for the rest of the season due to a wrist injury. The slugging right fielder has been out since June 26 when he broke the hamate bone in his left hand during an at-bat against the Dodgers.
• Justine Siegal, a female baseball coach who was the first woman to throw batting practice for a Major League Baseball team, will serve as a guest instructor during the Oakland Athletics’ instructional league that begins Sunday at the team’s spring-training facility in Mesa, Ariz.
• Ace Adam Wainwright is expected to be activated by the Cardinals after spending five months on the disabled list with a torn left Achilles, just in time for a potential NL Central-clinching celebration. All St. Louis needs to wrap up its third straight division title is win either game of a day-night doubleheader against the rival Pirates.