Eddie Clarence Murray (born February 24, 1956), nicknamed "Steady Eddie", is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) first baseman and designated hitter. Spending most of his MLB career with the Baltimore Orioles, he ranks fourth in team history in both games played and hits. Though Murray never won a Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, he finished in the top ten in MVP voting several times. After his playing career, Murray coached for the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. In the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2010), Murray is described as the fifth-best first baseman in major league history. He was 77th on the list of the Baseball's 100 Greatest Players by The Sporting News (1998).
Murray was the eighth child of twelve and still has five sisters and four brothers. He 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. Murray played Little League baseball under coach Clifford Prelow, an ex-Dodger minor leaguer. (In his Hall of Fame induction speech, Murray thanked Prelow for teaching him not just the game of baseball, but love for the game as well.) Prelow remembers that young Murray was a well behaved player. Murray attended Locke High School in Los Angeles, where he batted .500 as a senior and was a teammate of Ozzie Smith.
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Murray was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the third 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.
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, 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. He won the Gold Glove Award three consecutive times from 1982 to 1984. Murray's close-knit friendship with fellow Oriole Cal Ripken, Jr. was highly publicized in Baltimore at the time.
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; that went to Willie McGee, who already had enough plate appearances to qualify for it when he was traded from the National League's St. Louis Cardinals to the American League's Oakland A's. McGee won the NL batting crown with a .335 average, but hit only .274 the rest of the season in Oakland, for a season average of .324, .006 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. Murray was one of several acquisitions the Mets made (including Bobby Bonilla, Willie Randolph, and Bret Saberhagen) to try to regain their winning ways. However, in Murray's two years with the team they finished with 90 and 103 losses, respectively. Murray hit his 400th career home run with the Mets early in the 1992 season and finished with 16 for the season, while driving in 93 runs and hitting .265.
Despite the team's struggles in 1993, Murray hit 27 home runs to finish behind Bonilla for the team lead. Murray was one of three Mets to hit twenty or more home runs that year, with Bonilla hitting 34 and Jeff Kent hitting 20. Murray also led the team in RBI with 100. This was the last time in his career that Murray hit the 100 RBI mark.
Murray reached the 3,000-hit plateau as an Indian on June 30, 1995 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome with a single to right field off Minnesota Twins pitcher Mike Trombley. In the 1995 World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves, Murray won Game 3 with a single in the bottom of the eleventh inning off of Alejandro Peña to score Álvaro Espinoza. The hit made the series 2–1, in favor of Atlanta.
From 1996 to 1997, Murray played for several teams, including the Cleveland Indians (1994–96), the Baltimore Orioles (1996), 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. 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; as of 2011, Mickey Mantle is the only switch-hitter who has hit more home runs (536). Murray hit a home run from both sides of the plate in 11 games; he retired tied with Chili Davis for first place in this category. This co-record has since been broken by Mark Teixeira.
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. The Dodgers had just come off a three-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.
Outside of baseball
In the late 1980s, Murray made a generous donation to the Baltimore City Parks and Recreation Department. This donation led to the establishment of the Carrie Murray Nature Center, named after Murray's late mother. 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.
On August 17, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Murray with insider trading. The SEC alleged, in a civil claim, that Murray had "made approximately $235,314 in illegal profits after Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories Inc. publicly announced its plan to purchase Advanced Medical Optics through a tender offer." Specifically, the SEC alleged that Murray had received a "tip" about the impending purchase offer before the offer was publicly announced, bought stock in Advanced Medical Optics because of the tip, and then sold the stock for the profits after the stock increased in value after Abbott Laboratories' plans were publicly announced. According to the SEC, Murray received the tip from former Baltimore Orioles teammate Doug DeCinces, with whom he remained close friends after baseball. One year earlier, DeCinces had agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle the SEC's civil insider trading charges against him in the same case. Murray agreed to settle the SEC's civil charges by paying a total of $358,151, without admitting or denying any wrongdoing.
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 farthest 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".
Murray was named the fifth best first baseman in major league history in the New Bill James Historical Abstract (2010).
A bronze statue of Eddie Murray's left-handed hitting stance was unveiled at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 11, 2012.
Career stats – regular season
- 8-time All-Star (1978, 1981–86, 1991)
|Eddie Murray's number 33 was retired by the Baltimore Orioles in 1998.|
- Finished fourth in American League MVP voting (1984)
- Finished fifth in American League MVP voting (1981, 1985)
- Finished fifth in National League MVP voting (1990)
- Finished sixth in American League MVP voting (1980)
- Finished eighth in American League MVP voting (1978)
- Most RBI (1917) among switch-hitters all-time
- 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)
- Hit 19 grand slams (fourth all-time, behind Lou Gehrig's 23, Alex Rodriguez'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.
- Hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game 11 times, an all-time record (since surpassed by Mark Texeira).
- His 222 intentional walks ranks sixth all time.
- Ranks fourth in hits for the Baltimore Orioles.
- Ranks second in home runs for the Orioles.
- Ranks fourth in games played for Baltimore.
- List of Major League Baseball Home Run Records
- List of Major League Baseball doubles records
- 500 home run club
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- 3000 hit club
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 400 doubles
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1,000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1,000 RBI
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of Major League Baseball home run champions
- "Eddie Murray Statistics". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "2003 Hall of Fame Inductions". MLB.com. 2003. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Excerpts from Eddie Murray's speech". The Baltimore Sun. July 27, 2003. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- Klingaman, Mike (July 27, 2003). "From start, kid had clout". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2009-03-29.[dead link]
- SEC Litigation Release No. 22451, from the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (August 17, 2012). Retrieved on August 23, 2012.
- SEC Litigation Release No. 22062 (August 4, 2011). Retrieved on August 23, 2012.
- SEC Litigation Release No. 22451, supra.
- Jones, Ashby. "Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray Hit With, Settles, Insider-Trading Charges". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Baseball's 100 Greatest Players. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- Singer, Tom. "Murray lets down the wall at Hall". MLB.com. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- James, Bill (2010). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon & Schuster. p. 434. ISBN 1439106932.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eddie Murray.|
- Eddie Murray at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Baltimore Sun Gallery and archive – Eddie Murray
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- 500 Home Run Club
- Video of Hall of Fame Speech
|Baltimore Orioles Bench Coach
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|Baltimore Orioles First Base Coach
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|Cleveland Indians Hitting Coach
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|Los Angeles Dodgers Hitting Coach
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