Wife of longtime Yankee Yogi Berra dies at 85

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Carmen Berra, the wife of New York Yankees great Yogi Berra, has died. She was 85.

The Yankees confirmed that she died Thursday night in New Jersey's Essex County. The team didn't say how she died. The Berras got married in January 1949 and recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

Yogi Berra, 88, was a 10-time World Series champion with the Yankees as a catcher, had two stints as their manager and now is an unofficial team ambassador, making frequent appearances at games and other events.

"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 Friday. "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 dearly missed."

A moment of silence was held before the Yankees' spring training game Friday night against Detroit. "Really, really sad," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Carmen happened to be the wife of one of the greatest baseball players ever. Probably the nicest lady you could ever be around. She was a sweetheart. So nice always to be in her presence. We're really going to miss her."

Carmen Berra was often seen at events at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center on the campus of Montclair State University. The museum opened in the late 1990s and offers children's educational programs that focus on sportsmanship and social justice in addition to showcasing memorabilia from Yogi Berra's career.

Museum director Dave Kaplan said staffers, board members and volunteers were mourning her death. "She was a remarkable woman and consummate companion of Yogi, and both fervently believed in the core values of the museum and learning center," Kaplan wrote in an email. "We will miss her terribly."

Besides her husband, Carmen Berra is survived by three sons including Dale, a former major league baseball player; 11 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Her funeral will be private. Donations can be made to the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center in Little Falls.


Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center: http://www.yogiberramuseum.org

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