Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain

By Marty Appel

Our captain and chief has now not left us, this day, the next day, this 12 months, subsequent … Our endeavors will mirror our love and admiration for him.”
—Honorary plaque to Munson in Yankee Stadium

Thurman Munson is remembered by means of fanatics because the fiercely aggressive, difficult, and—most of all—inspiring Yankee captain and champion from the wild Bronx Zoo years. he's additionally remembered for his tragic demise, at age thirty-two, whilst the non-public aircraft he was once piloting crashed in Canton, Ohio, on August 2, 1979.

Munson is the intimate biography of a fancy and larger-than-life legend. Written via former Yankees public family director Marty Appel, who labored heavily with Thurman all through his profession, Munson captures the little-known information of the younger guy from Canton and his meteoric upward push to stardom in baseball’s such a lot storied franchise. Appel examines the tumultuous adolescence that led Thurman to paintings feverishly to flee Canton—and additionally the wedding and cultural roots that regularly drew him back.

Appel additionally opens a desirable door at the famed Yankees of the Nineteen Seventies, recounting moments and tales that experience by no means been advised ahead of. From the clubhouse and the dugout to front place of work and the owner’s field, this considerate baseball biography delves into the affectionately gruff captain’s relationships with acquaintances, enthusiasts, and teammates resembling Lou Piniella, Bobby Murcer, Graig Nettles, and Reggie Jackson, in addition to his colourful dealings with supervisor Billy Martin and his strangely shut bond with proprietor George Steinbrenner. Munson paints a revealing portrait of a personal Yankee megastar, in addition to a nostalgic and revelatory examine the culture—and extraordinary highs and lows—of the Seventies manhattan Yankees groups. greater than a biography, Munson is the definitive account of a champion who has now not been forgotten and of the period he helped define—written with the intimate element to be had in basic terms to a real insider.

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He jumped into the 1st vehicle and that i used to be within the moment. It used to be Mickey with the terrible information. “Just a number of days earlier than, I were understanding at moment base and Thurman used to be looking at me take flooring balls. He stated to Dad, ‘I can’t wait until i will be able to see myself and my son such as you are with Billy Joe. ’ “He used to get me while i might be at moment base; it was once a ballplayer’s trick. He’d be shagging balls within the outfield, after which might throw them in on one leap to hit me behind my knee. He used to be the easiest at it.

He skipped the required Yankees “Welcome domestic Luncheon” in April (along with Nettles, Lyle, and Rivers) and used to be fined money. Little used to be requested of him as crew captain; his skipping the development doubtless infuriated Steinbrenner. For Thurman, small nagging accidents started to take their toll. His arm (technically his hand and shoulder) had superior to the simplest it had felt because earlier than the 1974 backswing harm. He was once again there while Guidry fanned eighteen in June for a Yankee checklist, the day the enthusiasts started to upward thrust on moves to assist motivate a strikeout.

I do know that, as i used to be departing the plane, David gave one final tug on Thurman, and he couldn’t, he couldn’t circulate him. And neither certainly one of us may circulate him. And David me, correct open air that door. and that i rolled round at the floor for a second, after which was once subconscious. I don’t particularly be mindful something after that, until eventually waking up within the health facility. The difficult a part of that in fact is that there has been some degree in time that I knew that i used to be gonna depart that aircraft, and that my buddy was once now not. And that used to be a bad feeling.

They desired to be aware of what convinced gauges intended at the regulate panel. They checked to determine the place and the way the deal with locked the doorway door, and to work out the place the emergency door used to be and that it labored. the internal of the airplane was once attractive. Thurman had chosen “Yankee blue” because the inside colour, and matched with the designation of N15NY at the tail, it was once difficult to think that he used to be fascinated with desirous to be traded to Cleveland anymore. If whatever, the airplane instructed the reality approximately that. The passengers spoke aloud of the way taken they have been by way of the great thing about the inner and the luxurious leather-based seats.

Munson at an All-Star dinner, I felt like I’d made the correct selection. A two-dimensionally ‘grumpy’ guy may by no means were capable of hook the sort of stylish, type, beneficiant lady, to assert the least. to stroll for 4 months in #15’s cleats was once higher than simply approximately whatever I’ve skilled in need of assembly my spouse. It was once a truly, very shut moment. And it was once an honor. “I wish to God that teamster thinks I acquired it correct. ” Akron-Canton Airport is a hectic mid-sized airport without indication nationally lined tragedy as soon as happened there.

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