Sunday, July 13, 2008
Rest in Peace Bobby Murcer
When I heard Bobby Murcer died, I called my buddy Chris DeLuca to let him know I was sorry.
DeLuca is a big Yankee fan and I really felt like this was like a death in the family.
And there were few in the Yankee family that wore the uniform with his dignity.
His luck was Mattingly-esque in terms of missing out on 2 separate World Series runs for the Yankees.
The Yankees went on a run between 1947 to 1964 where they missed the World Series only 3 times and won 10 titles.
Murcer made his debut in 1965, when the winning stopped.
He remained the Yankees lone MVP candidate during the lean late 60s and early 70s years.
And then was shipped off to San Francisco before the 1975 season.
The Yankees won the 1976 pennant while Bobby was freezing himself in Candlestick.
He was with the Cubs when the Yankees won the 1977 and 1978 World Series. He returned in 1979 when not only the World Series titles stopped but also in time for Thurman Munson's death.
Unlike Mattingly, he would play in a World Series.
And as a pinch hitter in game 6 of the 1981 World Series, he nearly hit a tie breaking pinch hit homer... but it fell just short.
As an announcer I remember he stared off rather stiffly but loosened up with Scooter in the booth. When Scooter left the booth for good in 1996, Murcer's role expanded.
Now think about that for a second.
He was an Oklahoma born power hitting slugger whose career took off as Mickey Mantle's was winding down.
And then played the role of beloved former player turned broadcaster.
He had to replace not one, but TWO Yankee legends.
And boy did he do a great job.
Who cares if he doesn't have a ring?
Jose Canseco has a ring as a Yankee. So does Kenny Rogers. So does HGH magnet Jason Grimsley.
Are any of them better Yankees than Murcer?
It's safe to say there will be a plaque for him at the new monument park.
It's long overdue.