President Barack Obama named Yogi Berra and Willie Mays as among 17 recipients of the Presidential of Freedom. The White House hosts the ceremony giving out the awards on November 24.
Berra, who played on ten World Series champions after serving on the USS Bayfield off the coast of France during D-Day, passed away on September 22. Mays, the consummate five-tool player, won two NL MVP awards, hit 660 home runs, and became a World Series champion in 1954.
“I look forward to presenting these 17 distinguished Americans with our nation’s highest civilian honor,” the president noted in a news release. “From public servants who helped us meet defining challenges of our time to artists who expanded our imaginations, from leaders who have made our union more perfect to athletes who have inspired millions of fans, these men and women have enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans.”
Other recipients include singer Gloria Estefan, conductor Itzhak Perlman, director Steven Spielberg, climate-change activist William Ruckelshaus, and Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winner Barbra Streisand.