The sad death of Cory Lidle in a plane crash has reminded many baseball fans of the 1979 death of another Yankee, Thurman Munson, in a single-plane crash. Lidle was still a Yankee newcomer, having joined the team this summer. Munson was a baseball player of the old school, mustachioed, burly and competitive, and he was also the first Yankee to be designated team captain since the legendary Lou Gehrig in the 1930s.
Munson crashed while practicing takeoffs and landings in his private jet at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport in Ohio. (His two passengers survived.) Munson’s death shook the team and its fans. The Yankees didn’t win another World Series until another Yankee captain-to-be, Derek Jeter, led them to the title in 1996.
Here’s a remembrance of Munson from the Yankee official site, and a detailed report on his last hours from the New York Daily News. Munson also has an official site administered by CMG Worldwide, the same people who handle the official sites for the estates of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and another plane crash victim, Buddy Holly.