Like other signature moments in one's life, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. While Thurman wasn't a President, Prime Minister or Pope, he was, to a kid that ate, drank and breathed baseball (especially the Yankees), a great man, and it left an indelible impression on me as to how precious life is. Afterall, here was an All Star catcher on the two-time defending champion Yankees, not to mention a devoted husband and father, who had everything to live for, and it was all taken away in a flash at the age of 32.
As a young boy who watched every Yankee game I could or listened to the broadcasts on my transister radio under the sheets on a school night, Thurman was like a member of the family to me, along with Mick the Quick, Nettles, Guidry, Randolph, Chambliss, Reggie, Sparky, Goose, Bucky and all of those great Yankees of the seventies.
Like so many baseball fans, August 2nd is one of those dates that, when it comes along, I think about Thurman and that sad and tragic day. That afternoon when a part of my childhood died as well.