Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes Hardcover – May 20, 2008
Rare Books by Legendary Authors
Discover collectible books by legendary authors on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Murcer may not be one of the most famous New York Yankees , but he comes across as one of the most likeable in this new memoir. Few young boys grow up to fulfill their childhood ambitions, but Murcer's one of the lucky ones, meeting his "lifelong dream" of signing with the Yankees at the age of 19 (1965 was his rookie year with the team). True to its title, the long-time New York player/broadcaster describes the day he was traded from the Yankees to the Giants in 1974 as a "nightmare," and how it "ripped his heart out" watching his beloved club win two World Series during his four-year absence from the team. None of Murcer's on-the-field stories are particularly notable, and most non-Yankee fans may roll their eyes at Murcer's somewhat overbearing passion for the team many love to hate. But the human side to the man shines through, especially when relating stories of his friend Thurman Munson's tragic death, and most importantly, his own battle with brain cancer. Murcer gives a glimpse into his struggle in the opening chapter before encapsulating what any family goes through in the book's closing pages. There are laughs sprinkled in as well, mostly concentrated in the chapter about Murcer's quirky broadcast partner, Phil Rizzuto ("WW" in the scorebook, in Rizzuto's mind, stands for "Wasn't Watching").
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“An inspiration.” (Newsday)
“What an incredible book. Bobby’s an amazingly courageous guy to go through all that and tell his story.” (David Cone, YES Network)
Top customer reviews
He came up just as the Yankee Dynasty was crashing, and left the team just before the 1976-1978 glory years. Still, he was truly a winner.
The Yankees retired uniform number 1, but they retired it for the wrong guy.
My father taking me to Yankee Stadium was out of the question. Similarly, my mother didn't understand the sport either, nonetheless driving me from Forest Hills, Queens to the battleground of the South Bronx was simply out of the question. Mitch volunteered. With the Yanks hosting the Oakland A's, in the bottom of the first Bobby Murcer fouled off one of Vida Blue's fast balls right into Mitch's hands. Mitch handed the ball to me. I still possess that ball, and part of Bobby Murcer. Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain While this book was hard for me to read, I can only imagine what Mr. Murcer's wife must think, as in the preface, Murcer wrote: "How can a man be so lucky as to find a woman so beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside"? Truly, "Yankee For Life" revealed to me more about Bobby Murcer and the Yankees then I cared to venture. Murcer explained that he was a baby boomer, born in Oklahoma City one year after W.W. II ended. He was signed by N.Y. Yankees scout Tom Greenwade at age 18. Since Greenwade was the same scout that signed Mickey Mantle, the comparison and hype to equally perform to "The Mick" started early.
Murcer was ecstatic with his Yankees signing, as the Yankees were his heroes, players that dominated the sports pages such as Yogi Berra, Robby Richardson Whitey Ford and Phil Rizzuto. Murcer had 2 brothers, DeWayne, a childhood polio victim, fireman, and unfortunately a heavy smoker who died of a heart attack at age 47, and Randy. Murcer's parents also died from disease. His father passed at the age of 57 from a heart attack and his mother, like his brother DeWayne also a heavy smoker, also dying from lung cancer. Pride and Pinstripes: The Yankees, Mets, and Surviving Life's Challenges This book is interfaced with corroborating comments throughout by his childhood sweetheart (who he met at age 9) and eventual wife, Kay. Kay offers fresh insight and alternate versions of all of Murcer's anecdotes. Proof positive of his love and desire to be a Yankee, Murcer was offered by the Los Angeles Dodgers a $20,000 signing bonus and paid tuition for a 4 year college education. Greenwade offered him $10,000. Murcer chose the Yankees, figuring all the postseason pay he could count on the the Yankees.
This was 1965, the beginning of the Yankee "Great Depression" where they wouldn't see post season play for another 11 years. To seal the deal, Greenwade introduced his trump cards, driving with Murcer to Kansas City to meet Mantle and Yogi Berra. Murcer wrote: "We drove up to Kansas City. The first of my boyhood heroes I met was Yogi Berra, just into his 2nd month as Yankee manager. I don't remember exactly what he said, I was so awestruck, it was all I could do to remember my own name-but the feeling I remember was all warmth and welcome. The Mick Then I met Mickey. He had that big grin, and he told me what a great guy Tom Greenwade was, and with his familiar accent, he made me feel right at home. The Dodgers and their $20,000? They'd been history from the minute Yogi said, "Hello and Mickey said, "Hey". Mr. Greenwade looked on, all smiles, as I signed my lifelong dream into reality. I was a New York Yankee."
Next, Murcer related how he held the distinction of being the only guy from the entire "A ball" rookie league, hitting .365 in Greensboro, NC., to be promoted to a 25 man roster in the major leagues in his September, 1965 "cup-of-coffee" call up. Although his next homer didn't occur for almost 4 years later, Murcer hit his first major league hit on Sept. 14th, 1965 a game winning home run against the Washington Senators. Next would come another season in the minors and with the Vietnam War raging, two years in the Army. Mickey Mantle Is Going To Heaven Murcer started the 1966 season as the Yankee shortstop, and instantly faced hazing by the Yankee veterans. However, that quickly ended. As Murcer wrote: "My hazing, mild to begin with, came to a screeching halt about midway through camp. After practice one day, Mickey Mantle stopped me in the middle of the locker room, put his arm around my shoulder, and stood there talking to me for a couple of minutes. Right then and there everybody-I mean everybody-stopped razzing me. Mick had decided I belonged".
After a terrible start, the Yankee manager, Johnny Keanne blamed Murcer and Joe Pepitone for the club's woes, and Murcer was shortly after demoted to the triple A "Toledo Mud Hens." Married, and now a father of 2, Murcer was out of the Army in 1969 and found himself the starting third baseman for the Yankees. With his erratic arm, this didn't last long. Mantle, with his bad knees, was moved to the infield, and Murcer took over centerfield.The unfair comparisons between Mantle and Murcer, along with it's attending pressure started immediately. They were both from Oklahoma, they both came up as shortstops, they both were moved to centerfield, they were both signed by Greenwade, etc. Murcer's reaction: "Me being the next Mickey Mantle? Please. Then Roy Said to Mickey...: The Best Yankees Stories Ever Told (Best Sports Stories Ever Told) I had enough on my hands trying to be the first Bobby Murcer". In 1969, Murcer had a year in his first full season that today would earn him millions. He hit 26 home runs, batted in 82 R.B.I's and hit .259. He improved in 1970 (so did the Yankees, they finished 2nd to the Orioles in the A.L. East) and 1971, Murcer appeared in the 1971 All-Star Game in Detroit.
In his first at bat against Juan Marichal, he slapped a base hit. Sadly, in 12 further at bats, he never got another hit in an All-Star game. His 1971 numbers: 25 home runs, 94 RBI's and a .331 batting average! Murcer chronicled his glory days with the Yankees when he was at the top of his game. Hilarious stories of Sparky Lyle abound. Murcer painted a touching picture of the life, times, and the tragic death of his dear friend and Yankee catcher Thurman Munson, as well as teammates Gene Michael, with his infamous "hidden ball trick" and Ron Bloomberg, baseball's first designated hitter. In 1972, Murcer hit a career high 33 round trippers, drove in 96 RBI's and batted .292. Designated Hebrew: The Ron Blomberg Story This earned him a one year deal of $100,000 a giant figure then. To start the 1973 season. Murcer recounted the quaint story of Yankee pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, who swapped families. They swapped wives, kids, dogs, addresses and cars. 1973 can be remembered by Murcer's battles with Cleveland pitcher and 1972 Cy Young winner, Gaylord Perry. Perry gave Murcer fits at the plate with his alleged "spitter" and Murcer ripped into him, outright calling Perry "a cheater."
The Yank's temporary move to Shea Stadium while their permanent home was being refurbished spelled doom for Murcer and his glory days with the team, as the N.Y. Mets ballpark and Murcer did not get along. Following a poor 1974 season (10 Hrs, 88 RBI's, .274 BA), on Oct. 22, 1974 Murcer was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Bonds. Although the Murcer's loved the city of San Francisco, Candlestick was cold, weary and unfriendly to Bobby. Even thought Bob Lurie, owner of the Giants offered him $1 million to stay, Murcer demanded a trade before his free agency came about. Lurie obliged him, trading Murcer to the Chicago Cubs for the reigning N.L. batting champion, Bill Madlock. Season of Glory Given a 3 deal and a no trade clause, Murcer had two good Cubbie years (1977 he had 27 HR's, 89 RBI's, and .265 BA., and in 1978 he had 9 HR's, 64 RBI's and .281 BA.). In June, 1979, Cubs GM Bob Kennedy asked Murcer if he would waive his "no trade" clause, as the Yankees expressed interest in reobtaining him. Murcer wrote: "I thought about it for maybe 5 seconds:"You Bet".
Back to the Yankees to the end of his career, in his first game back he went 2-4, and played right field. Stories of Catfish Hunter, Tommy John, Luis Tiant, Bucky Dent, Oscar Gamble and Reggie Jackson are all included. This is a treasure chest of Yankee memories! Murcer takes you to the end of his playing pays and brings you into the next stage of his career:as a Yankee broadcaster. Interesting stories of some very wild personalities are told, such as Phil Rizzuto's off beat comments and forgetfulness, Tom Seaver's wit, Bill White's intelligence, and Frank Messer's professionalism. Balls Even though both his mother and older brother died of lung cancer caused by tobacco, Murcer accepted a position with "Skoal" driving around a company car painted with Skoal ads, turning himself into a human billboard. Murcer wrote: "I had people following me home, trying to get me to pull over to the side of the road so they could get an autograph. Finally, after a couple of months, I came to my senses and said "forget this deal, here are the keys".
The hardest part of this book was living with Murcer after he found out on Christmas Day, 2006, that he had malignant brain cancer. Murcer fought the disease with uncanny strength, poise and even humor! Murcer wrote:"It can be nasty, it can be devastating, but it's still just a disease, not a death sentence. And if it's a disease, we can fight it. The Bronx Zoo The key is to never, ever give up the battle. Be positive. Have faith. Keep fighting, And this is going to sound kind of funny-maintain your ability to laugh". I ended this book with tears streaming down my cheeks, as I knew how Bobby's fight would end. However his soul is certainly with me, as this man brought joy and happiness into my adolescence that I will never forget nor stop appreciating. Bobby Murcer, if you can hear me in the Lord's kingdom....thank you! Tremendous book!
Bottom line? Loved it, quick read, and a must for any Bobby Murcer fan!