By: Aris Sakellaridis
On Sunday, November 3rd, the New York State Baseball Hall of Fame will induct the class of 2019. The event will take place in Troy, New York and the New York Yankees will be well represented with a number of inductees.
Leading the newly elected troops will be the spirit of Thurman Munson, who perished 40 years ago in an airplane accident. The beloved captain will forever be embraced by New Yorkers for his grit and clutch performances on the field, and his charitable contributions when the games were over.
Fan favorite Bobby Murcer will also be honored. His humbleness made him our superstar throughout the tough years when the Yankees dwelled in the standings. The 5-time All-Star was all Yankee fans had to cheer for as Murcer brought them hope during those lean years. He later became a broadcaster for the team until his passing in 2008.
“Louisiana Lightning,” Ron Guidry, will appear, and fans will get to reminisce of what a pitcher was made of before pitch counts and innings limits took over the game. Guidry has left his share of memories like his 18-strikeout game, his 25-3 record of 1978 and his devastating slider that would have his catcher Munson constantly smiling after every swing and miss.
The most famous trainer in all of sports, the legendary Gene Monahan, will also step to the podium. “Geno” began his Yankees’ career as a batboy in 1962 and started his athletic trainer duties in 1973, where he held that title for 38 years. The beloved Geno was honored by the team in 2011 at their annual Oldtimers Day, which is usually reserved for players. He was also portrayed by another former batboy, Ray Negron, in the movie “The Joe Torre Story.”
That brings us to NY Sportsday’s own Ray Negron. The charitable writer started his tenure in baseball as a batboy in a well-known New York story. Negron has held numerous positions in his 46-year baseball career, some of which include batting practice pitcher, video coordinator, peacemaker during those “Bronx Zoo” years, to his current role of Community Advisor. His charity contributions are countless, along with his knack of making dreamer’s dreams come true.
NY Yankees co-chairperson Hank Steinbrenner had this to say about the inductees, “Munson, Guidry, Murcer are obvious choices for their accomplishments and memories they created. Geno was a great, great trainer who continues to leave his stamp on the team with the way he tutored current trainer Steve Donahue. Ray Negron, who has been with us a long, long time, represents the Yankees very, very well and that is the bottom line. He does a lot for charities and that’s very important.”
Others being inducted are Mets broadcasters Ron Darling and Howie Rose, Miracle Mets outfielder Art Shamsky, along with ex- Major Leaguer Rich Aurilia. Hall of Fame writer Bill Madden, who’s currently with the N.Y. Daily News and has been telling it like it is on the current state of baseball, especially in his most recent columns, will also be inducted, along with Matt Senk, head coach of Stony Brook University since 1991, and legendary amateur baseball coach Lou Santos.
The NYS Baseball Hall of Fame was founded by Executive Director Rene LeRoux in 2010. It is located in Ballston Lake, N.Y