Ahh, the pine tar incident never ceases to get a laugh out of me. One of Bobby Murcer's most famous calls came 25 years ago yesterday (because I fell asleep and didn't post this on the right day), when George Brett absolutely lost his mind in one of the best-known baseball incidents of the last quarter-century.
The Yankees universe is a little smaller today: Bobby Murcer, former Yankees player and longtime broadcaster, lost his battle with cancer today at the age of 62. A five-time All-Star and a Gold Glove winner, he played a total of 12 1/2 seasons with the Yankees between 1965 and 1983, with time in the military, the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs along the way. His final game was as a member of the Yankees on June 11, 1983. He became a broadcaster for the Yankees after his retirement from baseball, winning three Emmys for his stellar work. He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor on Christmas Eve, 2006. Surgery to remove it was successful, and a subsequent biopsy in 2008 revealed only scar tissue. At the time of his passing, he was resting up for an expected return to broadcasting for spring training of 2009.
Thoughts and prayers go out to his wife (and high-school sweetheart) of 42 years, Diana Kay Murcer and his family. Bobby Murcer was a class act, and I was one of the privileged many who got to enjoy listening to his broadcasts and share with him his great love for the Yankees. His autobiography, recently released, is entitiled, "Yankee for Life", and that pretty much sums him up to a certain extent. Despite his cancer, his death comes as a bit of a shock because it appeared after the results of his biopsy were announced that he had managed to beat the disease. It saddens me to no end to know that I will never get to hear him call another Yankees game again. Somewhere, I'm hoping he and Phil Rizzuto can find a good game to call.