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Seton Hall Alumnus and 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee Craig Biggio Shows Praise for Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra as Astros bench coach in 1986

Yogi Berra as Astros bench coach in 1986


On July 26th in Cooperstown, New York, former Seton Hall Pirate Craig Biggio stood at the podium reading his Hall of Fame Induction speech.

He thanked everyone from grade school all the way up to the majors. He shared stories, recognized his family and friends, and called one man the smartest baseball person he has ever been around.

That man was Yogi Berra.

“I was lucky to have some incredible coaches and managers. Like a lot of successful organizations, you’re only gonna be successful with good people around you,” Biggio said proudly. “One of those coaches was Hall of Famer Yogi Berra Yogi was the smartest baseball man that I was ever around.”

Biggio continued to express his love for Berra like he would for a father or Grandfather.

“Although he’s known for his Yogi-isms, his baseball intellect was second to none,” Biggio continued. “Yogi would say things in a Yogi way, that he’d walk by and say some things and I’d be confused. And then the next half inning, the one thing would happen, and then the next half inning, the other thing would happen, and then I sat back down on the bench and said, “oh my gosh, I got a lot to learn about this game.”

Biggio couldn’t get over how smart of a person Berra was and even during a speech about his career, he let everyone know the effect Berra had on his life not only as a player, but as a person as well.

“Yogi used to say you have to have an idea and a plan, but at the end of the day, keep it simple, stupid.”

Almost exactly two months later, Biggio’s speech remains true as he again reflected to reporters about his old coach in Houston.

“”The man lived his life right. He’s one of the most recognizable people in the world and you would never know it, Biggio proclaimed. “He’s one of the most humble people you could ever meet. If we could all just grab a little piece of that, and live our lives like he lived his life, it would be pretty amazing.”

Berra passed away on Tuesday, but his legacy will live on forever. Biggio believes that he wouldn’t have been an Astro if it wasn’t for Berra.

“I think I’m an Astro because he had something to do with it,” Biggio said.

Biggio also said that through John McMullen, who owned the Astros at the time, he spent time with Berra in New Jersey a lot during the off-season at golf events and had a special connection with the fellow Hall of Famer.

When asked about when his friendship with Berra started Biggio stated, “It started when he came to watch me workout at Seton Hall.” Biggio continued, “We went to hockey games together, played golf together, and I was lucky enough to start my career as a catcher where Yogi and I would work together as he was the bench coach.”

Biggio and Berra had a special bond both spending time in New Jersey, but one thing is for sure, Berra may be gone, but his legacy and effect he had on people will live on forever.

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