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Thurman Lee Munson
Birth: Jun. 7, 1947
Akron
Summit County
Ohio, USA
Death: Aug. 2, 1979
Canton
Stark County
Ohio, USA

Major League Baseball Player. Thurman Munson was born on June 7th, 1947 in Akron , Ohio. A multi-sport star in High School, He attended Kent State University on a Baseball Scholarship and was an All-American at Catcher. He married his childhood sweetheart Diane in 1968, 3 months after he was drafted the Number 1 pick, 4th overall by the New York Yankees in the June Draft. After fewer than 100 minor league games, Thurman Munson became the Yankees' starting catcher in 1970. Munson immediately established his ability to handle veteran pitchers, but had a terrible start as a rookie. Manager Ralph Houk stuck with him, telling him that he could win more games with his catching then he ever could with his bat. Houk's faith in the young catcher was repayed when Munson had an outstanding defensive season and wound up hitting .302, capturing AL Rookie of the Year honors. Munson's power was hindered at first by Yankee Stadium's gigantic left field dimensions. The infamous "Death Valley". He did hit for average and usually batted second in his early years. An outstanding fielder, with the quickest release in baseball in throwing out basestealers, he was fearless behind the plate. During the Yankees' rebuilding years, Thurman and Bobby Murcer were the stars around whom the team was constructed, and they were close. When Murcer was traded in 1975 for Bobby Bonds, Thurman became the true star of the team. During the Yankees' mini-dynasty of 1976-78 Munson was at his peak. The Yankees went from a mediocre team to back-to-back World Championships and Munson rivaled Johnny Bench as the best catcher in baseball. On and off the field, he was the leader of the team. On the field, he piled up his career-best offensive statistics (even a surprising 14 stolen bases in 1976). He hit over .300 with 100 or more RBI three years in a row (1975-77), won the MVP Award in 1976, and hit .529 in the 1976 WS and .320 in the 1977 and 1978 WS. He was also a six time all-star. Catfish Hunter credited Thurman for his late-season come-back during the Yankees' 1978 pennant run. A devastating clutch hitter, he was toughest when the chips were down. His most famous homerun came in the 1978 ALCS off Kansas City Pitcher Doug Bird. With New York trailing the Royals 5-4 in the 8th inning, "The Captain" hit a 430 foot blast into the Yankees Bullpen that gave the Bombers a 6-5 win. On August 2, 1979, Thurman was practicing touch-and-go landings at the Akron-Canton Airport with his newly purchased Cessna Citation. The twin-engine jet fell 1000 feet short of the runway during an attempted landing and burst into flames. Thurman was killed in the accident while two others were injured. He was only 32 years. The Yankees honored Thurman by retiring his uniform number (15) and placing a memorial plaque on the center field wall at Yankee stadium in 1980. Although he is not an official member of the Baseball Hall of Fame yet, Thurman Munson established himself, during his brief ten year career, as one of the premier catchers in baseball history. A bronze re-creation of Thurman's locker, spikes, glove, and jersey included, has been preserved in Cooperstown. The Sporting News selected Thurman Munson as it's all-time starting American League catcher for the decade of the 70's in 1998. (bio by: Frank Russo) 
 
Burial:
Sunset Hills Burial Park
Canton
Stark County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Section 1, Lot 6
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: May 14, 1998
Find A Grave Memorial# 2921
Thurman Lee Munson
Added by: Bobb Edwards
 
Thurman Lee Munson
Added by: Frank Russo
 
Thurman Lee Munson
Added by: TB
 
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The first Yankee to be named team Captain since Lou Gehrig.
- Robert Fowler
 Added: Jun. 28, 2014

- DENA ANN
 Added: Jun. 7, 2014

-Anonymous
 Added: Jun. 7, 2014
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