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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

www.NationalView.org's Note From a Madman

July 13, 2008

 

Yeah, I know that this is a political newsletter, but with the passing of my boyhood idol, Bobby Murcer, I felt I'd devote this issue of whatever it is I do to him. So here it is. -NG


 

I Miss Bobby Murcer

The worst time to become a fan of the New York Yankees was in 1969. That was the year which the New York Mets (who were the replacements for both the New York Baseball Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, both bound for California) became the Miracle Mets and the Yankees were, at best also-rans with 80 wins versus 81 losses. In a division of six teams (the first year there were divisions in Major League Baseball), the New York Yankees ended up in fifth place.

There were a few bright spot on the New York Yankees, however. The brightest spot of all was a the young man many called the next Mickey Mantle, Bobby Murcer, uniform number one.

Bobby Murcer was Mr. Yankee to anyone who was a Yankee fan during the lean years between the Mantle's Yankees and the Yankees of Thurmon Munson, Reggie Jackson and Ron Guidry. With an occasional exception, Murcer was the only reason to watch the Yankees of my early youth. He was my idol, along with thousands, if not millions of others born around 1960 who didn't grow up with Mantle, Roger Maris and the other greats who were leaving baseball.

Murcer was the kind of ballplayer it was easy to fall in love with. He had a charm which he brought from his home of Oklahoma City to New York as a nineteen year old rookie. We never read anything bad about Murcer in the newspapers because he never did anything worthy of Page Six noteworthy (even before there was a Page Six as it exists today).

Bobby Murcer's last job was as a Yankee broadcaster. But it was as a ballplayer that he made his impression on me. He was traded by the Yankees to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Bonds (the father of Barry Bonds), a pretty good ballplayer himself. He was an immediate all-star in the National League.

Murcer's next stop was in Chicago as a member of the Cubs. He put up good numbers there as well. With the Cubs, Murcer wore number seven as did his friend and mentor Mantle. He always said that Mickey Mantle took him under his wing when he broke into the majors in 1965 and swore that he would treat young players the same, if given the chance.

He did.

Bobby Murcer's last job was as a Yankee broadcaster. The current stars of the Bronx Bombers today all noted what a great man Murcer was; how he always had a smile on his face, even as his cancer made his life more difficult. He was, plain and simple, a class act and a great man, not just a great baseball man.

Murcer was traded back to the Yankees after their second World Series win in two years in 1979. He missed the championships but, somehow, remained a champion. When his friend and Yankee Captain Thurmon Munson died in a plane crash in early August of that year, it was Murcer and Lou Pinella who delivered eulogies for their friend. Murcer broke down and cried.

When then manager Billy Martin, who wore Murcer's number one as it had been his number when he played second base for the great teams of the fifties, asked Murcer if he wanted to sit out the game against the Baltimore Orioles on August 6th, the first game after Munson's death, Murcer asked to stay in the lineup. Murcer drove in all five runs as the Yankees came back to win in their last at-bat. Murcer also contributed a three-run home run earlier in the game.

Bobby Murcer died this past weekend of a brain tumor. The Yankees will wear black armbands in his memory.

I will miss Bobby Murcer.

-Noah Greenberg



In response to Jesse Jackson's gaff's, David McReynolds writes:

Poor Jesse, a real gift to Fox!



And Bob Driscoll sends this:

A Little Bit of Everything . . . just to give your blog some balance!

The Rev. Jesse Jackson's very existence in the public arena depends upon people relying on big government for their needs. Any Cosby talk about personal responsibility must be silenced for Jesse Jackson to survive. As for John McCain's double talk express, nobody is double talking his way into the center better than Barack Obama. From NAFTA to the legalization of marjuana for medical purposes, Obama has taken the term "flip-flop" to a level that nears perfection. One of Obama's tv ads chides McCain for pushing for domestic oil production, a plan that "won't produce one drop of oil for seven years". That's the same attitude that Bill Clinton had in the 90's. If something were done then, that oil would be on the market today. Our two worthless State Senators, Lautenberg and Menendez, representing the great Socialist Republic of New Jersey, embrace this foolishness with gusto. We're sitting on, by some estimates, 125 to 130 billion barrels of oil that we can't touch because of the environmental whacko extremists. Just what the hell are we waiting for? Just the idea that we might want to retrieve this oil would bring the price of oil down. Instead we watch Iran threaten to destroy Israel, once again, and the price of oil spikes upward. I can't wait for Obama to become President and watch the price of a gallon of gas fall to $2 and my 89 year old Mother's property taxes fall to an affordable level. This candidate does not understand the mechanics of the price of oil or probably corn and wheat too. But that's ok, he'll sit down with Iran and solve that problem, he'll sit down with the rulers of the Sudan and solve that problem, he'll sit down with Robert Mugabe and solve that problem, he'll sit down with North Korea and solve that problem, oops, sorry, Bushie already took care of that!

My congratulations to you, Noah, for your remarks on The Rev. Jesse "cut your nuts off" Jackson. As usual, you couldn't resist taking a dig at the right, but I know you and would not have expected anything less!


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-Noah Greenberg