Where were you on August 2, 1979?
I was here, in my house. I was soon to be 5-years-old – a few weeks shy of my birthday – and not really understanding why my father was so sad.
When the news broke and the world found out that Munson had perished in a plane crash, the mood in New York instantly became somber. Munson was only 32-years-old when he passed away. He may have been on the downward side of his career but he was still in the prime of his life. The news was shocking, it was sobering and everyone who watched the Yankees was deeply affected by it.
My dad, who was 37 at the time, just kept shaking his head in disbelief.
And it’s amazing to think that as of 2013, Thurman Munson will be dead longer than he was alive and yet, he’s still such a part of the Yankees organization. His locker remains unused, his number is retired and his wife Diana regularly attends Old Timers’ Day in his honor. And every year, the grown men who were boys during the summer of 1979, wipe tears from their eyes when Mrs. Munson appears.