The Yankees Twenty-Five Most Memorable Home Runs

Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /
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#7 The Yankees Captain Leads The Way

At the beginning of the 1976 season, Yankee manager Billy Martin named Thurman captain of the team, making him the first Yankee to receive that honor since Lou Gehrig. The Society For American Baseball Research writes that Munson was initially hesitant about accepting the role but eventually agreed. Regarding his new captain, Martin spoke to the New York media saying, “He has just the right cockiness, he’s a born leader.”

A definitive account of this Game 3 ALCS home run by Thurman Munson is found in Pinstripe Alley  and is quoted freely here:

“Back in 1978, it was a tremendous drive simply to get over the left-center field fence 430 feet away at the old Yankee Stadium,  but Munson surpassed even that. The two-run clout came to rest in Monument Park, the first of only a couple in the 33-year history of the remodeled Yankee Stadium to go so far.

Thurman was indispensable and irreplaceable (George Steinbrenner)

In Marty Appel’s epic classic of Yankees history, Pinstripe Empire, he noted that the drive landed (appropriately) by the Babe Ruth monument approximately 475 feet away. More importantly, the two-run homer gave the Yankees a 6-5 advantage.

Given a second chance, Gossage did not let the lead slip away, even retiring the scalding-hot Brett on a fly ball before ending it. The tables had been turned on the Royals, and facing elimination themselves the next day, they lost. The Yankees were AL champions, and they won a six-game Fall Classic against the Dodgers to win their second straight title. It was the last October of Munson’s life.”