Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

A Park named Thurman Munson

For the last 15 years, Professor Bill OConnell from Suffolk Community College has basically been monitoring my life and has done extensive research for a documentary about where I came from in the Bronx and what led to my life in the baseball and Yankee universe.

The fact that next year marks the 50th anniversary of my life in this great game, Bill is finally trying to complete this documentary.

A part of the film will naturally be my tremendous love for the great Catcher Thurman Munson. A man that was truly a big brother. A person that made me understand why even though my father abandoned me that I didn’t have to be mad at the world. You see, Thurman went through the same thing. I can honestly say that I became a much better father than I would have been because of Thurman.

I like staying close to Thurman’s wife Diana through calls and texts. I just like letting her know that I’m thinking about all the Munsons.

I am forever grateful to Bill Oconnell because he knows how sensitive I am about my story and also how much I love the Yanks, especially those from my batboy era.

Billy has carefully dissected my story and found things that I had long forgotten.

Nothing has been too big or too small.

Just recently he texted me a picture of a baseball field in Hempstead Long Island. The sign said Thurman Munson Ball Field. I was shocked. This morning we jumped in our car and drove there to see if it was real, it was!

We were told that the park was renamed Thurman Munson Ball Field in 1980 by the town of Hempstead.

Ironically my friend Jake and his son Vinja were here from Ohio and they got to share this great moment of discovery with me. In the documentary, I get to explain to Vinja about the greatness and heart of the man named Thurman Munson, and today he got to see that a ton of people that didn’t even know him would honor him this way did do love him.

Through Bill O’connell’s vision and my heart, I hope we can do the same thing with this documentary which is called …Batboy … Tragedy & Triumph

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