Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Bobby Murcer passed away today. I'm surprised, but only a little. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Christmas Eve, 2006, and a couple of weeks later, they announced that it was malignant. His prognosis wasn't great, but he was always upbeat, and eventually returned to the broadcasting booth. Last March, he had a biopsy; what they had feared was a recurrence of brain cancer proved to be only scar tissue.
But at the end of June, he was forced to cancel his book tour. They made it sound like he was just tired from the treatment, but I guess it was more than that. Less than two weeks later, he was gone.
I never saw Bobby Murcer play, but he was one of my favorite YES announcers. And he was a big supporter of Bubba Crosby. Murcer was pushing for Bubba from his first spring training as a Yankee. Even after the Yankees DFA'd Bubba, Murcer said on YES that he wanted Bubba to be the starting center fielder, not Johnny Damon. He thought Bubba would hit 20 home runs a year if given a chance. He said all the kid needed was some confidence, and implied the Yankees were undermining him by constantly telling him he couldn't hit.
Perhaps Bubba reminded Murcer of himself in his younger days. Murcer had a uphill battle, stepping into the shoes of DiMaggio and Mantle. He struggled a bit at first, but eventually had a fine career.
Bobby Murcer was an active supporter of the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), a nonprofit organization that provides help to former players in need. That would probably be a good charity to donate to in his memory, if you're so inclined.
Rest in peace, Bobby.
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