Now Broadcasting in the Field of Dreams, Bobby Murcer

Last summer, we Yankees fans bade farewell to one of the most beloved of all Yankees, former Hall of Fame player and Yankees sportscaster Phil “Scooter” Rizzuto. Now, less that a year after Scooter’s passing, we bid farewell to another Yankee legend, Bobby Murcer. Like Rizzuto, Murcer played in pinstripes but eventually “moved up” to the broadcast booth to call Yankees’ game for the television audience. He will be most sorely and sincerely missed.

As a kid growing up in the Baltimore area, I had been a hardcore Orioles fan. Brooks Robinson, Dave McNally, Boog Powell, and Luis Aparicio were a just a few of my childhood heroes and lucky for me, I actually got to see them play at Memorial Stadium with my dad. Being there was magical. It was like being in another dimension. But even though I followed the Orioles faithfully early on, I was a bit smitten by the mystique and legend of the Bronx Bombers. I thought they were giants (not the New York or San Francisco versions). Whenever the Yankees played the O’s, I figured every Yankees hitter would probably hit a homer in every game.

It was strange how the mystique of the Yankees was embedded into my conscience. Even when I was playing Little League baseball, I always expected that the team that wore the Yankee pinstripes to be the team to beat. Legends and myths have that kind of power over one’s mind.

As I got older, and after living in North Carolina and Ohio from third grade through high school, I lost my interest in the Orioles and following major league baseball. Football was my passion and I didn’t concern myself with how “the Birds” were doing. But all that change when I began playing pitch-and-catch with my son, Aaron. He got me thinking about baseball all over again and it was his joy and enthusiasm for the sport that got my juices going one more time. Just so happened, he was a fan of none other than the New York Yankees.  I blame him for making me a Yankees fan.  (He blames me for making him a Dolphins fan!)

It wasn’t long after moving to Connecticut that we began to take trips to “the house that Ruth built, ” Yankee Stadium in The Bronx. To this day, those treks are some of my most-cherished moments, not because it was about the Yankees or New York, but because it was about my son. He was in his element and his joy was evident.  Even at a very young age, he could rattle off ERA’s, batting averages, who was who, the standings, and a ton of trivia. He even knew how to pronounce Mike Pagliarulo’s name properly. (It’s “PAH-lee-AH-ROO-low”)  Fortunately, when we weren’t able to go to New York to see the Yankees in person, our local cable company carried most of the Yankee games on WPIX, Channel 11.  At the time, they were the Yankees’ main broadcast station. That’s where we got to know Bobby Murcer. Game after game, he and Phil Rizzuto would talk baseball, golf, birthdays, anniversaries, and a hot of nonbaseball-related subjects.  Scooter’s favorite subject however was about his beloved cannolis. Actually, during their time together, Bobby Murcer would keep everyone in tune with what was going on the field while Scooter would talk about whatever was on his mind. It was fun to listen to.  Great comedy and always interesting.  Win or lose, Scooter and Murcer would leave you entertained.

It’s been a while since we’ve heard Bobby Murcer’s play-by-play, but I’m sure that in that mystical field of dreams, if Murcer and Rizzuto are not on the field playing, you know they’re calling the game between cannolis.

Related Articles:

Former Yankees Great, Murcer Dies at 62 – New York Yankees

Bobby Murcer.com

Murcer’s Finest Moment – Newsday

Against all odds, Bobby Murcer taught us to keep believing

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One Response

  1. […] could recite the names and stats of every member of the Yankees, I was totally into the moment. (See my post on Bobby Murcer)  Although we ended up sitting in the upper deck, on the first-base side, it really […]

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