Sunday, July 13, 2008

A Voice of the Yankees Passes On

I grew up, literally, on the Yankees. some of the first things I remember listening to were Yankee games. I loved driving up to Poughkeepsie, NY, and listening with my parents to Phil Rizzuto on the car radio. Time seemed to stop when I hear that someone like Steve Balboni, who struck out way more than anything else, had hit a homer.

Bobby Murcer, to me, became a Yankee on the radio. I wasn't old enough to remember his playing days, where, at one time, he was being compared to Mickey Mantle. But I will never forget his great Oklahoma accent, which just reeked of baseball. When I heard Bobby broadcast, I felt as if I were at Yankee stadium, and I could almost hear the crack of the bat.

Listening to Murcer was like eating Cracker Jacks at the park. Whether you loved the Bronx Bombers or hated them, Bobby Murcer was someone to be proud of in the baseball world.

As a Yankee, he went to the All-Star game five times, and almost won a batting title. In 1973, according to the New York Times, he had the highest salary in the history of the Yankees: $120,000 a year. Not exactly Alex Rodriguez cash, but a big deal in 1973.

Bobby Murcer died of brain cancer at 62. A once and forever Yankee.

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