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Eddie Clarence Murray (born February 24, 1956 in Los Angeles, Californiamarker) is a former Major League Baseball first baseman who was known as one of the most reliable and productive hitters of his era, earning the nickname "Steady Eddie". Murray is regarded as one of the best switch hitters ever to play the game. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Famemarker in .

Early career

Murray was the eighth child of twelve and still has 5 sisters and 4 brothers, and has often quipped that as a child, he did not have to go far for a pick-up baseball game. The games were quite fierce and his older brothers never let him win. He carried that competitive edge to each of his next levels of baseball. Like another Baltimore Oriole Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray played little league baseball as a youngster in Californiamarker, but Murray played in the Wattsmarker section of Los Angeles, where baseball was a preferred way of getting out of the ghetto. At his Hall of Fame induction, Murray thanked his little league coach, Clifford Prelow, for teaching him not just the game of baseball but also love for the game as well. Prelow, an ex-Dodger minor leaguer, also worked his boys hard; making them run out every ground ball and threatening them with 100 yard wind sprints if they did not work. Prelow remembers that young Murray never earned that punishment. Later, Murray attended Locke High School in Los Angeles, California, where he batted .500 as a senior and was a teammate of Ozzie Smith.

Major League Baseball Career

Baltimore Orioles

Murray was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 3rd round of the 1973 amateur draft and had several successful seasons in the minor leagues. He debuted at the major league level on April 7, 1977 and played in 160 games for the Orioles in his first season. He won the American League Rookie of the Year award by batting .283, hitting 27 home runs and contributing 88 RBI.

Murray did not suffer the sophomore jinx, instead building on his successes. With the Orioles from 1977 until 1988, Murray averaged 28 home runs and 99 RBI and was a perennial candidate for the MVP award, twice finishing second in the voting. His best season was 1983 with the Orioles when he hit .306/.393/.538 with 110 RBI and a career-high 33 home runs; though a spectacular season, he finished second in the MVP voting. The Orioles also appeared in the post-season twice, in 1979 and 1983, and won the World Series in 1983. Murray's close-knit friendship with fellow Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. was highly publicized in Baltimoremarker at the time.

The first baseman electrified home-team fans with his remarkable clutch hitting. Chants of "EDDIE-EDDIE" often reached a deafening crescendo during climactic points in a game. As is true with other extraordinary batters, Murray's likelihood of getting a hit increased when runners were on second or third base and when he had fouled off several pitches during an at-bat.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Murray was traded on December 4, 1988 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Juan Bell, Brian Holton and Ken Howell and had three successful seasons with the Dodgers, knocking in 88, 95 and 96 runs. In 1990, Murray led the Major Leagues in hitting, but failed to win the National League batting crown, when Willie McGee was traded from the National League Saint Louis Cardinals to the American League Oakland A's. McGee won the National League title with a .335 average, but hit only .274 the rest of the season in Oakland. His season average was .324, .006 points lower than Murray's Major League leading .330 average.

New York Mets

Prior to the 1992 season, Murray signed a two-year deal with the New York Mets, for whom he played well despite playing for one of the worst teams in the major leagues. In 1993 he again drove in 100 runs, this time for the final time in his career.

1994-1997

From 1994 to 1997, Murray played for several teams, including the Cleveland Indians (1994-96), the Baltimore Orioles (1996-97), the Anaheim Angels (1997) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (1997). Although he no longer possessed the presence at the plate he had had in the 1980s, he was a valued and still consistent contributor for these teams. In the 1995 World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves, Eddie won the game with a single in the bottom of the eleventh inning off of Alejandro Pena to score Alvaro Espinoza. The hit made the series 2-1, in favor of Atlanta. On September 6, 1996, he hit his 500th career home run—fittingly, the home run came as a member of the Orioles, and also came exactly one year to the day that Ripken had broken Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games played. He retired after the 1997 season with 504 home runs, ranking him second among switch-hitters behind Mickey Mantle's 536.

Coaching career

Murray served as the hitting coach for the Cleveland Indians from 2002 to 2005. He was with the Indians when inducted into the Hall of Fame.

On June 14, 2007, Murray was fired as hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ironically, the Dodgers had just come off a 3-game sweep of the New York Mets and had produced 31 hits and 18 runs. Former Dodger player Bill Mueller was named as interim replacement.

Philanthropy

In 2008, Murray released a charity wine called Eddie Murray 504 Cabernet, a nod to his 504 career home runs, with all of his proceeds donated to the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Career stats - regular season

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG TB
3,026 11,336 1,627 3,255 560 35 504 1,917 110 43 1,333 1,516 .287 .359 .476 5,397


Hall of Fame induction

4 of the 300 inner city kids who came for #33's induction
On Sunday, July 27, 2003, Murray, along with Gary Carter, was inducted into major league baseball's Hall of Fame. More than 30,000 people heard Murray talk about how hard it was to get to the Hall of Fame. He said that he was never about one person, but about the team. He thanked the "sea of black and orange" in the crowd and then pointed to the kids furthest in the back; (more than 300 inner-city little leaguers had come from Baltimore's Northwood Baseball League) and told them that one day "they would be here too". His speech closed with the crowd chanting "Eddie, Eddie." In the parking lot out side the pavilion as the buses were leaving, Murray gave those Northwood kids 12 autographed bats, 24 autographed baseballs and 100 autographed Hall of Fame programs. He told the kids never to forget where you came from.

Accomplishments



  • American League Rookie of the Year (1977)
  • American League Gold Glove Award winner (1982, 1983, 1984)
  • Finished second in American League MVP voting (1982, 1983)
  • Finished fourth in American League MVP voting (1984)
  • Finished fifth in American League MVP voting (1981)
  • Finished fifth in American League MVP voting (1985)
  • Finished fifth in National League MVP voting (1990)
  • Finished 6th in American League MVP voting (1980)
  • Finished 8th in American League MVP voting (1978)
  • 504 career home runs (22nd all-time) and 1917 RBIs (8th all-time)
  • 1917 RBIs rank him first among switch-hitters all-time
  • Led the Major Leagues in hitting in 1990 (.330) despite not winning the NL title
  • Holds the career record for most sacrifice flies (128)
  • His season high for home runs, 33, is the lowest of any player with over 500 career home runs
  • One of only four players to have both 3,000 career hits and 500 home runs (others are Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Rafael Palmeiro)
  • Number (33) retired by the Orioles in 1998.
  • Hit 19 grand slams (third all-time, behind Lou Gehrig's 23 and Manny Ramírez's 21)
  • Career batting average in 238 at-bats with the bases loaded is .399 with 298 RBI and a .739 slugging percentage.
  • In 1999, he ranked Number 77 on The Sporting News list of Baseball's Greatest Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
  • Named the fifth best first baseman in Major League history in the New Bill James Historical Abstract.
  • Hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game 11 times, an all-time record.
  • His 222 Intentional Walks ranks 6th all time.
  • Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Famemarker (2003)
  • Donated the funds for the Carrie Murray Nature Center at Leakin Park in Baltimore. The center is named in honor of his mother.
  • Ranks fourth in hits for the Baltimore Orioles.
  • Ranks second in home runs for the Orioles.
  • Ranks fourth in games played for Baltimore.


See also



References

External links




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