Baseball fans Sunday remembered former Yankee outfielder and broadcaster Bobby Murcer as an approachable family man who was known as much for his classiness as for the pinstripes he wore.
His death over the weekend from malignant brain tumor is a loss to both baseball and the city, said fans who turned out for day three of the All-Star FanFest at Jacob Javits Center.
"He was a true baseball and family man," said John Ivezaj, 27, of the Bronx. "He put others' interests before his own; a tremendous human being."
Murcer, a shortstop-turned-centerfielder from Oklahoma, followed in the footsteps of his hero, Mickey Mantle, and joined the Yankees in 1965. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs before finding himself again in pinstripes from 1979 to 1983.
"He was a true Yankee," said fan, Jesse Davies, 34, of Staten Island. "He was dedicated to the game."
As a player, Murcer won a Gold Glove in 1972 and was a five time consecutive All-Star player. As a Yankees radio and television game announcer, he won three Emmy Awards.
With this year's All-Star game Tuesday being hosted at Yankee Stadium, fans think it would be an appropriate time to honor him.
"He had more heart, more passion, and that's how he died: as a good, true Yankee," said Saul Seda, 44 of Astoria.
Fans Sunday also extolled Murcer's strong character, many recounting when Murcer eulogized his close friend, Yankees captain Thurman Munson, and led the team to victory later that same day.
"It shows the fortitude of a man," said Frank Ferrentino, 42, a little league coach from Dyker Heights. "He played the game with grace, determination and passion."