Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Thurman Munson!!!
There are very few names in the baseball world that more consistently bring smiles to people’s faces than that of Mr. Thurman Thomas.
Personally, I know very little about Munson and his career. It’s not by choice, but he starred in an era in which I gravitated to learning about other stars. So, while I cannot say that I don’t value what he brought to the game, I can say that I really don’t know how he got elevated to the level of likability and collectability that he has reached. To this day, I am still surprised that collectors would value an early 70’s card of Munson over a card of such guys as Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, and Johnny Bench. But, they do!!
I don’t think that I am exaggerating when I say that Thurman Munson is one of the most collected former players of the last 50 years. His cards maintain a value like few others – and they are almost never cheap.
It could be the fact that he played for the winningest franchise in baseball history – the New York Yankees.
But, it could be more than that too…
It could be that he played catcher – the heart and sole of a team’s defense.
But, it could be more than that as well…
It also could be that Munson looked like an everyday man – 5′ 11″ tall and weighing 190 pounds, often with messy hair, some sort of facial hair, and a dirty uniform.
And it could still be more than that…
Munson passed away at the age of 32. He was a Yankee for 11 seasons and is the owner of 2 World Series championship rings. Maybe it is the ‘Could Have Been’ aspect of Munson that intrigues the fans and collectors.
Either way you slice it, Thurman Munson is beloved – inside and outside of New York City.
And the kind of love shown to him makes me immediately think of him and the Hall of Fame. So, tonight I ask you to cast your vote.
When examining Munson’s career, it is obviously incomplete – and while there is a slight dip in performance during his final season, Munson at age 32 was still very productive.
Munson connected for 1,558 career hits and has a lifetime batting average of .292. His power numbers were good for a catcher, but not elite – 229 doubles, 113 HR’s, 701 RBI, and 696 runs scored. Munson had an impressive on-base percentage of .346 and a career tally of 2,190 total bases. Munson was a 7-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove winner, Rookie Of The Year, and League MVP.
But, does that gain you Hall of Fame entry??
Not for me. While the numbers, for a catcher, are impressive they are not even close to what other notable Yankee catchers accomplished (Berra & Dickey). I would however, give Munson consideration because he offered up a solid offensive and defensive game – but ultimately, his career numbers fall too short of elite for him to capture my vote.
How about you? Where do you lie in this debate – Is it a ‘Yea’ or a ‘Nea’???