It is nearly 10 at night, and I am riding in the passenger seat of my dad's car along the long, dark stretch of I-95 between Washington, D.C., and New Jersey. We're listening to country music, and we're both too emotionally spent to really have a conversation. Because, wedged between our duffel bags in the back seat, in a glossy mahogany box with a bronze nameplate on its front, is my Grampa's Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Depending on how you look at it, the Presidential Medal of Freedom that my late grandfather, Yogi Berra, was presented on Tuesday, was either six months or 90 years in the making. It was last May that we started the online petition on whitehouse.gov to nominate Grampa for the medal, in celebration of his 90th birthday. Getting those 100,000 signatures in 30 days is something my family is incredibly proud of, and we then spent the summer writing letters to the president to keep it at the top of his mind. I remember one July afternoon, reading Grampa a portion of a letter I would send to President Barack Obama to try to expedite the process. "You'd better be careful," Grampa said, "insulting the king."
Lindsay Berra is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.