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  1. #1
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    Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    Not sure if this is the right place for this but it does fall under the category of history.

    Today marks the 33rd anniversary Thurman Munson's tragic death. I wrote this for the thirtieth anniversary a few years ago.

    Remembering The Captain

    Iím forty four years old. That means that thirty years ago today, I was a fourteen year old kid. And like a lot of fourteen year old kids, I loved baseball. But not just any baseball... Yankee baseball.

    What a great time it was to be a Yankee fan. The Yanks had just gone to the World Series three years in a row and had won the last two. Like every kid, I had a hero. Mine was Thurman Munson. I played Babe Ruth baseball and was a catcher, just like Thurman. What was not to like about this guy? He played hard and looked as tough as nails. In his three World Series appearances, he batted .529 in 1976 and .320 in both 1977 and 1978.

    During our lives, there are certain moments that that are burned into our minds. For me, one of the biggest was the knock on my door on August 2, 1979. I opened the door and there was my neighbor Steve. I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. He just blurted out ďThurman Munson is dead.Ē

    It was like a punch in the stomach. I felt like I couldnít breathe. My eyes instantly welled up with tears and I yelled back at him; ďNO HE ISNĒT!Ē and I slammed the door in his face. I ran to my room and started to cry.

    Heroes donít die. They canít.

    I remember thinking that maybe Steve was wrong. Thatís it! He had to be wrong. News back in 1979 wasnít like it is today. There wasnít any ESPN. No 24 hour news stations. I turned on the one tv we had in the house and there was nothing about it. I turned on the radio. WMCA used to carry the Yankees in the 70ís and I donít recall if it was on that station or another that I finally heard that it was true. I went back in my room and cried some more.

    I remember watching the game a few nights later on August 6th, the day of Thurmanís funeral. It was ABCís Monday Night Baseball. Howard Cosell said incredibly kind words about Munson. The Yankees, being the classy organization that they are, left home plate open before the game. Yankee fans everywhere were in pain.

    And then some magic happened.

    Yankee magic.

    Bobby Murcer, who had earlier in the day given a eulogy at Thurmanís funeral, somehow managed to deliver some happiness on a day when none seemed possible. With the Yankees trailing 4-0, Murcer hit a 3 run homer in the 7th and then a walk off 2 run single in the bottom of the ninth.

    What other team besides the Yankees has this sort of magic happen? The player delivers the eulogy at his teammate / best friendís funeral and then, later the same day, with his team down by four runs, goes out and drives in all five of his teamís runs including two of them in the bottom of the ninth to win the game. Seriously, you canít make this stuff up.

    I remember cheering. Yankee fans everywhere were cheering. They won one for the Captain and in doing so, began the heeling.

    I still love the Yankees and they have brought me so many great memories over the years. They have won more championships and had so many great players. But I only have one official Yankee jersey and on the back is the number 15.

    Iíve never had another baseball hero since August 2, 1979.

    The one I had then never needed replacing.

  2. #2
    NYYF Legend


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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    I was at a holiday inn in Amsterdam New York getting ready for a high school friends wedding. . I remember being in the room when the news came across the TV. I could not believe itÖwhen my friends came back ti the room I told them what had happen and they thought I was kidding . Then they also saw the news we were all in shock . Tears flowed . when we got back home on Monday a friend talked me into going to the game that night (I think it was a Monday). I said I really donít want to go it was a long weekend. He said the Yankeeís might not even show up tonight they had to go to the funeral. I said then why are we going to go Ö he said it would be history tonight. No matter what happen we will remember it foreverÖ(those day you could decided to go at 530pm and still get a good seat just by walking up) well we went and bobby murcer won the gameÖI still get goose bumps thinking about that game. when bobby got the hit the place went crazy my friend was right I will remember it forever. Every year on the anniversary.
    of his death it all comes back to me . The sadness of his death , the joy of my friends wedding and the goose bumps from the game.

  3. #3
    My History. Your Tradition. JDPNYY's Avatar
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    They should retire his number.
    Complaining is a choice

  4. #4
    Alright, alright, alright... Big_E's Avatar
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    RIP, Oh Captain, My Captain
    ***************************
    Faith. You gotta have faith.
    You know, they say time heals all wounds,
    And I don't quite agree with that a hundred percent.
    It gets you to cope with wounds.
    You carry them the rest of your life.

    Phil Rizutto
    August 3, 1979
    Baltimore at New York
    Pregame show

    Fantasy Baseball: Larrupin' Lou's

  5. #5
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    Quote Originally Posted by JDPNYY View Post
    They should retire his number.
    Retire whose number? Murcer?

  6. #6
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    Amazing game to go to thecaptain.

  7. #7
    NYYF Legend

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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    Crossfire, I was also your age when Thurman passed away and I could have written the same thing you wrote (except Steve was Rachel and it was a phone call, but our conversation went similar). Amazing how one person, event, team, etc can instill the same feelings in so many different people. RIP Thurman.

  8. #8
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    Here is something I uploaded on YouTube about a month ago.

    "Our Captain and leader has not left us
    today, tomorrow, this year, next...
    Our endeavors will reflect our
    love and admiration for him."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPq4...ayer_embedded#!

  9. #9
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    Talk about your grinders.........home plate was his.........and if you wanted it .........you had to go thru him.........Pete Rose and Munson were throw backs fom the high Spikes and in your face..........I'm humbled to have watch these two........never give an inch...........I still chuckle fom Bill Lee's stories of the 70's rivalries ........

    "Happy Wife.........Happy Life" - unknown

  10. #10
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    He wasn't the best...............but in our Hearts he was what the Yankees and George were all about..........losing Thurman and Clemente in their prime was tough.....RIP TM........

    "Happy Wife.........Happy Life" - unknown

  11. #11
    Member
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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    Quote Originally Posted by AJW View Post
    Here is something I uploaded on YouTube about a month ago.

    "Our Captain and leader has not left us
    today, tomorrow, this year, next...
    Our endeavors will reflect our
    love and admiration for him."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPq4...ayer_embedded#!
    Nice. Brings back many memories.

  12. #12
    NYYF Legend

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    Re: Remembering Thurman Munson 8/2/79

    He hit a home run the first game I went to at the revised Yankee Stadium in the Bleachers, it went two rows over my head.
    No Rally Monkeys, Towels or hankies
    Just 50,000 fans of the New York Yankees.

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