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As he stepped to the plate at Yankee Stadium on opening day in 1966, Bobby Murcer carried with him the hopes and expectations of Yankees fans looking for the next Mickey Mantle. Bobby wasn't the next Mick, of course, but he became one of the most beloved Yankees of all time.
Yankee for Life is Murcer's account of his stellar career as both a player and an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster. With self-effacing humor and down-home charm, he shares fascinating and illuminating anecdotes about former teammates, bosses, and the new generation of Yankees superstars—Rivera, Jeter, Rodriguez—whom he watched grow up from the broadcast booth. With candor, courage, and a refreshing dose of wit, he tells of his battle with brain cancer, explaining how the love of his wife and family, his deep religious faith, and the passionate support of fans helped see him through his ordeal.
Bobby Murcer may not have achieved the celebrity of some of his fellow players, but ultimately he was what fans always wanted him to be: a Yankee for life.
Murcer may not be one of the most famous New York Yankees , but he comes across as one of the most likeable in this new memoir. Few young boys grow up to fulfill their childhood ambitions, but Murcer's one of the lucky ones, meeting his "lifelong dream" of signing with the Yankees at the age of 19 (1965 was his rookie year with the team). True to its title, the long-time New York player/broadcaster describes the day he was traded from the Yankees to the Giants in 1974 as a "nightmare," and how it "ripped his heart out" watching his beloved club win two World Series during his four-year absence from the team. None of Murcer's on-the-field stories are particularly notable, and most non-Yankee fans may roll their eyes at Murcer's somewhat overbearing passion for the team many love to hate. But the human side to the man shines through, especially when relating stories of his friend Thurman Munson's tragic death, and most importantly, his own battle with brain cancer. Murcer gives a glimpse into his struggle in the opening chapter before encapsulating what any family goes through in the book's closing pages. There are laughs sprinkled in as well, mostly concentrated in the chapter about Murcer's quirky broadcast partner, Phil Rizzuto ("WW" in the scorebook, in Rizzuto's mind, stands for "Wasn't Watching").