I want to express my sadness over the passing of Bobby Murcer. Murcer was one of my heroes growing up. I remember my great sadness and crying as a young child when he was traded away and my joy when the Yankees brought him back. I was fortunate enough to meet Murcer a few years back at a Staten Island Yankee game. He was gracious and modest in person and remembered some o f the forgotten Yankees like Bill Sudakis and many others. Murcer was always loved by the fans and even more loved as announcer. The image most of us will remember is Murcer driving in all five runs on National television after burying his friend Thurman Munson and presenting the bat to Munson's widow.
Murcer's humility and modesty were genuine. He was constantly compared to Mickey Mantle. Yet he still managed to embrace Mantle as a mentor and never was bitter about it. He embraced new players and spoke of the Yankee traditions. He also never complained about two quirks that may have cost him a chance at the Hall of Fame. Murcer served two years in the Army and had his statistics cut by the renovation of Yankee Stadium. His power numbers faded with the move to Shea and then Candlestick.
NY fans are lucky enough to have glimpsed perhaps the last Yankee to love the the uniform and traditions. Derek Jeter alone seems to understand the history, but I do not envision him being an ambassador.
RIP Bobby Murcer a great ball player and a true role model.