Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bobby Murcer Dead at 62...

...Bobby Murcer, once the heir apparent to Yankee great Mickey Mantle, died Saturday, after a two year battle with brain cancer.

Murcer, like Mantle, a native of Oklahoma, joined the Yankees permanently in 1969 and played fourteen seasons, most of them for the Yankees, before retiring in 1983.

Murcer was a gold glove winner, five time All-Star and perennial Yankee fan favorite during his career.

Bobby Murcer who became mantle’s protégé, after “the Mick” retired, became the link to that bygone era, connecting Mantle’s legacy to that of Don (“Donnie Baseball”) Matingly’s, who in turn connected to today’s Yankee Captain, Derrick Jeter.

After retiring from baseball, Murcer became a regular broadcaster for the Yankees, working with both WPIX in the 1980s and later with the Yankees’ Yes Netowrk.

Murcer also was involved in the team as management and part-time coach as well. He was a Yankee vice-president in 1985, and individually worked with Rickey Henderson's rehab efforts when Henderson was brought to the Yankees. In 1987, George Steinbrenner hired Murcer to coach left-handed hitters. In 1989, he became part-time owner of the Class AAA baseball team in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City 89ers.

He was also a regular at the annual Yankees Old Timer's Game, playing his last game in 2007.

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