Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Night of Memories, Laughter, and Tears

The 27th annual Thurman Munson Award dinner was held last night at NYC's Marriot Marquis. The Yankees' Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez were among the award winners. Proceeds from the dinner went to the AHRC New York City Foundation, which helps serve children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Thurman's widow Diane has helped to raise nearly $9 million for the foundation.

Some, such as the granddaughter Thurman never knew, were awestruck by his legacy. 12-yr old Madison was attending her first awards dinner.
"Is Grandpa really this loved in New York?" she asked her grandmother, Diana Munson.
Oh yes he was; still to this day. Amazingly, Diane Munson has never been to her late husband's locker in Yankee Stadium. With the Yankees moving across the street next season, that is about to change.
"To me, it's very touching," she said. "I want this to be a private moment in my life and in the lives of my children."
Another award recipient last night was Craig Biggio, the recently retired Houston Astro. A catcher, Biggio idolized Munson while growing up on Long Island, and attending Seton Hall University in NJ. When the Astros came to Yankee Stadium for an interleague game in 2004, Biggio made sure he stopped by The Captain's locker.
"The way that he played the game, his uniform was always dirty," Biggio said. "He truly was my hero growing up."
Melky and the Mets' David Wright weren't even born when Munson died, but both appreciated the magnitude of the evening.
"To be associated with Thurman and everything he did -- not only for New York, but everything off the field -- is just an incredible honor," Wright said. "I take a lot of pride in doing everything that I can in giving back to the New York fans.
Melky was also happy to still be in New York.
"I was a little worried about getting traded because I wanted to stay with my teammates. I'm really happy the trade didn't go through."
The Giants had a representative in Defensive End and Super Bowl champ Justin Tuck, who stopped by to express his good wishes.

Melky poses with the Knicks' Jamal Crawford, Diane Munson , and friends.

Sources - Anthony DiComo of and Peter Abraham of the Journal News.

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