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Remarkable…

Like many of you, I occasionally indulge myself with self-reflective thoughts about my life; my career; my accomplishments; my legacy.  Like many of you, I have accomplished some remarkable things.  And like many of you, I have much more to do while I am still able to do it.

Yes, there are those among us that will go to any means to achieve greatness.  And yes, we live among boasters; pretenders; cheaters; and shady characters – all sharing an obsession of individual achievement.  Even when it means stepping on those below to raise themselves up.  Unfortunately, this is so commonplace today; it is no longer very remarkable.

And yet, there have been many, many remarkable people that have left a much more positive legacy.     Recently, one such remarkable person passed away.  An examination of the accomplishments he achieved in his profession would stimulate envy in any of us.

Yet, the most remarkable thing this great person accomplished has nothing to do with his job.  In fact, when we think about it the source of his most long-lasting fame it has quite an unremarkable origin.  He definitely accomplished what B.C. Forbes said:

Use life to provide something that outlasts it.

Permit me to offer this remarkable summary courtesy of Wikipedia.

He lived 90 years.  He quit school after the eighth grade. He was a baseball player – but not just any baseball player.  He made it all the way to the Major Leagues; but he didn’t just “make it there”.  He was an 18-time All-Star and 10-time World Series champion as a player.  He is one of only five players to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times.  Widely regarded as one of the greatest players at his position in baseball history, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.

But he accomplished even more.  He was one of seven managers to lead both American and National League teams to the World Series. As a player, coach, or manager, he appeared in 21 World Series and won 13 of them.  In 1972, his team retired his uniform number 8.  He is honored with a plaque in Monument Park and was named to the MLB All-Century Team in a vote by fans in 1999.

Remarkably, he had a cartoon character named after him (and a string of camp grounds across the country to boot).  Yet, we know him more for a totally different aspect of life and his legacy.  And that part of his legacy continues to inspire – including our favorite, Unknown Sage:

No sense in being pessimistic.  It wouldn’t work anyway.

You hear his words and phrases often – you might even use some of them yourself:

You can observe a lot just by watching.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it. 

And,

If you don’t know where you’re going, when you get there, you’ll be lost.

Yes, during his career he was widely regarded as the greatest catcher of all time.  But his time was before my time so I really didn’t see his greatness as a player.  Yet his legacy rises above his career accomplishments and really has nothing to do with baseball.

No, it was his humility; his sense of humor (intended or unintended); his image of a common man (physically he stood 5’7”) that we will remember as long as we can remember.  Lawrence Peter Berra, aka Yogi Berra, led a remarkable life and left a remarkable legacy indeed.

May we all be so lucky.

GAP

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