The Praise of Man Stays on the Field of Play, While the Character of an Individual Travels Far Into the Eternities.


I followed him throughout his career. He was touted as the next Mickey Mantle but never lived up to the hype. In 2008 Bobby Murcer died of brain cancer at the sage of 62. Most people know who Mickey Mantle is, even if they are not baseball fans. But Murcer’s name will not be remembered by most. He was remembered by a priesthood leader in a talk given shortly after Mr. Murcer’s death.

The subject of that long ago evening meeting  was “Fatherhood” and the speaker briefly went through the life of Mr Murcer. He noted that although Bobby Murcer had never lived up to being the next “Mickey Mantle”, and who could, he was showered with accolades of the kind of man he was and the life he had lived.

“All of Major League Baseball is saddened today by the passing of Bobby Murcer”…commissioner Bud Selig said. “Bobby was a gentleman, a great ambassador for baseball, and a true leader both on and off the field. He was a man of great heart and compassion.”

The Yankees learned of Murcer’s death Saturday…Visibly upset, players such as Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter and Andy Pettite spoke softly about how much Murcer meant to them.

“He touched everybody,” Rivera said.

“One of the greatest Yankees of all-time, one of the greatest human beings I ever met,” added Alex Rodriguez.

“Bobby was a great human being. He really zeroed in on the person he was with, and he was a lot of fun. A lot of class. He’s going to be missed” said Joe Torre.

“Just a wonderful person, a great teammate…, a sad day” Lou Piniella said from Chicago.

“He was a tough man,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said, fighting back tears. ” He was a great Yankee, but probably more importantly he was a great friend. He always put others first. He played the game the right way. He got what life was about, and that was making life better for the people around you.”

“I’ve never met a more genuine person,” Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay said, “What he went through the last couple of years no one should ever have to go through, but he went through it with such grace. He was an amazing, amazing guy. He was a piece of work in the best way possible.”(All the above quotes come from The Baltimore Sun, AP).

I guess what the speaker was trying to communicate to us that night, is that a man is better measured by the life he lives,  than the measure of the distance of a home run ball that he hits. Another reminder that the praise of man stays on the field of play, while the character of an individual travels far into the eternities.

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