I can remember it very clearly on August 2, 1979 which was 34 years ago. I was spending the summer in the Bronx with my father and was watching television when a news flash came across the screen.
The message informed viewers that New York Yankees star catcher, Thurman Munson was killed during a plane crash.
I can remember the empty feeling I felt; not only as a New York Yankees fan, but also as a baseball fan.
Munson, who was born in Akron, Ohio in, 1947, was an amateur pilot. He died at the age of 32, while practicing landing his Cessna citation at Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio. Munson suffered a broken neck as the result of the crash and the cause of his death was asphyxiation.
Munson became the first Yankee captain since Lou Gehrig. He led the Yankees to three consecutive World Series beginning in 1976, with them winning two out of the three. (1977, 1978)
I had the opportunity to see Munson play during the 1978 season and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him. The date was August 9, 1978. The Yankees led by Munson who went 3 for 4, scoring 3 runs with 1 RBI, defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 8-7.
It was safe to say after his amazing performance that I quickly became a huge fan of this star Yankee.
I am not here to inundate you with a lot of stats about this great Yankee but just giving my recollection of that day when I was 11 years old, visiting my father, during the summer of 1979, in the Bronx.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
American League Rookie of the Year 1970
Golden Glove Winner 1973, 74, 75
American League MVP, 1976
All-Star Selection 1971, 1973-78
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