I saw a blurb earlier that it has been 37 years since the death of Yankees Captain Thurman Munson. I believe Munson was one of those guys that helped me determine that I liked the gritty, more low key players over the flashy ones.
Over time, I’ve favored Darrell Green’s style to Deion Sanders. I liked the way Marvin Harrison did his business as opposed to Terrell Owens, or Chad Johnsowhateverhecallshimselfthesedays.
On occasion there have been some of my favorites that strayed away from that thought process, like John Riggins, I wouldn’t call him flashy, it would insult him, but he was loud, and normally, I don’t like loud, but he busted his ass and put in the work. Steve Garvey, wasn’t flashy or loud, he was just “clean cut” and popular for it. Sure, he had some baggage, but if he played in this day and age, I doubt it would be viewed the same way.
I didn’t get to watch Thurman Munson play a lot, an occasional game of the week, the All Star game for a few innings, and the majority of what I saw of him, he was the enemy, by playing in the World Series vs. the Dodgers. With that said, I liked how he carried himself, how he played. He was tough as nails. I’d take 8 of him over 8 Reggie Jackson’s any day of the week. Eight Reggie’s would end up fighting each other for various reasons.
He died a week shy of 10 full seasons in Major League Baseball. He hit .300 more times than not, though he wasn’t a .300 career hitter(.292), a seven time all-star, won three gold gloves, he won the Rookie of the Year award and an American League MVP.
He was the leader of those 1970′s New York Yankee teams, sure his career being cut short is the main bearing in him not being in the Hall of Fame, but I feel like he should be and again, I wasn’t a Yankees fan.
He died in an airplane crash. An airplane he bought so he could fly home more often to be with his wife and kids. It’s just a sad story anyway you look at it.
It would be nice to sit down with say Lou Pinella, Goose Gossage or even Jackson and let them tell his tales.
Rest in Peace, Thurman Munson, Yankee Captain, maybe Cooperstown will come calling one day.