A former Yankees great remembers his years in pinstripes and talks candidly about his courageous battle with brain cancer.
As he stepped to the plate at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day in 1966, Bobby Murcer carried with him the hopes and expectations of Yankees fans looking for the next Mickey Mantle.
Like Mantle, Murcer was a phenom from Oklahoma. Like Mantle, he came up to the majors as a shortstop, but was later converted to a centerfielder. And like Mantle, his first at-bat in Yankee Stadium was at the tender age of 19.
Bobby wasn't the Mick, but he became one of the most beloved Yankees of all time.
Yankee for Life is the story of Murcer's stellar career as both a player and as an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster. With self-effacing humor and down-home charm, he shares fascinating, illuminating, and never-before-told anecdotes about former teammates and bosses, including Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, Lou Piniella—and George Steinbrenner.
But no relationship was more significant and poignant than his friendship with Yankees captain Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash in 1979. On the morning of Munson's funeral, Murcer delivered the eulogy for his friend in Ohio; he ended the day by driving in all five runs in an extra-inning 5-4 victory at Yankee Stadium to honor his captain's memory.
Following his career, Murcer became a revered figure in the Yankees broadcast booth. From the best seat in the House That Ruth Built, he has watched the latest generation of Yankee superstars—Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mariano Rivera—grow up.
No one is more qualified—or brave enough—to choose his own personal Pinstripe All-Star Team of the last 40 years.
Murcer is no stranger to courage. On Christmas Eve 2006, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Five days later, after surgery to remove it, he learned that the cancer was terminal. In an uplifting, honest, and even humorous exploration of his battle with illness, Murcer explains how the love of his wife and his family, a deep religious faith, and the passionate support of fans have seen him through his ordeal.
Bobby Murcer may not have become the next Mickey Mantle, but he became someone he always wanted to be—a Yankee for life.