On the weekend that the NY Yankees honored Derek Jeter, ESPN 1050 Impact staged their radio program at the McDonald’s Restaurant across the street from Yankee Stadium. This was the same McDonald’s that Thurman Munson used to eat his two cheeseburgers everyday before games at the old Yankee Stadium.
If he didn’t stop there to buy them himself, when I was the Yankees batboy and walked into the clubhouse, Thurman used to scream out “Ray two cheesies” and I would run like a madman across centerfield and through the back gate across River Avenue right to the McDonald’s still in uniform.
The guy behind the counter knew exactly what I wanted and would throw the burger and fries at me because he knew they were for Munson. On days when he got to the ballpark early he would stop by the McDonald’s himself and buy cheeseburgers for the kids.
On this day, through ESPN Impact hosted by Felix DeJesus, Savier Lebron and myself, we set up our show on the McDonald’s Plaza where Thurman used to sit and did our program right there. We honored the former captain and Tony Rodriguez brought out a ton of cheeseburgers and handed them to all the people there.
Mickey Rivers came over to represent his former teammate and presented a painting of Thurman and some of his teammates eating cheeseburgers that was done by sports artist John Pennisi. Tony Rodriguez will unveil it during Oldtimer’s Day weekend when Thurman’s wife Diane and Bobby Murcers’s wife Kay are in the neighborhood to see it for the first time.
Thurman Munson was just one of those good souls that many of the fans just don’t want to forget. There were actually some of us oldtimers there that remembered when Thurman used to sit in that McDonald’s and some were actually brought burgers by the cool Mr. Munson.
The McDonald’s Plaza was wall-to-wall people. All in all it was a fun time for the people that wanted to remember the legacy of Thurman Munson. On Sunday, ESPN Deportes dedicated it’s broadcast totally to the last Yankee captain Derek Jeter. The guests included Tony Orlando, Chazz Palminteri, Jose Feliciano, Richard Gere and Billy Joel’s band mate Richie Cannata.
It was appropriate that the last two Yankees captains would be remembered at this time. Leaders that were loved by the fans, by their teammates and at the same time led their team to glory.
The youngsters in the park were in complete jubilation and enjoyed the great festivities the Yankees held for the no. 2 jersey retirement that belonged to the captain Derek Jeter.
And outside the park at the McDonald’s, the hundreds of kids who could not go inside the stadium had a great time celebrating the legacy of their adopted home boy Thurman Munson the first Yankees captain since Lou Gehrig.
Weekends with Ray ESPN 1050 Deportes Impact: Saturday-Sunday 12-2pm. Read Ray on Newsmax.