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The Yankees have had a glorious history, but it has not been one free of tragedy. From Gehrig and Hunter to Mantle and Munson, disease and accident have taken many of the teams’ legends before their time. Cory Lidle was only a member of the team for two months, but his sudden and tragic death Wednesday fit into an all-too familiar history.

It was August 2, 1979, when Thurman Munson died while piloting his own plane. Munson had been the beloved captain of the team and his #15 is now in Monument Park and his locker remains empty to this day. No such glories will be bestowed on Lidle, a pitcher who played for nine different teams and offended both teammates and opponents with his candor.

On Monday, Lidle got into it with Mike and the Mad Dog, claiming that he had been misquoted in a story about Joe Torre. The fact that Lidle took the time to call in on his own to a talk radio program tells you a lot about him: he was a athlete who had things to say and he wasn’t going to let others speak for him.

2006_10_smlblidle.jpgThe accident touched players around Major League baseball and in both the Yankee and Mets clubhouses. Jason Giambi played with Lidle while they were both on the A's and they were teammates at South Hills High School in West Covina, CA. Chris Woodward on the Mets played against Lidle in California, was his teammate in Toronto, and talked to Lidle about their shared desire to fly. For Manny Acta, the crash litterally hit close to home. Acta lives in the Belaire and left the building around 2 yesterday afternoon. David Altchek, the Mets team doctor, had an office Belaire. Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson also spent time with Lidle while they were both with the A's.

Lidle, who first started his Major League career with the Mets in 1997, is survived by his wife Melanie and his six year old son Christopher.

Photo of the Detroit Tigers observing a moment of silence before yesterday's ALCS game against the Oakland A's by AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez