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92. Thurman Munson

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Thurman Munson

What more would Thurman Munson have accomplished had he not been killed in a plane crash on August, 2, 1979?  We will never know but prior to his untimely death, Munson’s accomplishments on the diamond were already sizable.

Thurman Munson was a leader on the field, the clubhouse and everywhere else in life.  He broke through in the Majors in 1970 and won the coveted Rookie of the Year and cemented himself as a force to be reckoned with in the catcher’s position for the decade.  For a catcher, he hit the ball well and consistently provided a solid Batting Average and showed moderate power numbers.  Munson was a perennial All Star and even won the MVP in 1976.  He was known early in his career for his quick release and he was very difficult to steal on.  In each of his six Post Season series, he never batted below .300, thus showing his ability to come through when his team needed him the most.

Had Munson not perished, would he have racked up career milestones that would have made it hard for the Hall to ignore?  It is possible, but Munson did not have a high On Base Percentage, nor was he really more than a singles hitter.  His main asset though was his leadership and his ability to make those around him better.  This should trump a few walks and doubles on most days.





The Bullet Points:


Country of Origin:

Akron, Ohio, U.S.A.


Eligible Since:






Played for:

New York Yankees


Major Accolades and Awards:

Rookie of the Year (AL) (1970)

Most Valuable Player (1) (AL) (1976)

7 Time All Star (1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 & 1978)

Gold Glove (3) (AL) (1973, 1974 & 1975)

World Series Rings (2) (AL) (New York Yankees, 1977 & 1978)


Other Points of Note:

Other Top Ten MVP Finishes (Won the 1976 AL MVP)

(AL: 1975, 7th) & (AL: 1977, 7th)

5 Top Ten Finishes (Batting Average)

1 Top Ten Finish (On Base Percentage)

1 Top Ten Finish (Slugging Percentage)

3 Top Ten Finishes (Most Hits)

2 Top Ten Finishes (Total Bases)

1 Top Ten Finish (Doubles)

2 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Batted In)

4 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players)

1 Top Ten Finish (OPS)


Notable All Time Rankings:



Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame:

1981: 15.5

1982: 6.3

1983: 4.8

1984: 7.1

1985: 8.1

1986: 8.2

1987: 6.8

1988: 7.5

1989: 6.9

1990: 7.4

1991: 6.3

1992: 7.4

1993: 9.5

1994: 6.8

1995: 6.5


Should Be Inducted As A:

New York Yankee

Should Thurman Munson be in the Hall of Fame?

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Definitely put him in! - 0%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 50%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 40%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 10%


0 #1 markj111 -0001-11-29 19:00
He was washed up when he died-look at his OPS.
0 #2 CLR 2014-10-12 06:00
Munson was a hall of fame talent. In his last season he was tracking to be 3.6 wins above replacement for a full season. He hit the longest homer of his career in the playoffs less than a year before his death. He's a top 15 player all time among true catchers and was superb in areas not captured by war - framing pitches, calling games, leadership and the post season play. His average season was 292, 11 homers, 22 doubles, 70 runs and 70 rbis in a low scoring era. As a righty at Yankee Stadium and tough hitting Shea for two years about two thirds of his homers were in away parks. One of just three catchers all time to hit 300 with 100 rbis three years in a row
0 #3 CLR 2014-11-28 13:40
Only two AL catchers with as many or more at bats had a higher OPS in 1979 than Thurman.

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