Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Awful News
2006-10-11 13:47
by Alex Belth

A small plane crashed into a high rise building on 72nd street on the east side on Manhattan this afternoon. According to reports, the plane not only belonged to Yankee pitcher Corey Lidle, but he was apparently on board and killed as well. Lidle's passport has been recovered. There may have been another Yankee on the plane too but this is not official. (My first thought is that Lidle played high school ball with Jason Giambi.) Intial reaction here in my office brought back memories of 9.11. For Yankee fans, this tragedy also brings back thoughts of Thurman Munson who was killed in a plane crash in the summer of 1979. It is foggy, almost a bluish gray, in mid-town Manhattan and it is raining as night falls. This is absolutely stunning, terrible news.


5:30 p.m. The Mayor is giving a press conference. He has not released any names. Bloomberg said that the two people on the plane were the instructor and a student with about 75 hours of flying experience. According to the Mayor, the plane was small and flimsy and that it pretty much burned-up. The crash does not seem to have caused major damage to the building. Apparently the plane took off from Teterborough airport in New Jersey, circled around the Statue of Liberty a few times and then headed up the East River. Radar lost contact with it around the 59th Street Bridge. They still do not know why it turned toward Manhattan Island at 72nd street.

Last month, Tyler Kepner wrote an article about Lidle's interest in flying for the New York Times:

He earned his pilot's license last off-season and bought a four-seat airplane for $187,000. It is a Cirrus SR20, built in 2002, with fewer than 400 hours in the air.

A player-pilot is still a sensitive topic for the Yankees, whose captain, Thurman Munson, was killed in the crash of a plane he was flying in 1979. Lidle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30, said his plane was safe.

"The whole plane has a parachute on it," Lidle said. "Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you're up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly."

Tyler Stanger, Lidle's flight instructor told Kepner:

"He was probably my best student," Stanger said in a telephone interview. "He learned very, very quickly, and a lot of it is desire. He had huge desire.

"Really, anyone can learn how to fly. If you can drive a bus, you can fly an airplane. But to learn quickly takes money and time. Of course, Cory had plenty of money, and it was the off-season, so he had the time."

..."On the mound, he has to hold in all the emotions and keep completely focused. It's the same thing flying: If you're in an emergency, you can't waste any time worrying. You have to take command of the situation. A lot of people I fly with don't have that mentality. Cory does."


Comments (93)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-11 13:52:51
1.   unpopster
holy shit! (um, that's about all I can say right now)
2006-10-11 13:55:10
2.   Travis
Times article from September on Lidle and his plane:

2006-10-11 13:56:13
3.   Orly Yarly NoWai
This is horrible. God, I hope that's incorrect.
2006-10-11 13:56:14
4.   Orly Yarly NoWai
This is horrible. God, I hope that's incorrect.
2006-10-11 13:58:15
5.   bigjonempire
CNN is now reporting that he was the sole occupant of the plane.
2006-10-11 13:58:20
6.   Shaun P
Holy Mother of God . . .
2006-10-11 13:59:07
7.   randym77
CNN has conflicting reports. One says a flying instructore was with Lidle. The other says Lidle was alone in the plane.
2006-10-11 13:59:33
8.   Yankee Fan In Boston
disbelief. this is so surreal.
2006-10-11 14:00:07
9.   Oscar Azocar
My gosh. First the brief 9/11 flashbacks. Now, reminders of Thurman Munson. Thoughts and prayers to his family
2006-10-11 14:00:09
10.   Marcus
I am absolutely stunned. How does that happen? I'm surprised you are even allowed to fly anywhere near Manhattan these days.
2006-10-11 14:01:05
11.   JL25and3
I heard a report that there were 4 confirmed dea, 2 on the plane. They've also reported that Lidle's passport was found on the street.
2006-10-11 14:03:20
12.   3rd gen yankee fan
This is awful. Condolences to his family. :-(
2006-10-11 14:05:17
13.   jkay
2006-10-11 14:05:27
14.   rbj
Man, that is horrible. My condolences to the Lidle family and the families of all those killed.
2006-10-11 14:08:09
15.   Knuckles
This is really bizarre- my thoughts go out to his family/friends and everyone else affected. Just weird...
2006-10-11 14:08:39
16.   dianagramr

Just too bizarre an event.

I have friends who live in the very next building. Haven't been able to reach them yet.

too sad .... :-(

2006-10-11 14:09:28
17.   randym77
CNN reports that the FBI says Lidle was the only one in the plane.

The FBI found his passport in the street. They also said they got a Mayday from him before the crash.

2006-10-11 14:09:52
18.   Shaun P
Any further info re: 'another Yankee on the plane'?
2006-10-11 14:10:26
19.   unpopster
18 god, I really hope not.
2006-10-11 14:11:52
20.   Ron Burgundy
I can't even believe this. How did this happen?
2006-10-11 14:12:52
21.   das411
Wow, this is awful...I saw Lidle pitch at CBP earlier this season, hard to believe this sort of thing could happen. Cliff and/or Alex, please keep us posted on anything we can do to help his family.
2006-10-11 14:13:01
22.   Schteeve
Tragic. My condolences to his family and loved ones.
2006-10-11 14:13:07
23.   augustus
RIP Cory.
2006-10-11 14:16:03
24.   Alvaro Espinoza
He is survived by his wife and 6-year old son. Words fail...
2006-10-11 14:18:22
25.   Shaun P
24 My prayers and condolences to his wife and son. What a shame.

Ballplayers and airplanes . . .

2006-10-11 14:19:31
26.   Zavo
Condolences to his family. What a terrible tragedy.
2006-10-11 14:23:29
27.   seamus
holy cow. Prayers and thoughts go out to the Lidle family. I had seen that a plane had crashed earlier and we just had cable installed (first time in 16 years i've had cable) and was flipping through channels when i saw the report on espn. All I can say is that I was totally shocked. still am.
2006-10-11 14:27:31
28.   ChuckM
Bloomberg just said the 2 people on the plane were the instructor and a "student with about 75 hours of flying experience"
2006-10-11 14:29:09
29.   ny2
they haven't been able to reach next of kin
2006-10-11 14:35:10
30.   ChuckM
Supposedly his wife and son are en route somewhere on a plane themselves, according to ABC news.
2006-10-11 14:36:47
31.   weeping for brunnhilde
Dear God.

I'm stunned speechless.


2006-10-11 14:39:47
32.   DXMachina
Damn, that's awful. Condolences to his family.
2006-10-11 14:40:20
33.   RIYank
I can't believe it. First I heard of the plane was on BB.
2006-10-11 14:42:11
34.   wsporter
This is like a bad dream. I left the office hopping it wasn't terrorism. It never dawned on me that this could happen. The thoughts and memories that are evoked at times like this are amazing.

I hope Lidle's wife and child can find some comfort and that the people in that building can get their lives back together.

What an awful thing.

2006-10-11 14:43:18
35.   BklynBmr
How sad... whoever was onboard.
2006-10-11 14:44:08
36.   marc
Supposedly it's Yankee's policy that any player that flies a a private plane have an instructor with them. I suspect the 2nd person was an instructor
2006-10-11 14:45:50
37.   randym77
They said the other person was an instructor.

The plane had a special safety feature - a parachute. But they were probably too low for it to work properly.

2006-10-11 14:49:29
38.   Chyll Will
33 That was me. I had no idea. I just typed it as soon as I heard it from my co-workers a minute after it broke on the news. I was panicking because my girlfriend is at Hunter just a few blocks off from there. The cels were down for more than a minute. I didn't know what to think, but I just got off of here and tried to make my way down there, but she called before I left work.

I stopped at my uncle's on the way back home. We talked about it for a bit, then he gets a call; he's talking and I hear him say 'it was Corey Lidle?' I ran down here to the public library and now I see this.

I do not have words now. This feels like a bad dream.

2006-10-11 14:49:53
39.   augustus
The rumor is that they were trying to land it in the river but weren't able to...
2006-10-11 14:52:01
40.   Chyll Will
34 ...
2006-10-11 14:52:59
41.   BklynBmr
Report: Lidle was ID'd by a "anonymous federal offical" in Washington, DC, probably the FAA...
2006-10-11 14:53:04
42.   Aviezer
This is teribble all of our hearts go out to his reletives.
2006-10-11 14:54:08
43.   Peter
I learned about the crash through Chyll Will's comment also. My girlfriend has friends (with 2 small kids) who live in a high rise on that same block. I called her to make sure they were safe. She called back to tell me about Cory Lidle.

Wow. I still can't believe this.

2006-10-11 15:02:30
44.   Simone
I can't believe this awful news. His wife doesn't even know as yet. Terrible. I'm just shocked. T I read that Kepner article and thought Lidle seemed so safe and careful. Thank goodness no one in those condos died.

RIP, Cory and his instructor.

2006-10-11 15:03:22
45.   weeping for brunnhilde
38 I'm glad your girlfriend is safe.
2006-10-11 15:22:01
46.   randym77

A law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lidle was on the plane. And Federal Aviation Administration records showed the single-engine plane was registered to the athlete, who just days ago — after the Yankees' humiliating elimination from the playoffs — told reporters that he was getting his pilot's license.

Just can't resist getting a dig in, can they?

2006-10-11 15:28:27
47.   randym77
Well, Giambi wasn't on the plane. He's issued a statement:

"Right now, I am really in a state of shock, as I am sure the entire MLB family is. My thoughts are with Cory's relatives and the loved ones of the others who were injured or killed in this plane crash. I have known Cory and his wife, Melanie, for over 18 years and watched his son grow up. We played high school ball together and have remained close throughout our careers. We were excited to be reunited in New York this year and I am just devastated to hear this news."

2006-10-11 15:34:30
48.   Mike T
RIP Cory.

46 Throwing the dig at the Yankees in there shows a complete lack of class, but it is not at all unexpected.

2006-10-11 15:37:53
49.   RIYank
My parents live less than a mile -- straight uptown -- from the site. My dad was home, didn't even know about the crash when I called.

I'm hearing an interview with a woman across the street who witnessed the crash. It's on the local ESPN affiliate!

2006-10-11 15:39:36
50.   RIYank
MLB announces that the games tonight will not be cancelled because of Cory -- but what's the weather situation in Queens?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-11 15:44:53
51.   ny2
Here's the exact statement from from Jeter:

"I am shocked by this devastating news. Spending the last few months as Cory's teammate, I came to know him as a great man. While he was known as a baseball player, he was, more importantly, a husband and father and, at a time like this, I want to share my deepest sympathies with his wife Melanie, his son Christopher and all those who know and loved him."

2006-10-11 15:47:45
52.   RIYank
The stories are collected (by links) here:

2006-10-11 15:48:18
53.   Ravenscar
50 - Very wet in Manhattan, but not raining at the moment - but again, very very wet.
2006-10-11 15:48:47
54.   nemecizer
You know, we always say how a pitcher at 34 is old and on the downslope of their career, but we forget how young 34 actually is. I am two years older than Corey Lidle. He was too young to die so tragically.
2006-10-11 15:49:46
55.   Ravenscar
Well, I take that back - it IS still raining.
2006-10-11 15:55:28
56.   ny2
mets game has been called ... according to WFAN
2006-10-11 15:56:58
57.   Ravenscar
Wow - I didn't expect that at 7 pm
2006-10-11 16:00:25
58.   claybeez
I'm stunned. Life keeps having a way of doing that. My condolences go out to Lidle's family and friends. And I feel for Corey and the premature end to his life. I can only hope that his young son will never forget the memories of the great times he shared with his father and that it will come as some solace to him as he grows older.

RIP Corey.

2006-10-11 16:17:19
59.   yankz
Oh my god...I just got Wow. Speechless. RIP Cory Lidle.
2006-10-11 16:20:24
60.   yankeegirl26
This so terrible! My husband and I are in Europe and were online earlier today and saw the breaking news about a plane crashing into a building in Manhattan, and were watching a live video from ABC. They didn't know anything at the time, since it just had happened. Just came online again and saw the headline about Lidle. Our sincere condolences to Cory's family and friends, especially his wife and son.
2006-10-11 16:20:38
61.   JL25and3
I was driving home from roughly 5:30 to 7:00. During that time WFAN was covering the plane crash extensively and more or less exclusively. A few words about tonight's game here and there, but otherwise it was all about the crash. Up-to-the-minute info, interviews with people who knew him, with people who knew about flying and so on.

Now and then, I flipped to Michael Kay. First he was talking to Tiki Barber - laughing and joking about a Michael Jackson concert that Tiki apparently attended with Michael Strahan. A little while later he and his cohorts were talking about their predictions for the NLCS, complete with their usual shtick. Then there was a call which started with condolences to the Lidle family - then went directly to talking about some woman who was HOT! hotter than Jennifer Aniston! They laughed about that for a while as well.

When I did hear him talk about Lidle, he was woefully uninformed. It seemed no one had even listened to Bloomberg's press conference, because they were lacking even the basic facts that had come out there.

It was really an appalling, rather repulsive showing. I don't demand all somber, all the time - but Michael Kay is always talking about his role as a journalist, and maybe just once he should act like one.

2006-10-11 16:25:32
63.   JL25and3
62 I hate to admit it, but I had the same thought. And my sister said the same thing to me on the phone.
2006-10-11 16:26:55
64.   ny2
61. I had the same reaction ... it just felt like you said repulsive
2006-10-11 16:27:00
65.   wsporter
62 63 For the record fellas that's in pretty crappy taste.
2006-10-11 16:28:08
66.   BklynBmr
62 63 Good Lord.
2006-10-11 16:29:36
68.   alasky
62 63...completely inappropriate
2006-10-11 16:30:34
69.   alasky
Jim, your comments are shockingly distasteful and hopefully will be removed from this board
2006-10-11 16:31:47
70.   JL25and3
67 Now that's way past over-the-top.

As for the other, well, I had no intention of posting it, and I suppose I shouldn't have responded. But I did think it, and I can't be the only one.

2006-10-11 16:32:50
71.   weeping for brunnhilde
All right.

Please, everyone.

That's enough.

2006-10-11 16:33:40
72.   BL-YF
Stunning and sad developments today. There isn't much more to be said, but I agree with Jeter's statement and recognize his most important role was as a Dad and Husband. My sincere sympathy to his family, and to the family of the instructor as well.
2006-10-11 16:37:36
74.   alasky
Is there anyway to prevent him from no way is this funny.
2006-10-11 16:41:28
75.   randym77
Jim, WTF is wrong with you? You're usually a decent poster here. Your 12-year-old kid playing on the computer using your nick?
2006-10-11 16:41:34
76.   weeping for brunnhilde
74 Hopefully Alex will take care of it.

Until then, the best course of action is to ignore.

2006-10-11 16:47:18
77.   Simone
The NY Times has article on the tragedy and this part just broke my heart:

Luis Gonzalez, 23, was one of several construction workers and others viewing plans for renovating an apartment in the Belaire when they looked out the window and saw a plane headed their way.

"It was coming right at us, directly at us at the floor where we were working on," he said.

They could see the pilot's face, he said, and then they saw the plane veering toward the right, as if the pilot was trying to avoid hitting them.

2006-10-11 16:54:39
79.   BklynBmr
RE: 78 Ken, please boot this creep.
2006-10-11 16:56:48
80.   maineyank
Mr. Dean.

This is you being funny? While I certainly don't hope for any tragedies in YOUR near future.....

I hope that at least you can be banned for being a complete jackass.

RIP Mr. Lidle

2006-10-11 17:02:52
81.   bhsportsguy
First off, to regulars of this site, I want to send my respects to the Lidle family and friends, the Yankee organization and all of you who support the ball club.

That said, if certain posts remain, I will wait a while before coming back because its one thing to ridicule and complain about performance on the field but this is really life and death and more so, respect and class. And whether or not you liked the Yankees, you respected their class.

That's it and again I hope soon you guys and gals can talk baseball.

2006-10-11 17:08:37
82.   randym77
Unfortunately, Ken is probably at the game, watching his A's. I don't think anyone else has the power to delete posts or ban trolls.
2006-10-11 17:09:04
83.   Schteeve
Yeah if Jim Dean doesn't get the Rob Gee tratment as soon as Ken can humanly make it happen, I will boycott this blog permanantly.
2006-10-11 17:11:18
84.   Schteeve
70 Wrong, you didn't have to post it, I don't care if it crossed your mind. Joe Torre and Brian Cashman were the two guys who had a right to be upset by the "unprepared" comment and you didn't see them wasting any time offering nothing but condolences. The bullshit about not being prepared is BASEBALL. Winning an ALDS is BASEBALL. Cory Lidle DIED today. Grow the fuck up.
2006-10-11 17:15:43
85.   das411
If he did go to the game, I hope Ken manages to get a picture of that autographed Lidle 21 Athletics jersey Fox just showed on the game.

Rest in peace, Cory. You will be missed.

2006-10-11 17:23:06
86.   Jetersgirl
What a horrible, tragic event. My prayers go out to both of their families.
2006-10-11 17:23:26
87.   yankz
76 has it right. Alex and Cliff will of course disapprove, and they don't deserve a boycott. Don't pay him any attention.
2006-10-11 17:35:18
88.   JL25and3
84 I didn't post it, but I responded. That was a mistake, and I apologize to all.
2006-10-11 17:35:22
89.   randym77


At 5:40 p.m., an anonymous painful wail pierces the silence of a still-vacant Shea Stadium.

The day before, Preston Wilson had reminisced about cavorting around Shea Stadium as a 12-year-old watching pop Mookie and the rest of the 1986 Mets win the World Series. Preston talked about how welcoming it was to still see many of the same people working in various capacities in the park.

It stood then to reason a lot of current workers were also here in 1997, when Lidle spent his rookie season with the Mets.

That anonymous, painful wail confirmed it.


2006-10-11 17:42:40
90.   ny2
Lidle's dad learned of plane crash on television

2006-10-11 17:46:28
91.   JL25and3
90 That's just awful. I liked that Mayor Bloomberg refused to name anyone until next of kin had been notified; I wish that whoever leaked the news had done the same.
2006-10-11 17:47:36
92.   RIYank
New thread under a new, fully-up-to-usual-standards entry by Alex.
2006-10-11 17:48:16
93.   MattinglyHOF
First my condolences to the Lidle family.Second to Jim Dean you are a fucking idiot and I look foward to you being banned.What if it was a member of YOUR family and someone wanted to prop them on the mound?Youd be upset and JL253 you need to think before hitting the submit button
2006-10-11 18:04:38
94.   wsporter
Thank you Ken, Alex and Cliff for taking care of that. BB is a special place for many of us perhaps even more so on a hard day such as today. This thread was an open sewer with that garbage in it.

JL, thank you for apologizing.

2006-10-11 18:26:50
95.   weeping for brunnhilde
88 Thank you.
2006-10-11 18:34:46
96.   JL25and3
And thank you both for your graciousness.
2006-10-12 06:15:51
97.   Schteeve
JL, Sorry for the venom yesterday. I let my emotions take the lead. I apologize for any offensive words I directed towards you.

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