Before his 1970 Topps rookie card. Before the All-Star appearances. Before he became the Yankees’ first captain since Gehrig and the World Series titles that followed, Thurman Munson was a college kid.
A photo capturing the late catcher during his college days is our RMY Auctions Photo of the Day. Taken in 1967, the 8×10 image shows Munson wearing a batting helmet as he takes a practice swing. It’s one of more than 1,200 vintage sports and historical photos being sold in the company’s Fall Premier Auction. It’s one of few photos known of Munson prior to his days with the Yankees.
Munson was a four-sport high school star at Lehman High School in Canton and had more than 80 offers to play college football. He was all-city and all-state in baseball and chose nearby Kent State to be close to his girlfriend (and future wife), Diana.
At Kent State, Munson was an offensive and defensive terror. He still holds the school’s career batting average record at .391 and hit .413 during his junior season, after which he turned pro and was drafted by the Yankees in June of 1968.
Munson advanced quickly and was named the American League Rookie of the Year in 1970. He led the Yankees to three straight World Series appearances from 1976-78 including two championships.
Bidding for the photo continues through Saturday at RMY Auctions.