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Thurman Munson

American baseball catcher

Died when: 32 years 56 days (385 months)
Star Sign: Gemini


Thurman Munson

Thurman Lee Munson (June 7, 1947 – August 2, 1979) was an American professional baseball catcher who played 11 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the New York Yankees, from 1969 until his death in 1979.

A seven-time All-Star, Munson had a career batting average of .292 with 113 home runs and 701 runs batted in (RBI).Known for his outstanding fielding, he won the Gold Glove Award in three consecutive years (1973–75).

Born in Akron, Ohio, Munson was selected as the fourth pick of the 1968 MLB draft and was named as the catcher on the 1968 College Baseball All-American Team.

Munson hit over .300 in his two seasons in the minor leagues, establishing himself as a top prospect.He became the Yankees' starting catcher late in the 1969 season, and after his first complete season in 1970, in which he batted .302, he was voted American League (AL) Rookie of the Year.

Considered the "heart and soul" of the Yankees, Munson was named captain of the Yankees in 1976, the team's first since Lou Gehrig.

That same year, he won the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.As captain, Munson helped lead the Yankees to three consecutive World Series appearances from 1976 to 1978, winning championships in the latter two years.

He is the first player in baseball history to be named a College Baseball All-American and then in MLB win a Rookie of the Year Award, MVP Award, Gold Glove Award, and World Series championship.

He is also the only catcher in MLB postseason history to record at least a .300+ batting average (.357), 20 RBIs (22), and 20 defensive caught stealings (24).

On August 2, 1979, Munson died in a crash while practicing landings in his aircraft at Akron–Canton Airport.The Yankees honored him by immediately retiring his uniform 15, and dedicating a plaque to him in Monument Park.

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