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Good Night, Old Pal
2008-07-12 18:26
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees 9-4 win over the Blue Jays this afternoon, which featured Derek Jeter's 200th career home run as well as Alex Rodriguez's 537th career bomb (moving him past Mickey Mantle on the all-time list), was overshadowed by the news that Bobby Murcer has passed away.

Murcer was a solid star player for the Yankees during the late 60s and early 70s--good but never truly great--and later, a friendly voice in the broadcast booth. Murcer knocked a game-winning, pinch-hit homer over the right center field wall against the Orioles in September of 1981. I was at that game with my dad and my brother. I'll never forget watching two drunk guys sitting down the row from us in the upper deck, chanting "Bob-by, Bob-by!" and then all hell breaking loose when Murcer hit the dinger.

George Carlin, now Bobby Murcer. It certainly hits a lot closer to home when you grew up watching and then listening to a guy. Sixty-two is too young, man.  At least he's not in pain anymore.  Let's hope he's at peace.  I know it's the natural order of things and all, but, good goosh, we've been talking an awful lot about death lately.

Comments
2008-07-12 18:49:13
1.   Simone
RIP, Bobby.
2008-07-12 18:53:59
2.   Josh Wilker
Sad news. He was a class act.
2008-07-12 19:03:19
3.   dianagramr
Is it OK to say that I've been crying real tears over this news?

I mean .... I never actually met him. But he made me love baseball from my earliest memories. He was my first favorite player. He was classy, genuine and did wonderful work for those less fortunate.

I weep for him .... and his family.

2008-07-12 19:18:57
4.   Bob Timmermann
I will miss Murcer on the YES broadcasts. His delivery was comfortable and smooth and he was not prone to the bloviating of Michael Kay. Murcer's accent was a throw back to the days when Southerners dominated the airwaves for baseball games.
2008-07-12 19:41:06
5.   monkeypants
I would argue that Murcer was in fact great for the Yankees in 1971 and 1972. He had a fine career on and off the field. This is a bummer.
2008-07-12 19:46:07
6.   OldYanksFan
http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?mid=200805122685731

Bobby getting the game winner, the night of Thurman's funeral. Notice Bobby and #14 at the end of the clip.

A great loss.

2008-07-12 20:12:59
7.   Dimelo
This year my mother passed away at the age of 61, Bobby Murcer passes away at 62, it really hurt to see Tim Russert pass away too because my mom was so fond of him and his death only caused me to reflect on my mom's death.

This year has been about people passing away much earlier than they were suppose to. However, it also helps to remind us that age has nothing to do with it. Unfortunately. There's very little control we have in that department.

RIP, Bobby Murcer

2008-07-12 20:42:02
8.   Jen
3 Yes, it's OK. I have as well. And every time I think I'm done crying I read another quote from a former teammate or colleague.

This one hurts. Maybe because he's so close to my parents age.

2008-07-12 21:08:34
9.   Repoz
Cross-posting here.

Some Bobby Murcer headlines from my forn and trayed Yankee scrap book (Pre-George, of course)...

From Boy Blunder to Boy Wonder

Murcer Back From 2 Army Years

Murcer, Pepi HR Nats, 8-2

Mickey Murcer?

Murcer Wants to Forget Fast Start, Stay Awhile

Yankee Shakeup: Murcer to Right, Kenney to 3d

Murcer Power!

Murcer's 2-Out, 2-On HR in 9th Rescues Yanks

Murcer the New Mickey?

Boy Wonder Does it Again

Murcer's Big Day, Again

Murcer Strokes Winning Hit in 9th

Murcer Belts Two!

2008-07-12 23:20:24
10.   TimBrow
On and off the field, true class. I always felt bad for him, as he was tapped the next Mantle. Unfair to anyone. Loved his play and loved his announcing. You'll be missed Bobby. I suspect you are in good company.
2008-07-13 04:51:19
11.   williamnyy23
Murcer's reputation as a player suffers from his early expectations. He wasn't the next Mantle, but he was a fine outfielder who posted a very impressive OPS+ of 124. That's not a great player, but it is damn well very good!

Even more importantly, Murcer's reputation as a great man doesn't suffer from anything. It was nice to see the current players and his YES colleagues so unanimously talk about him as a selfless man who was always smiling and there to offer a kind word. In the 25+ years that I have "known" Bobby Murcer, I have always considered him one of my favorite Yankees and will sorely miss his presence. He truly is a Yankee forever.

Rest in Peace Bobby Ray!

2008-07-13 04:53:47
12.   RIYank
He was the CF when I woke up to baseball at the age of nine. Mantle et al. are historical figures to me, guys my dad talked about. Bobby was a real life baseball player. So long, Bobby.
2008-07-13 04:57:06
13.   williamnyy23
Also, I really hope the Yankees do everything possible to honor Murcer this season and before the ASG. I also really hope MLB doesn't co-opt the game and push Murcer aside so they can focus on their stupid red carpet show.
2008-07-13 06:06:21
14.   Shaun P
Rest in peace, Bobby. Say hi to Mick and the fellas for us.
2008-07-13 08:04:49
15.   The Mick 536
I turn 61 tomorrow. Poor Bobby. My heart goes out for him and to his family. Life ain't an audition. He got to live a dream, playing the game and story telling. Not a bad run, 360 feet, but he deserved more ABs.

Don't forget the significance on baseball and the Bombers of the trade of Bobby Murcer for Bobby Bonds. George thought he couldn't lead the team. Fans didn't question the move. At least, I didn't.

Bonds, too, earns no love from the Boss. He stays for only one year; bats .270 and hits 32 homers. Barry the Kid is mistreated during visits, a dis that makes him vow never to play for the Yanks. Bobby drinks too much or lives a life that some feel UnYankee. Mickey Rivers (no Angel either)comes from Los Angeles with Ed Figueroa to Yankees in exchange for Bobby Bonds on December 11, 1975. They become instumental pegs in the mid 70's resurgance that leads to a WS appearance in 1976 (losing to Cincinatti 4-0) and WS wins in 1977 and 1978 (beating the Dodgers 4-2 twice.

2008-07-13 09:38:13
16.   JL25and3
5 I'd argue that he was the best position player in the league in 1971.

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