Thurman Munson died in an airplane crash at the Akron-Canton Regional Airport on August 2, 1979.
At the time, Munson was the starting catcher and team captain for the New York Yankees, who had won the World Series in both 1977 and 1978. Munson himself had been named 1976 American League MVP, leading the Yanks to the World Series that fall, too, where they lost the “Big Red Machine” Cincinnati Reds.
In his 11th big league season, Munson had earned his pilots license the previous offseason, purchasing a private plane so he could fly home to Canton, Ohio, on the Yankees’ off days.
On the fateful day, crashed into trees while practicing, and perished in the resultant fire. His two passengers survived.
Though Munson remains a fan favorite, he has yet to be elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.