Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

YES pays proper tribute to Bobby Murcer

(Credit: Watchdog)

I did not watch as much as I would have if I were not on vacation, but from what I did see and from what others have told me they saw, YES did a fine job paying tribute to one of its own, Bobby Murcer, in the hours and days after his death over the weekend.

After reading his autobiography, I'm not sure there has been a player in the history of the Yankees who more appreciated being on the team and associated with the organization.

Click below for a story about Murcer from a reader who was responding to John Valenti's story on Murcer over the weekend.Very good article, I read it online.

I think we feel a great loss with Bobby Murcer because any fan who met him felt like he played the game just for you. As a kid growing up in Cleveland he was the whole reason I became a Yankee fan.

My Bobby Murcer memory was as a 6 year old kid in 1970 having caught the Indians and Yankees in a doubleheader at old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. My dad had gotten me a ball to collect autographs on after the game from the players (Indians, I didn’t want any Yankee autographs). As we waited outside the locker room exits, the Indian player walked right past me like I was unseen. All the anticipation, all that time and not one autograph from them.

That’s enough to make any 6 year old cry and as my dad consoled me this longer haired guy walked up and asked what was the matter. My dad told him how I had waited all this time for an autograph and didn’t get one. This guy knelt down and asked me for the ball and told us to wait right there.

Ten minutes later this young man comes walking back out to us with my baseball autographed by the entire Yankee team and a Yankee hat. He told me, “We’re not the Cleveland Indians but we’re still pretty good. Maybe you should be a Yankee” and put the hat on my head. We didn’t realize until he introduced himself to my dad that this was Bobby Murcer.

What a wonderful human being, a wonderful soul to go out of his way for a kid he didn’t know the way he did. I’ve been a Yankee fan ever since.

That story is one that anyone who knows me has heard, and there’s a follow up that’s cool too. A few years back a friend of mine here in Cleveland who used to be in broadcasting got to meet Bobby and related my memory to him. Without missing a beat Bobby said, “Oh I remember that kid, how did he turn out? Is he a Yankee fan?” Of course he didn’t remember me, the point is he still knew how to make a fan feel special.

Thanks for listening. I wonder how many others became Yankee fans because of Bobby Murcer. He was a good man.

Chip Hautala

Tags: yes , yankees

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