Plane crash kills Yankee catcher
AKRON, OHIO - Thursday, August 2, 1979 was a rare day off for New York Yankee captain and catcher Thurman Munson. The Yankees played in Chicago against the White Sox the night before and wouldn't play again until Friday night in New York. Chicago's game would be Munson's last.
He headed home to Canton, Ohio after Wednesday night's game. Thursday afternoon Munson was practicing take-offs and landings at the Akron-Canton airport. He'd recently bought a twin engine Cessna Citation plane so he could get home to his wife and three children more easily. At 4:02pm, while making an approach to the runway the plane crashed about 1,000 short. An investigation determined the crash was due to pilot error.
Thurman Munson played 11 years for the Yankees. He was the starting catcher for ten of those. He was a seven time all-star who finished his career with a .292 batting average, 113 home runs and 701 RBI. Three times he drove in over 100 runs. His leadership was immeasurable.
- Also in the papers August 2, 1979 was the obscure mention of a former "fringe" ball player taking over as manager of the Chicago White Sox with the sudden resignation of Don Kessinger. The new rookie manager's name was Tony LaRussa.
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