Remembering Thurman Munson
Today’s date on the calendar brings memories of an anniversary that shocked the baseball world.
It was 30 years ago that the great Thurman Munson of the New York Yankees died at the age of 32 while attempting to land his private plane at his hometown Akron-Canton Regional Airport.
Such a hero in the Bronx that his locker remained respectfully vacant right through last season’s final days of Yankee Stadium, Munson’s legacy continues to be revisited.
Reggie Jackson, Munson’s teammate during the classic “Bronx Zoo” days of the late ’70s, recalls Munson on today’s anniversary.
And the Daily News revisits a story originally published in 2004 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Munson’s death, detailing the last hours of his life along with providing perspective on how his strong character made Munson’s untimely passing all the more difficult for family, teammates, and fans alike.
Finally, for those inclined to dig deeper into the Munson story, a new hardcover biography (Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain) authored by Marty Appel (co-author of Munson’s autobiography) was released last month and appears to resonate well with baseball fans.
Time passes in an instant. The youngest of Thurman Munson’s three children is now 34 years old, two years older than his ballplaying father was at the time of his death. Mike is making his way as a restaurateur in Canton – with a newly opened Italian restaurant to complement Munson’s Home Plate Sports Pub, adorned with Thurman Munson pictures and memorabilia.
It’s good to know that the memories of Munson remain strong. The game may have changed and the world certainly has changed, but Munson’s place in history deserves our attention – even as we remember his tragic end.