I had forgotten that my favorite baseball player of all time, Thurman Munson died twenty five years ago this month in a plane crash on August 2nd 1979.
Growing up in Northern New Jersey, Munson and Graig Nettles were always my favorites. I played third, so I was natually attracted to Nettles. But Munson was the heart and sole of the team, the iron backbone that held them together and guided them to back to back world series wins. As an 8 year old Yankee fan, those late 70s summers were magical.
I was playing baseball with some friends when we heard the news, we had seen him and the Yankees play the week before and we were all crushed. His death brought about the end of the Yankees 1970s Dynasty and it would be almost 20 years until they rekindled the passion that Munson brought to the clubhouse.
After Munsons death came the drought of playoff action - the Yankees made it to the series once more but were embarrassed by Fernando Valenzula and Tommy Lasorda. Since then, baseball has been embroiled in multiple strikes and now in a disgusting steroid scandal.
For me, baseball has never been the same.