Results tagged ‘ Thurman Munson ’

Munson as Yankees manager? Could’ve happened

Diana Munson talked about an interesting topic before last night’s Thurman Munson awards dinner in Manhattan: had the tragic 1979 plane accident never occurred, George M. Steinbrenner had been touting Munson as a future manager, and he almost certainly would have received a chance to run the Yankees at some point.

“George said positively, he was grooming him,” Diana Munson said. “And I always laugh. I’d say, ‘How many times do you think George would have fired him?’

“They had that relationship anyway. It was almost like a father-son kind of deal. Thurman trusted him, believed in his business mind, and he would go up and throw out ideas. He’d put his feet up on the desk and act like a big shot. George got a kick out of that, because people didn’t do that to George. That’s my not-politically correct husband.”

Would Munson’s name have been called instead of the choices to come in the 1980s like Dick Howser, Gene Michael, Bob Lemon, Billy Martin, Yogi Berra, Lou Piniella, Dallas Green and Bucky Dent? It’s likely. Munson was already experiencing significant injury problems by 1979, and though he could have played a few more seasons, his catching days were coming to a close.

In the 2009 biography, ‘Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankees Captain,’ author Marty Appel writes that as Steinbrenner was cycling through managers, Munson’s name would have come up unless he was already managing somewhere else – Munson did sometimes threaten that the Indians were more convenient to his Ohio home – or if he was making enough money outside baseball that he would not have wanted to deal with the travel of a season.

The book notes that Steinbrenner told Munson during Spring Training in 1979, “Learn everything you can, because you’re going to be my manager someday.”

Berra, Teixeira to be honored at Thurman Munson Awards Dinner

Yogi Berra and Mark Teixeira will be among the honorees tonight at the 32nd annual Thurman Munson Awards Dinner, to be held at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan.

Berra will receive the Legend Award in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World Series-winning Yankees. Teixeira will be joined by Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey plus NBA greats Chris Mullin and Dikembe Mutombo in being honored with “Thurmans,” presented for success on the fields of play and philanthropic works off the field. The Mets’ Daniel Murphy will also be lauded with the inaugural Thurman “Rising Star” award.

For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner, call (212) 249-6188. Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, will attend her 32nd straight benefit, having been involved since its inception, raising nearly $11 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Nick Swisher to be honored with Thurman Munson Award

Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher will be honored at this year’s Thurman Munson Awards dinner, acknowledging excellence in competition and philanthropic work within the community.

Swisher was announced on Tuesday as part of a group of five sports personalities who will be presented with the Thurman Munson Award on Feb. 1 at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York, celebrating the 31st anniversary of the event.
Also to be honored are former All-Star catcher Mike Piazza, current Mets outfielder Angel Pagan, Nets all-star guard Devin Harris and Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Evan Lysacek.
The AHRC New York City Foundation benefits from the gala, which remembers Munson, the late, great Yankees catcher and captain who tragically perished in a 1979 plane crash.

Diana Munson, Thurman’s widow, has been involved in the benefit since its inception, raising nearly $10 million to assist children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Of Swisher, Diana Munson said: “I love the way he plays, I love his enthusiasm. Most importantly, he respects the history of baseball and the Yankees. On Old Timers’ Day, he was out there getting autographs and taking pictures. He’s not embarrassed by his love of the game, and respects the players. Plus, he’s cute.”
The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City.
For tickets and information on the Munson Awards Dinner, contact (212) 249-6188.

Posada pays tribute to Munson

Jorge Posada found his own small way to pay tribute to the memory of
Yankees captain Thurman Munson on Thursday, affixing a small No. 15 to
his catcher’s mask during New York’s 13-6 win over the Red Sox.

The gesture came as the Yankees played their first home game
following the 30th anniversary of Munson’s tragic death in an Aug. 2,
1979, plane crash.

“I just wanted to give a little tribute,” Posada said. “Thurman
is special to me. It’s one night; hopefully I don’t get fined for that.
I just wanted to let everyone know I was thinking about it.”

Posada used the same numeric decals that adorn his batting and
catching helmets, with No. 20 displayed on the brim. He placed Munson’s
retired digits on the mask padding near his right cheek, opposite a
Nike swoosh.

He said that he has spoken with many of Munson’s former
teammates — Ron Guidry, Goose Gossage and the late Bobby Murcer among
them — during Yankees Spring Training camps about what kind of man he
was.

“Great teammate,” Posada said. “That’s all they talked about, a great
teammate and a guy that really wanted to be out there every day. Nobody
loved playing the game more than him. It was good to hear those
things.”

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