Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Willie Mays were honored in a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, where they were each presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mays and Berra were among 17 honorees, including film director Steven Spielberg, singer and actress Barbra Streisand, singer James Taylor and NASA mathematician Katherine G. Johnson.
Berra, who played for and managed the Yankees and also served as the manager of the Mets, died in September at age 90. Mays, the 84-year-old former Giants and Mets outfielder, attended Tuesday’s ceremony.
“It’s because of giants like Willie that someone like me could think about running for president,” President Barack Obama said, according to USA Today.
“Most people immediately think of his baseball career, but Yogi was so much more than that,” New Jersey congressman Bill Pascrell said Tuesday, according to NJ.com. “He was part of the fabric of North Jersey and a one-of-a-kind human being. He deserved this honor for so many reasons.”
Berra’s oldest son, Larry, accepted the award on his father’s behalf.
- Dan Gartland