Munson: The Life and Death of a Yankee Captain

Marty Appel, Author . Doubleday $24.95 (375p) ISBN 978-0-385-52231-1

Appel co-wrote New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson's autobiography 30 years ago, and his stated goal here is to tell the story that didn't get told then. The revelations, however, are few. We learn, for example, that Munson grew up in Canton, Ohio, with a father whose coldness and resentment bordered on emotional abuse. (On the day Munson signed with the Yankees, his father openly criticized his playing skills to team executives; years later, he came to his son's funeral and taunted the closed casket.) There's also, naturally, much more information about the 1979 plane crash that ended Munson's life, including the transcript of a lengthy interview with one of the survivors; again, however, the conclusion that Munson was a relatively inexperienced pilot who made fatal errors in judgment is not a new one. Otherwise, Appel covers familiar territory, casting Munson as a journeyman ballplayer who inspired his teammates with his tenacious work ethic, but didn't get along with the press and couldn't stand Reggie Jackson or George Steinbrenner. Excerpts from several other baseball memoirs and transcripts from archival interviews with Munson extend the story, but do little to expand upon it. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 07/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 375 pages - 978-0-7679-2755-0
Open Ebook - 239 pages - 978-0-385-52928-0
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