Year Inducted – 1993
Born in Akron, but moved to Canton at an early age. He played with the Triner Sports and the Four Winds Restaurant teams in the Akron Leagues before attending and starring as a catcher with Kent State University. He received All-American honors with the Flashes. A 1970 New York Yankee contract resulted and he began a fabulous career with the Yankee organization, winning “Rookie of the Year” in 1970. His brilliant play during his 10 year career earned him many honors. The Yankee Captain was the American League’s Most Valuable Player and the Sporting News “Player of the Year” in 1976. He was named catcher on the American League All-Star squad in 1971, ’73, ’74, ’75, ’76 and ’77. He played in the 1977 and ’78 World Series, set four records and tied six others. Thurman was truly a great in our game and his untimely death August 1979 in a tragic plane crash, deprived the baseball world of an extraordinary talent.