Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

Thurman on his 75th birthday is honored by Urshela and number 15

This morning my wife Theresa asked me how would your life been different had Thurman Munson had a full life.

I thought that was an incredible question. It actually made me cry because it was so profound.

If you really knew this incredible person then you would know that he would not go out of his way to make a difference, it would just happen because this was a man that was on automatic pilot.

In the immortal words of The Beach Boys…. God Only Knows… I will say that again …knowing this man, he would have impacted many individuals and in turn impacted the world without realizing what he was doing. Thurman has the most incredible and beautiful wife. Diana Munson is the most incredible example of what strength is. At Thurman’s funeral, I broke down and started to hyperventilate and it took George Steinbrenner to hold me up, however, it was Diana’s words to me that day that helped me get through that day.

Forty-three years later she continues to be the tower of strength because she knows that is how Thurman would want it. She has been a part of a charity in New York called A.H.R.C. It helps young people and families dealing with difficult psychological problems etc. Through this program, many people have come to the realization that they too are somebody. If you knew Thurman then you would say that he would be telling these people the same thing.

Tonight the Yankees play the Minnesota Twins. Former Yanks 3rd baseman Gio Urshela plays for the first time against his former team. He will be wearing uniform number fifteen to honor Thurman. He first learned about Thurman as a Yankee when he was doing incredible volunteer work in the Bronx. When he won the Thurman Munson Humanitarian Award for those efforts he got to learn more about this man and got to understand the magnitude of what a Yankee is supposed to be.

Today I told Gio that it is not a coincidence that he is playing against the Yankees for the first time on Thurman’s 75th birthday. Gio said that he absolutely knows that. He said that he is proud to wear Thurman’s number and tonight will be playing for number 15.

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