How did thurman munson die?

Updated: 4/28/2022
User Avatar

Wiki User

16y ago

Best Answer

Munson was killed at age 32 while trying to land his personal airplane.

Munson was frequently homesick, and took flying lessons so that he could fly home to his family in Canton on off-days. On August 2, 1979, he was practicing takeoffs and landings in his new Cessna Citation I/SP jet at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport. On the third touch-and-go, Munson failed to lower the flaps for landing and allowed the aircraft to sink too low before increasing engine power, causing the jet to clip a tree and fall short of the runway. The plane then hit a tree stump and burst into flames, killing Munson (who was trapped inside) and injuring two other companions. It is believed that the inability to get out of the plane, and the ensuing asphyxiation, is what killed Munson, rather than injuries sustained on impact or burns (the two passengers survived). He was 32 years old. Munson's sudden death was major news across the nation and especially sorrowed the Baseball community. Munson was survived by his wife, Diana, and their three children. The day after his death, before the start of the Yankees' four-game set with the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx, the Yankees paid tribute to their deceased captain in a pre-game ceremony during which the starters stood at their defensive positions, save for the catcher's box, which remained empty. At the conclusion of Robert Merrill's musical selection, the fans (announced attendance 51,151) burst into a 10-minute standing ovation. Carlton Fisk was stunned at the news of Munson's death. While the two were rivals both professionally and personally (partially due to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry), Fisk was upset that something had happened to Munson. Four days later, on August 6, the entire Yankee team attended his funeral in Canton, Ohio. Lou Piniella and Bobby Murcer, who were Munson's best friends as well as teammates, gave moving eulogies. That night (in front of a national viewing audience on ABC's Monday Night Baseball) the Yankees beat the Orioles 5-4 in New York, with Murcer driving in all five runs with a three-run home run in the seventh inning and a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. Immediately following Munson's death, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner announced that his uniform number 15 was being retired. On September 20, 1980, a plaque was dedicated in Munson's memory and placed in Monument Park. The plaque bears excerpts from an inscription composed by Steinbrenner and flashed on the Stadium scoreboard the day after his death: " Our captain and leader has not left us, today, tomorrow, this year, next ... Our endeavors will reflect our love and admiration for him. " To this day, despite a packed clubhouse, an empty locker to the right of Derek Jeter's, with Munson's number 15 on it, remains as a tribute to the Yankees' lost catcher. The original locker that Munson used, along with a bronzed set of his catching equipment, was donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame (Munson himself is not in the Hall, generally considered by most sportswriters to be a "borderline" candidate at best due to the brevity of his career). His number 15 is also displayed on the center field wall at Thurman Munson Stadium, a minor-league ballpark in Canton. Munson is buried at Canton's Sunset Hills Burial Park. Thurman is one of three notable Yankees who died in aviation accidents, including pitchers Jim Hardin in 1991 and Cory Lidle in 2006. Erik Jensen portrays him in the ESPN television miniseries The Bronx is Burning.

User Avatar

Wiki User

16y ago
This answer is:
User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: How did thurman munson die?
Write your answer...
Still have questions?
magnify glass
Related questions

What is the birth name of Thurman Munson?

Thurman Munson's birth name is Thurman Lee Munson.

Was Thurman Munson in the military?

No, Thurman Munson did not serve in the military.

When was Thurman Munson born?

Thurman Munson was born on June 7, 1947.

How many RBIs did Thurman Munson have?

In his career, Thurman Munson had 701 runs batted in.

When did Thurman Munson die?

Thurman Munson was born on June 7, 1947 and died on August 2, 1979. Thurman Munson would have been 32 years old at the time of death or 68 years old today.

When and where was baseball player Thurman Munson born?

Thurman Munson was born June 7, 1947, in Akron, OH, USA.

What are the release dates for Yankeeography - 2002 Thurman Munson?

Yankeeography - 2002 Thurman Munson was released on: USA: 28 April 2002

How old was Thurman Munson when he was inducted in the Hall of Fame?

Thurman Munson was 42 years old when he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.

How old was Thurman Munson when he died?


How many home runs did Thurman Munson hit in 1970?

Thurman Munson hit 6 home runs in 1970 for the New York Yankees.

How many home runs did Thurman Munson hit in 1971?

Thurman Munson hit 10 home runs for the New York Yankees in 1971.

What year did Thurman Munson start playing baseball?

Thurman Munson made his Major League debut on August 8, 1969 for the New York Yankees.