August 2, 1979 | AKRON, OHIO – Thurman Munson was a rock, a catcher, the face of the New York Yankees in the 1970s. Thurman Munson was indestructible, until this day in 1979.
Thursday, August 2, 1979 was a rare day off for Yankee captain. 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 led the Yankees to three World Series – winning two of them. Munson 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.
Thurman Munson was indestructible, until this day in 1979. Pilot error? It doesn’t compute.
Thurman Munson Bio