Murcer, Snow pass away
There have been some pretty notable deaths in the past few days.
Bobby Murcer, the Yankees’ All-Star outfielder and longtime broadcaster who never became another Mickey Mantle but endeared himself to Yankee fans in a baseball career of more than four decades, died Saturday in Oklahoma City. He was 62.
Along with succeeding Mantle, the “Yankee for Life” played in pinstripes with Don Mattingly and watched proudly from the broadcast booth when the New York Yankees returned to power.
“Bobby Murcer was a born Yankee, a great guy, very well-liked and a true friend of mine,” owner George Steinbrenner said. “I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife Kay, their children and grandchildren. I will really miss the guy.”
Murcer was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Christmas Eve 2006 after having headaches. He had surgery that week in Houston and doctors later discovered the tumor was malignant. Determined to be around his beloved Yankees, Murcer returned to the broadcast booth last year, drawing an enormous ovation when he appeared in uniform for the All-Star game and briefly this season.
Tony Snow, the former television and radio talk show host who became President Bush’s chief spokesman and redefined the role of White House press secretary with his lively banter with reporters, died yesterday at Georgetown University Hospital after losing a high-profile battle with cancer. He was 53.
Snow had colon cancer diagnosed and treated in 2005, a year before joining the White House staff. He found out it had returned after an operation in March 2007 to remove what doctors thought was a benign growth in his lower abdomen. The cancer had spread to his liver, forcing him off the podium for treatment. Snow vowed to fight the disease and return to the briefing room but announced six months later that he was leaving his $168,000-a-year job because he needed to recoup the income he lost when he left his job as a radio and television host. He later joined CNN as a commentator.
In a statement issued by the White House, Bush said: “Tony was one of our Nation’s finest writers and commentators. . . . It was a joy to watch Tony at the podium each day. He brought wit, grace, and a great love of country to his work.”
Snow was quite public about his battle, saying he wanted to offer hope to other cancer patients. His message to them, he once said, was: “Don’t think about dying. Think about living.”