Thurman Munson’s Endearing Legacy

August 3, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

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Sunday marked the 30th anniversary of the untimely and tragic death of Yankee captain and catcher, Thurman Munson. Munson died when the plane he was piloting crashed while practicing touch and go landings in Ohio. While Munson himself is not enshrined in Cooperstown, his legacy is forever cemented in the hearts of all Yankee and baseball fans that had the privilege to watch him play.

Munson was named Yankee captain (an honor that laid dormant for 35 years after Lou Gehrig’s retirement) in 1976 and led the Yanks to three consecutive World Series appearances and back-to-back World Series championships in 1977 and 1978.

Munson won the American League Rookie of the Year award in 1970 and the American League MVP award in 1976 while collecting three Gold Glove Awards and playing in seven All-Star games during big league his career.

After his death, Munson was honored and remembered in many ways including a ten minute standing ovation before the next Yankee game, the immediate retirement of his No. 15 and a plaque dedicating his memory was placed in the most hollowed of baseball places, Monument Park in Yankee Stadium. 

While all the above gestures were grand, the ultimate honor bestowed on a person is the legacy he leaves behind and how those of us who remain, cherish that legacy and the reverence in which we celebrate it.

Munson was not popular with the baseball beat writers of his era, but amongst his peers, there was no classier and revered teammate or team captain. In honor of Munson, to this day, an empty locker remains in the Yankee clubhouse next to current team captain Derek Jeter and is adorned with his No. 15 to serve as a reminder of Munson’s endearing legacy and this ultimate honor. 

What a gesture by those who miss their fallen teammate.

Munson’s original locker and his catcher’s gear were subsequently bronzed and sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame for enshrinement.

More information about Munson  http://www.hardballcooperative.com/?p=1217


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