Friday Night Open Thread

8/2-8/4 Series Preview: San Diego Padres
Yankees activate Curtis Granderson, and down Melky Mesa

Thirty-four years ago today, Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash near his home in Ohio. The Yankees had an off-day and he was practicing take-offs and landings when he apparently came in too low, clipped a tree, and fell short of the runway. Two others survived the crash.

Munson was before my time, so all I know about him is what I’ve read and heard in stories. This day passes each year and it’s hard to connect, but it isn’t hard to see how beloved he was. He wasn’t named the team’s first captain since Lou Gehrig by accident. Munson was one of the greatest Yankees to ever play, and it’s a tragedy any time baseball and death cross paths.

* * *

Here is your open thread for the evening. The Yankees are out on the West Coast to play the Padres and the regular game thread will be along in a few hours. The Mets are playing the Royals (Gee vs. Davis), plus MLB Network will air a game as well. Talk about either game or anything you like here. Go nuts.

8/2-8/4 Series Preview: San Diego Padres
Yankees activate Curtis Granderson, and down Melky Mesa
  • stuart a

    i was a big fan of thurmans…i remember the day well. before espn, cellphone, internet etc.

    huge news, remember the game about 3 days later Bobby Murcer won.. Stii have it on VHS tape….

    named my dog after thurman. Loved the way he played. no frills and all business.

    remember his homer to death valley against the royals in the playoffs when he was injured, huge homer…

  • trr

    I remember Thurman well. The ultimate gamer, he played like his life depended on it. A truly great Yankee whose canon lives on in the Spirit and Performance of Mo, Derek, and many others.

    RIP Captain Munson, RIP

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    I can never remember feeling such sadness around sports as the day Thurman died. It was like a knife to the heart of the Yankees.

  • jim p

    Great spirit on the guy. Like a bulldog about winning and playing hard. Definitely, as someone said, of the Jeter/Mo class of player. No hink, just baseball.

    Not quite ten full years as catcher with a 45.9 War. .373/.378/.496 line in the postseason.

    His career stats here:

  • Nick

    I was wondering if anyone has any info on Vidal Nuno . I know he injured is groin in early June and since then he seems to have disappeared !

    Any idea on is recovery?


    • SDB

      He’s been seen hanging out with Aaron Judge.

      • Pat D

        Which means he hasn’t been seen at all.

  • pc

    munson was as blue collar as they come and his kind are seen infrequently.

  • 28 this year

    Is Grandy coming back today?

    • 28 this year

      Never mind. He is back!

  • The Real Greg

    Lester continues to struggle. Gives up a 2 run homer to Goldschmidt in the 1st inning.

  • LarryM Fl

    Mike if I could describe Thurman to you. He would be a player who embodied a Derek Jeter in his desire to win. But he could win just like Derek. He played his position well. He was an offensive style catcher.You could use the word clutch. Think of Jorge but better offensively except for power. The guy would block the plate. He play hurt. He was acknowledged as a good team mate. He was the Yankee fans gift in the first round in ’68 after a few years of shitty baseball in the Bx.

    George loved the guy. The way he loved his own kids IMHO. They deserved each other in that they wanted to win so badly. They did not think alike at times but the respect was there.

    I resented Sparky Anderson because he didn’t believe Thurman was in Johnny Bench’s league as a catcher. Thurman earned his respect some baseball people gave it begrudgingly but after they played against Thurman he got the respect.

    We do not know if he would have played the rest of his career with the Yankees. But I’m sure George would have worked it out for him and his family.

    I still can see the Daily News carton of Thurman looking down on two little boys sadden about the news of his death and not wanting to play baseball that day.

    Captain who led by example of his play in the field. This type of captain is the best type.

    • Pat D

      Well, to be fair, Bench is one of the top 2 catchers of all time, and the other isn’t Thurman.

      • LarryM Fl

        You may be correct on your assessment of Bench and whomever but I still resent Sparky for his lack of tack or respect for an excellent ballplayer.

        • Poconos Adam

          Amen to that Larry.

          Munson was a classic — any catcher in the game today would be extremely happy to have his performance or grit compared to Thurman’s.

        • Pat D

          Definitely agree with you.

    • Duh Injuries

      ‘Interesting you mention Steinbrenner.

      George Steinbrenner adored Thurman Munson so much he offered Munson a chance to play for the Cleveland Indians so Munson wouldn’t fly home to Canton, OH for off-days and after games with his family.

      Munson used to literally commute between Canton and New York in his own plane he flew and was killed flying in. I don’t think he did this after every game but he would fly home enough that Steinbrenner offered to trade him to Cleveland.

      • LarryM Fl

        I remember this offer from George.

  • The Real Greg

    And Seattle’s beatdown continues. They have given up 10 runs in the last inning combined with last night and today.

  • vicki

    i’d never seen that video of reggie on the field, wiping tears away. particularly poignant.

  • The Real Greg

    As for Thurman, he was just a bulldog made of iron.

  • The Real Greg

    Red Sox have a team kind of like the mid 2000s Yankees. Their pitching is suspect, but their offense covers a lot of wounds. Ortiz hits a 2 run homer in the bottom to tie the game

  • Pat D

    A long time ago my cousin gave me the newspaper from the day after Thurman’s crash. He got to see Thurman play whereas I never did. It was his way of trying to educate me about Thurman.

    I still have it somewhere. I try not to touch it because I’m afraid it will disintegrate.

  • Pat D

    Watching that video is hard, especially when you realize that it wasn’t so much the crash that killed him, but the fire. Such a terrible, terrible way to die.

  • The Real Greg

    Keith Hernandez just absolutely dump trucked Jose Reyes

    • vicki


      • The Real Greg

        Well they were talking about R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays and he said this:

        ““It always seems those last place teams find Jose Reyes, don’t they?”

        • Duh Injuries

          It always seems an ex-cokehead who used to do lines between his anti-drug speeches to children has something to say about a guy who almost kicked his ass on a flight a couple of years ago and people in general.

          Keith you bought coke from killers or people who dealt with killers so shut the fuck up about Reyes who is a better player than you hands down and other people.

          • vicki

            reyes is NOT a better player than keith hernandez.

            • Pat D

              Let’s wait for Reyes’ career to conclude. Hernandez is overrated. Great glove, but just not quite enough bat for the position.

  • Mark

    Only 2 innings for Pineda tonight, hopefully this is just innings cap, and he isn’t hurt.

    • forensic

      If that is part of the ‘innings management’, then it’s getting kind of absurd to me. 2 innings and 29 pitches? Almost doesn’t even seem worth putting him out there if that’s all you’re going to do.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some sort of injury with how short it was. Of course, all the reporters are in Trenton tonight, so who knows when we’ll find out.

  • nyguy

    Mike – Thurman Munson was not only a great ball player, he was the heart and soul of those great Yankee teams in the ’70’s. I remember him well and recall the overwhelming sadness we all felt the day we found out he died. Thurman embodied the grit and determination and desire we want see in every ballplayer and the fans loved him for it. It was a great loss to the Yankees and to baseball. RIP Thurman.

  • Joe

    A-Bomb from A-Rod. Really hope we get him back for some time this season. Will help us a lot.

    • Duh Injuries


      I hope MLB bans him for life so the Yanks are relieved of his remaining $67M plus $30M in homerun milestone bonuses and whatever insurance they collect from him not playing this year, and anyone with a braincell would hope for that, too.

      Yeah let’s pay A-Rod $28M to produce .223/.267/.285 with 3 HR and 10 RBI PSSSHHHHH!!!!

  • Tags

    Still breaks my heart when I think about that day. He will always be my favorite Yankee, who played the game like I wished every player did. He was the heart and soul of those Yankee teams in the 70’s.

  • forensic

    Nice job D-backs. Way to bring your hitting shoes tonight. I think you better keep adding on though. I really don’t want to see a repeat of last night.

    • vicki


      and you see the M’s are teasing us again in baltimore?

      • forensic

        Yeah, but it’s the M’s so they give up a grand slam to McLouth and then pitifully run into outs when they’re down by 5 runs.

  • The Real Greg

    Again the Red Sox offense covers up crappy pitching.

    And the M’s have given up 17 runs in their last 7 innings.

    • vicki

      dbacks haven’t quit. but yeah.

  • Bruce

    I’ll never forget that day. I was just 15. My buddy Jimmy, a Red Sox fan rides up on his bike and tells me. I think he’s FOS because he’s a Red Sox fan, only to go home and find out on the news it was true. Couldn’t even comprehend the loss. Thurman was a great Yankee who helped bring respect back to the team when they won those two world series in 77 and 78. Let’s face it, they sucked from ’65 through ’75. He did our team proud. I’m glad to say I saw him play.

  • WhittakerWalt

    Raise your hand if you thought the Yankees were going to cash in on that opportunity.

  • WhittakerWalt

    “Sabathia, he hasn’t been killed or pummeled, but he has made mistakes at the wrong times.”

    Actually, no. He’s been killed.

  • Incaguy

    Thurman Munson was the best. A year before he died, he came to our Little League banquet in Warren NJ and signed autographs for all of us. That year, he had only 1 error all season. Great Hero…RIP