Ray Negron and The Yankees: The Final Tribute to Thurman Munson

Christopher Chavez@@Chris_J_ChavezAnalyst IIAugust 26, 2009

Aug. 2, 1979 will alaway be remembered as a dark day for all of Yankee Universe. The world received the news that Thurman Munson had died in a tragic plane crash. One of the people hit the hardest by this loss was Yankee bat boy Ray Negron. Munson was a mentor and a great friend to him.

Negron wrote down all of his feelings for the next five days in a secret diary and had it stored away. Negron kept his hard feelings locked up within him and now is releasing them into one final tribute to Munson.

Ray Negron is trying to keep Thurman Munson's spirit alive to the next generation of Yankee fans. His main goal is to make sure that the Yankee captain is never forgotten. Negron is the executive producer for the educational film Henry and Me.

Henry and Me is a collection of all of Negron's children's books and making them into one final ode to Munson. The film is set to be released in theaters in Tampa next March after it is part of the Tribeca film Festival.

Henry and Me literally has an All-Star cast, filled with some of the greatest Yankees past and present. Each one of these players has agreed to let the film use their voices for the educational outlet. Paul Simon was cast as the voice of Thurman Munson and Richard Gere as Henry.

The past Yankees in the film are Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Mickey Rivers, Bernie Williams, Goose Gossage, and Joe Girardi. The Present Yankees in the film are Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, and Hideki Matsui. Joe Girardi's daughter Serena makes her acting debut with her dad in this film as she plays a little girl on a train.

Then there are the Yankee icons of past years that well deserved their spot in this film; John Sterling, Michael Kay, Hank Stienbrenner as his dad, and Jose Feliciano the long-time Yankee fan.

Bobby Murcer would have wanted to have been a part of this great project. In the movie he is voiced by Scott Clark. Murcer will definitely be watching this film from heaven along with the other Yankee greats up there. One person that should be in the film, but I don't understand why is Yankee Captain Derek Jeter.

Jeter is one of the few Yankee captains in the history of the franchise and I don't understand why he would't want to pay his respects to Munson. Matsui's presence in the film is incredible because he is making his acting debut in America in English. He said that he has done this before in Japan, but nothing compares to acting in English.  

The movie is based mostly on the plot of Ray Negron's book One Last Time: Goodbye To Yankee Stadium and it is an animated film. It is the story of many Yankee greats, whether of the past or of the present, that gather for a final game to pay their respects to the original house that Ruth built.

The film is about a young boy named Jack that is undergoing a treatment for cancer and in his Yankee-filled fantasy he is guided through the years by Henry.

Ray Negron has a point when he says that this film gives kids an opportunity to get to know Munson in the easiest way for kids, in cartoon form. Cartoons stick in children's minds if they are made well. If the cartoon remains in a kids mind so does the memory of Thurman and other older Yankee legends that young people might not be familiar with.

Negron says that he will accomplish his mission if he sees kids walking out of the film asking their parents who was Ruth and Munson and Berra. he wants the kids to want to know more about these players. 

Thurman Munson is a player that deserves to live on forever. He will never be forgotten even 30 years after his death.