Tags: american league | new york | yankees | lino diaz

Munson's Spirit Will Carry All Stars Game in Ohio

gary sanchez, ray negron and lino diaz.

Gary Sanchez, Ray Negron and Lino Diaz. The light shining down on them "representing" Thurman Munson. (Photo credit Ray Negron)

By Tuesday, 09 July 2019 02:31 PM Current | Bio | Archive

When I arrived at spring training this year, I had heard the little whispers about Gary Sanchez, about how he wasn’t the same player as last season. I didn’t believe it for a second because if you know this kid — then you know his work ethic.

For one thing, he worked very hard during this off-season to get ready for the new one.

Since the day Gary made it to the big leagues, I've been talking to him about Thurman Munson. I have told him how hard Thurman worked.

Occasionally I'd give Gary a message from Thurman’s wife, Diana.

During the Yanks fantasy camp I told Diana that I was going to translate some of the positive things that I learned from Thurman and some things that Diana and I had shared.

After one of the Yanks practice sessions I got together with Gary and the organization’s catching coach, Lino Díaz. We just talked about Munson. We talked about what a positive person he was; about how, with Thurman, actions spoke louder than words.

We discussed the fact that after 40 years the magnitude of the man could remain so strong.

We also talked about the fact that all Thurman wanted to do was put the team on his shoulders and carry them to the finish line.

I remember after speaking to Gary last week and telling him how proud I was of him, I gave him a kiss and told him that it was from Thurman:

NegronXoXoSanchez.jpg

Walking away, tears actually filled my eyes because the last thing that Gary said to me was that he truly does understand the magnitude of what this man meant to this organization and also to New York.

Today, Gary Sanchez will be starting at catcher for the American League All Stars in Ohio, the state where Thurman Munson was born and raised. I can guarantee you that the Munson family will be watching in nearby Canton — rooting for Gary Sanchez.

Life unfortunately goes on with or without us. Yet, if you knew Thurman Munson then you'd understand why his spirit remains. If you know Gary Sanchez than you would understand why I’m rooting for this kid to carry on the legacy of great Yankees catching.

Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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RayNegron
Life unfortunately goes on with or without us. Yet, if you knew Thurman Munson then you'd understand why his spirit remains. If you know Gary Sanchez than you would understand why I’m rooting for this kid to carry on the legacy of great Yankees catching.
american league, new york, yankees, lino diaz
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2019-31-09
Tuesday, 09 July 2019 02:31 PM
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