Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes

Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes

by Bobby Murcer, Glen Waggoner


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The final chapter of Yankee for Life, "Play Ball!", was unintentionally omitted from the paperback edition. We apologize for this oversight. Visit this link to see & download the missing chapter: http://files.harpercollins.com/Mktg/Paperbacks/PDF/YFL_22.pdf.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061473425
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/21/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 756,453
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Bobby Murcer enjoyed an outstanding seventeen-year major- league career with the Yankees, Giants, and Cubs, and afterward spent twenty-five years in the Yankees broadcast booth as a play-by-play announcer. Murcer died of cancer in July 2008.

The final chapter of Yankee for Life, "Play Ball!", was unintentionally omitted from the paperback edition. We apologize for this oversight. Visit this link to see & download the missing chapter: http://files.harpercollins.com/Mktg/Paperbacks/PDF/YFL_22.pdf.

Glen Waggoner, a founding editor of ESPN The Magazine, is the coauthor of Bobby Murcer’s New York Times bestselling autobiography A Yankee for Life, as well as the bestsellers My Life In & Out of the Rough with John Daly and Clearing the Bases with Mike Schmidt. Waggoner was one of the founding fathers of Rotisserie League Baseball, which sparked the fantasy sports movement in America.

Read an Excerpt

Yankee for Life My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes
By Bobby Murcer
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2008 Bobby Murcer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061473418

Chapter One

A Major League Headache

During the summer of 2006, I began getting a lot of headaches. No big deal. More annoying than anything else. I figured they were just sinus headaches. As a Yankee TV broadcaster, I put in a lot of hours in the air, at least six or seven flights a month. All that going in and out of pressurized cabins can really mess with your sinuses. Ask people who travel a lot; that's what they'll tell you.

I've never been big on pills, and the few aspirin I took didn't do any good, which just confirmed my thinking on the subject. The headaches would stop when they were good and ready: end of story.

But after a while, maybe a month or so, they started getting worse and more frequent.

So finally, at Kay's urging, I went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Mind you, I still figured the headaches would go away sooner or later; worst case when the season was over and I stopped all that air travel. Heck, they were just sinus headaches.

Well, the ENT, a good friend and old high school classmate of ours named Dr. Ronnie Wright, checked me out and said, "You may have an infection in there. For us to figure out if it's a deep infection, let's do a CT scan on you." (That's what they used to call a CAT scan, which is a three-dimensional, high-tech X-ray.) So at the end of July I had a CT scan performed at MercyHospital in Oklahoma City.

After the exam, Ronnie came back in to go over the results. He'd read them, the other radiologists there at Mercy read them, and they all came up with the same conclusion: nothing.

By "nothing," of course, they meant no infection, nothing abnormal in my sinuses. So Ronnie didn't give me any special medications. Just "Tylenol as needed." That's basically what it came down to.

But the headaches continued. And they got progressively worse over August and early September. They weren't migraines. I didn't get nauseous or anything. They just hurt enough to be annoying. And they weren't on just one side, the way I understand a lot of migraines are. They were mostly in the front of my head and every now and then in the back of my head as well. Nothing I couldn't manage, mind you, but by the end of the summer they were coming more often.

Then, in October and November, the pain cranked up a notch or two. But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was the fatigue factor that kicked in, big-time. For no good reason, I found myself getting tired, really exhausted.

That, more than the headaches, got my attention.

Okay, there's a little break in the action, and I'd like to introduce my longtime playing partner, someone I've known since I was 11 years old. Diana Kay Rhodes Murcer and I have been finishing each other's sentences for more than four decades. Her wise counsel and enduring love lurk behind every word in the book, so I think it's only fitting that you should hear from her directly from time to time as this story unfolds.

After all, in every possible sense, it's our story.

Later, when we found out what had been causing all this mess and set about fixing it, I asked Kay what it had felt like for that crazy Christmas season, living with an alien. And she just said, "Very unsettling."

I knew immediately what she meant. Not knowing what's wrong with you can sometimes be worse than knowing, even when what's wrong with you turns out to be brain cancer.

A few weeks earlier, when the headaches had come back with a vengeance, and the fatigue was laying me low, leaving me without the strength to play golf or do any of my usual physical activities, I had called our family physician, Dr. Hanna Saadah, and told him, "I think there's something wrong with my blood, and that's what's causing this doggone fatigue. I need to come and see you." So he brought me in and ran blood tests, which all came back negative.

So much for my brilliant self-diagnosis.

Dr. Saadah did think he had just the ticket for the headaches, though. "Here's what I'm going to do," he said. "I'm going to give you a couple of shots in your sinuses, and that'll relieve your headaches, believe me." So that's what he did: two injections on each side of my nose. They hurt like the dickens, and for the first couple of days, they seemed to give me some relief.

But then the headaches came back, and they wouldn't go away.

Finally Kay, God bless her, got up the morning of the 23rd and called Dr. Saadah at home. I guess the anxiety and worry had gotten to her. Thank goodness it had. That call might have saved my life.

Kay had already rebooked our flight to California for the following week; neither one of us was in any mood for travel. We were both feeling pretty let down that we'd have to wait for Dr. Saadah to return from his vacation before I could see him, so we decided, the heck with it, let's just go to a movie. I mean, we were so frustrated, so unsettled—there's that word again—that we'd just go to a movie and chill out. But the movie we chose had just the reverse effect: The Good Shepherd was bleak and depressing and nearly three hours long. (It only seemed longer.)

But the minute we walked out of the movie theater, I saw I had missed a call on my cell from Dr. Saadah. I called him back, and he said, "Bobby, I went into the office, and I looked at your records. Let's give you an MRI first thing tomorrow morning. I really don't like the fact you still have your headache."


Excerpted from Yankee for Life by Bobby Murcer Copyright © 2008 by Bobby Murcer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword: A True Yankee   Yogi Berra     ix
Introduction: A Dream Come True   Derek Jeter     xi
Preface: Yankee for Life     xiii
A Major League Headache     1
Boomer Sooner     11
Bound for Glory...     25
... But a Ways to Go     31
Welcome to the Big Leagues, Kid     41
The Great Depression     55
Changing Times     73
Life in Exile     91
Homecoming     111
The Long Goodbye     127
How Do I Get Up to the Booth?     141
"Murcer, You Huckleberry!"     167
Me and Mick     179
A Family Affair     187
Pinstripe All-Stars, 1969-Today     199
A Wonderful Town     215
No Smoking in the Dugout     229
Piece of Cake!     241
Happy New Year!     259
My New Team     273
A Whole New Ball Game     283
Play Ball!     301

What People are Saying About This

David Cone

“What an incredible book. Bobby’s an amazingly courageous guy to go through all that and tell his story.”

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Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm about the same age as Murcer, and grew up a huge Yankee fan, Mickey was my Idol. By the time I got to see the Yankees live, Mickey had retired. Bobby Murcer was the up and coming next Yankee star. I followed his career and the accompanying era of Yankee baseball in the late 60's and into the 70's. Bobby was the guy, and although he didn't live up to Mickey's numbers(who could?) he became a legend because he played his heart out for the team and represented the hope of the future. This book relives that excitng time when a team is in transition. Bobby's class and dedication to the Yankees make him one of the all-time pinstripe legends, without the Hall of Fame numbers. You feel like part of his family and vice versa during this great story of a wonderful human being.
laws on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent book by a man and former Yankee, who truly loved playing for the Yankees(It was his lifelong dream come true).Bobby Murcer had a great life with family, baseball,and broadcasting as mentioned throughout the book. He was not a quiter esp. when he was diagnosed with malignant brain cancer. I esp. enjoyed his stories and history about the Yankees. It was unfortunate that he passed away July 2008 He will be missed by all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never seen anyone love being part of an organization as Bobby Murcer did, he truly loved being a Yankee. I TRULY LOVED THIS BOOK! He was brave, and an inspiration for anyone. God bless Bobby and the Murcer family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SlapShot62 More than 1 year ago
Anyone who ever paid attention to Bobby Murcer as a player, broadcaster or person would assume any book he wrote would be filled with great baseball stories, fond memories, upbeat descriptions of others, humility and little controversy. That's exactly what you have here. Great book by a great Yankee For Life. Murcer will always be missed. Thankfully he gave us all some great memories and this wonderful book.
Yvette Fleckinger More than 1 year ago
Bobby Murcer was a great friend of my grandmother's. I recieved an autographed copy of this book. I immediately started reading the book and it is an absolute must read. I tecomend this book to anyone who likes sports biographies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a 16 year old yankee fan, so I never actually got to see when Bobby Murcer played in pinstripes, I only heard him on tv when I beagn watching games at the age of 4, until the time he stopped being a broadcaster. The man was a true yankee, whether on the field or in the broadcast booth. To read his book was a true joy and had me looking foward to each and every chapter, which sounds kind of out of place coming from a teen these days. Anyway, this book is a fantastic memoir of one of the best Yankees to ever put on pinstripes, and that is a fact.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bobby Murcer was my favorite player growing up. He was on the Cubs and I remember many of his great moments 30 years later. Yankee for life is written for anyone who loves baseball and a story about life. Bobby tells his story in an honest and colorful way.