- Posted July 15, 2008 by
Bronx, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Yankee Stadium's last at bat
I met Thurman Munson
I was almost 12 years old and attending a Yankees game in the summer of 1978 with my dad. While the Yankees took batting practice, I along with a whole bunch of others hovered around the Yankees dugout hoping to get a ball or an autograph from the players. At one point Mickey Rivers, the Yanks centerfielder, picked up a ball and threw it to me and just as I was about to grab it, an adult guy reached over me and took the ball away. Rivers just shook his head and walked away while the rest of the fans in the section gave the guy a really hard time but he didn't care and he wasn't giving the ball back.
Little did I know that my favorite player, Thurman Munson, just happened to be looking in our direction and was not pleased with the guy who took the ball from me. He walked over, glaring at the guy the whole time, picked up a baseball and came over to me. He asked if I knew the guy and I said I didn't and he said the guy was a real jerk. He asked if I would take a signed ball from him and I told him of course I would because he was my favorite player and he laughed and said "I bet Mickey was until a few minutes ago" and we laughed about that. Then he spent about 2 or 3 minutes with me and was a great guy. My dad shook his hand and told him he was everything a ballplayer should be and Thurman thanked him for saying it. Then he signed the ball and handed it over.
I still have the ball and will never, ever give it up.
I had ocassion to meet Thurman's son Mike last Spring and I can say the apple didn't fall far from the tree as Mike is a really good guy and he seemed pleased to hear this story so I thought I would share it with you.