Saturday, July 12, 2008


That word sums up best how we're I'm feeling today. The pain of dental work done earlier today doesn't compare to the pain in my heart after learning of the death of Bobby Murcer. Bobby succumbed to complications from brain cancer earlier today in his native Oklahoma.

For any Yankees fans born in the early 1960's, Bobby Murcer was your man. There wasn't a whole lot to choose from in the late 1960's. Mickey Mantle had just retired, and the team was already into a decline that would last for a dozen years.

Bobby was said to be the "next Mickey Mantle". An absurd assertion brought on by the fact that, like Mickey, he was from Oklahoma, came up as a shortstop, and was signed by the same scout, Tom Greenwade.

October 22, 1974 was a rotten day. Bobby had been dealt to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Bonds. "Bobby for Bobby" the headlines read. I hated George Steinbrenner, Gabe Paul, and Shea Stadium, which helped to end Bobby's tenure in Pinstripes.

February, 1977, Bobby started his way back east with a trade to the Chicago Cubs, and a little more than two years later he returned to his true home. The Cubs traded Bobby back to the Yankees on June 26, 1979, and that night he was in the lineup in Toronto against the Blue Jays. It was odd seeing him wearing number two, since Billy Martin now wore number one, but he was back and we were ecstatic.

June 11, 1983 was Bobby's last game in the Pinstripes, his spot needed for a young guy by the name of Don Mattingly. He then went up and worked in the booth. He may not have been Vin Scully, but the joy he brought to the booth, especially interacting with the Scooter, his Oklahoma accent, and his pride of being a Yankee, was priceless. It made us happy that he was still part of the team in some way.

December, 2006, the shocking news that Bobby had been diagnosed with brain cancer. I was especially stunned since it was also the same cancer my Mom had died from. Bobby had surgery and was part of an experimental program that combined a vaccine with chemotherapy. Bobby's contributions to the program ended today. To say he will be missed is an understatement. I feel like a part of my youth died with him. Those were the days when you didn't care about anything but playing baseball and made believe you were Bobby Murcer when you batted. And, of course, I had a Bobby Murcer official bat from Bat Day at the Stadium.

Bobby, you will be so missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers go out to Bobby's wife Kay, his children Todd and Tori, and his grandchildren. God Bless you Bobby.

- Drew aka Mantlemurcer

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