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Location: Bronx, N.Y. | Ballpark: Yankee Stadium (57,746) | Spring Training: Tampa, Fla.
Owner: George M. Steinbrenner | GM: Brian Cashman | Manager: Joe Girardi | World Championships: 26
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Ex-Yankees star, broadcaster Murcer dies at 62

 

NEW YORK -- Bobby Murcer succeeded Mickey Mantle, played in pinstripes with Don Mattingly and watched proudly from the broadcast booth when the New York Yankees returned to power.

A cherished link from former Yankees greats to the club's current stars, Murcer died Saturday due to complications from a malignant brain tumor, the team said. He was 62.

While with the Yankees, Bobby Murcer made the All-Star team for five straight seasons. (Getty Images)  
While with the Yankees, Bobby Murcer made the All-Star team for five straight seasons. (Getty Images)  
In his final moments, Murcer was surrounded by family at Mercy Hospital in his hometown of Oklahoma City, the Yankees said. A five-time All-Star outfielder, he spent nearly four decades with New York as a player, executive and announcer.

"Bobby Murcer was a born Yankee, a great guy, very well-liked and a true friend of mine," owner George Steinbrenner said. "I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife Kay, their children and grandchildren. I will really miss the guy."

Murcer was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Christmas Eve 2006 after having headaches. He had surgery that week in Houston and doctors later discovered the tumor was malignant. Determined to be around his beloved Yankees, Murcer returned to the broadcast booth last year and briefly this season.

The only person to play with Mantle and Mattingly, the popular Murcer hit .277 with 252 home runs and 1,043 RBI in 17 seasons with the Yankees, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs. He made the All-Star team in both leagues and won a Gold Glove.

"All of Major League Baseball is saddened today by the passing of Bobby Murcer, particularly on the eve of this historic All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, a place he called home for so many years," commissioner Bud Selig said. "Bobby was a gentleman, a great ambassador for baseball, and a true leader both on and off the field. He was a man of great heart and compassion."

Always a fan favorite in New York and known for his folksy manner as a broadcaster, Murcer won three Emmy Awards for live sports coverage. His most dramatic words came during his time as a player on one of the saddest days in Yankees history.

Murcer delivered one of the eulogies in Ohio after captain Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash in August 1979. The team flew home after the funeral and, that night, Murcer hit a three-run homer and then a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to beat Baltimore 5-4.

A tearful Murcer fell into the arms of teammate Lou Piniella after the game and gave his bat to Munson's wife.

"There is no way to explain what happened," Murcer said. "We used every ounce of strength to go out and play that game. We won it for Thurman."

The Yankees learned of Murcer's death Saturday after a 9-4 victory in Toronto. Visibly upset, players such as Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte spoke softly about how much Murcer meant to them.

"He touched everybody," Rivera said.

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AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2007-2008, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
 
Talk Back
Reputation:97
Level:Superstar
Since:Aug 23, 2006

July 13, 2008 2:49 pm
I've lost alot of family, like many people, to cancer and we all know it can turn on you any second. But, I thought he was getting better. Was this a shock or did he recently take a turn for the worse?
Reputation:93
Level:All-Star
Since:Feb 17, 2008

July 13, 2008 2:02 am
when a sports legend passes. Bobby Murcer was one of those people who made the sport better because of the way they carried themselves as a person along with their playing ability.  The yankee nation lost a great one today but God brought another great one home. R.I.P
Reputation:95
Level:Superstar
Since:Nov 25, 2006

July 12, 2008 11:33 pm
I was a Yankee fan as a boy in the dry years of the early '70s, listening to every game on the radio in my mom's kitchen. I endured all the other players' at-bats, just longing for Bobby Murcer's next at-bat. If not for him, I would not have bothered to listen to the games. Those are some of the fondest memories I have of my childhood. Bobby Murcer was was the ultimate Yankee. He was not just a go ...(more)
Reputation:89
Level:All-Star
Since:Dec 6, 2006

July 12, 2008 7:40 pm

As a Red Sox fan here in Jersey I always watch the Yanks broadcasts, and when we was doing the games he just brought such a great and amazing energy to the game. Althought I am too young remembering his playing daysI can't help but feel sadened, a tear is more than in order. best of wishes to his family and friends

Reputation:93
Level:All-Star
Since:Aug 14, 2007

July 12, 2008 6:35 pm
one of the class acts in baseball.. he will be sorely missed by this yankee fan
Reputation:95
Level:Superstar
Since:Jan 24, 2007

July 12, 2008 7:22 pm
Murcer was my boyhood idol growing up in the late 60's and early seventies. the Yankees stunk in those years. Who could you possibly idol?  Horace Clarke, Jerry Kenny, Ron Blomberg the Jewish Bomber, the wife swappers Peterson and Kekich. Not any of these bums. Murcer was the next Mantle, trhe next great yankee. Although he didn't liv ...(more)
Reputation:98
Level:Superstar
Since:Oct 30, 2007

July 12, 2008 8:12 pm
What a player, what a person!  I'll never forget the game he won for the yanks the night they burried Thurman Munson.  Bobby and his family will be in my prayers.
Reputation:73
Level:Pro
Since:Dec 17, 2006

July 13, 2008 8:18 am
Best wishes from all the Boston fans to the Murcer family and the Yankee family..
Reputation:97
Level:Superstar
Since:Sep 24, 2006

July 12, 2008 10:55 pm

I remember Bobby Murcer as a Chicago Cubs back in the late 70's. He was a gentleman.

Rest In Peace Mr. Murcer

Reputation:90
Level:All-Star
Since:Dec 22, 2006

July 12, 2008 7:50 pm
I loved him as a ballplayer and I loved him as an announcer. The country lost a great guy, my heart goes out to his family. He never got that homerun in the oldtimers game, but i bet hes hitting them over the wall where he is now, right alongside Gherig, Ruth and Munson. He will be missed.
Reputation:90
Level:All-Star
Since:Jul 12, 2007

July 12, 2008 7:01 pm

I watched that game in '79 when he won it for the Yankees.

A true baseball man in every sense of the word.  Baseball's loss is heaven's gain.

Reputation:87
Level:All-Star
Since:Oct 7, 2006

July 13, 2008 12:24 am
I was a13-year old kid & this is still one of the most memorable games I've ever been to. God Bless Bobby & his family.
Reputation:94
Level:All-Star
Since:Nov 10, 2006

July 12, 2008 6:49 pm
From the opposing team's perspective:  Bobby Murcer was a tremendous ball player and person.  He played the game hard, with class and dignity.  Not just the Yankees, but the game of baseball has lost a great ambassador!
Reputation:97
Level:Superstar
Since:Nov 10, 2006

July 12, 2008 6:18 pm
Very sad news.  Bobby was pure class as a ballplayer, an announcer, and in life.
Reputation:68
Level:Pro
Since:Jan 2, 2007

July 13, 2008 4:32 am
Bobby was one of those few people that ooze honesty and goodness. I saw him play for a few years and watched him in the booth for 2 decades. A salt of the earth, kind, beautiful human being. You will be sorely missed, Bobby! May God bless you and may you rest in peace.
 
 
 
 
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