Yogi Berra Receives Painting From Dean Lombardo, Owner of Bronxville’s Objects & Images Store
February 13, 2008-Before I get to the story about Yogi Berra`s memory of his dinner with Marilyn Monroe, it is necessary to tell you of the occasion that prompted its telling.
The setting was the Yogi Berra Museum in the enclosed luxury box of a minor league baseball park in Montclair, N.J. The event was the Jan. 29 presentation to Berra by artist Graig Kreindler and Bronxville gallery owner Dean Lombardo of Kreindler`s painting of the Oct. 8, 1956 World Series` “Perfect Game,” which was commissioned by the Berra museum and which depicts the legendary catcher jumping into the arms of his New York Yankees teammate, pitcher Don Larsen.”
Lombardo`s local gallery, Objects & Images Fine Arts at 44 Pondfield Road, represents Kriendler, who recreates on canvas great moments in baseball history based on old photos and film clips and painstaking research into the artifacts and colors used in the commercial art of the times in which his subjects played.
Another of those subjects was Bob Feller, whom Kriendler, fulfilling a commission for the Bob Feller Museum in Iowa, caught in the act of throwing the last pitch of his 1940 opening day no-hitter for the Cleveland Indians. And the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame on Long Island commissioned Kriendler to do a painting called “Sandy`s No-No” of Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax as he was about to deliver the final pitch of the night that struck out Phillie`s player Bobby Wine and clinched the third no-hit, no-run ballgame of Koufax`s career.
So, what has all this to do with Marilyn Monroe? Okay, as all good shaggy dog story tellers, I am circuitously getting to the point.
As Lombardo told it to me, the day he and Kriendler presented Berra with the painting of him and Larsen, “We were able to spend a good amount of time talking with Yogi, hearing stories about his career, Italian food and traditions.” And, Lombardo marveled, “Here was one of the most famous living baseball icons, and he acted like he was our longtime neighbor coming over for a chat. After spending over an hour with him, we felt as if we had known him for years.”
Okay, so what about Monroe?
Asked, in a phone interview, what the most memorable of Berra`s memories was, Kriendler said it was the story about Berra going out to dinner with Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn.
So what did Berra remember about that night?
“Oh man!” said Berra, ”Just the really great shrimp cocktails we had!”