Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bobby Murcer

Bobby Murcer was one of my favorite players when I was a kid. I got the change to follow his career both in person as well as on TV. Bobby was born May 20, 1946. Here is a baseball card from 1973 showing the youngster.

He briefly played for the New York Yankees in 1965 and 1966 then fulfilled his military obligation in 1967 and 1968 before being called up to the majors to stay in 1969. Here is his first Topps baseball card from 1966.

Bobby was the heir apparent to Mickey Mantle but never reached that lofty goal but he was a great player. He played for the Yankees, San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs. He was a 5 time All Star and also won a Gold Glove award for his fielding. He hit a total of 252 career home runs. Here is his 1973 Topps baseball card.

After his retirement, he was a Yankee coach and assistant General Manager. He also was a broadcaster for Yankee games on television for 20 years. He won 3 Emmy Awards.

Bobby was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Christmas Eve, 2006 and underwent surgery 2 days later. Bobby returned to work as an announcer on May 1, 2007.

Bobby planned to broadcast about 60 games in 2008 but became tired and weak. On June 30, 2008, Murcer's family released a statement that he had suffered a relapse:

Bobby Murcer continues to recover from the effects of cancer and shingles which caused him to cut short his broadcasting work and his book tour earlier this month. He has been under medical care in Oklahoma City.

The cancer treatment over the last 18 months has been intensive and has, as a side effect, somewhat compromised his immune system and made the fight all the more challenging. While he has shown some measured improvement in recent days, this is clearly a major battle, as all who have been through it understand.

Bobby remains hopeful that he will be able to resume his broadcasting work down the road, but for now, is appreciative of the thoughts and prayers of his fans, and wants them to know that he is aware that he is in their hearts, as they are in his.
Two weeks later, on July 12, 2008, Bobby passed away.

A memorial service was held August 6, 2008. Ironically, it was 29 years to the day that Bobby delivered the eulogy at his friend and teammate, Thurmon Munson’s funeral.

Bobby left behind his wife (his high school sweetheart) of 42 years, Diana “Kay”, 2 children and 5 grandchildren.

One year later, Bobby is still in our hearts.

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