Eddie Murray: The Hall Of Famer's Mets Years (1992-1993)

Eddie Clarence Murray was born on February 24, 1956, in Los Angeles, California. He was one of twelve children & was always playing baseball with his four brothers. He played Little League & at his Hall of Fame speech thanked his Little League coach for teaching him a love for the game.

At Locke high school in South L.A. Murray was a teammate with non-other than future Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. 

Steady Eddie was drafted out of high school in the third round of the 1973 draft by the Baltimore Orioles. 

The six-foot two switch hitting first baseman/ designated hitter went on to become one of the game's most productive players of his era, making it to Cooperstown. 

He would play 12 years with the Baltimore Orioles, getting to seven All Star games, and win three straight gold glove awards (1982-1984). 

He was amongst the league leaders in most offensive categories throughout his career, including RBIs 12 times & HRs eight times. He would hit 25 or more HRs twelve times, Murray would drive in over 100 runs six times, including four straight seasons (1982-1985). 

He would drive in over 90 runs twelve times, score over 100 runs six times, bat over .300 six times & hit 30 or more doubles seven times. 

He won the 1977 Rookie of the Year Award, Hitting 27 HRs with 29 doubles & 88 RBIs and batting .288. In 1979 he helped lead his club to the World Series hitting 25 HRs with 30 doubles 72 walks a .369 on base % & 99 RBIs while batting .295 on the season. 

1979 Post Season- ALCS: In the ALCS against the California Angels, he hit .417 having a big Game #2 in Baltimore. That night he hit a three run HR off the Angel’s Mark Clear while driving in another run later in the game, as the O’s won it 9-8. 

1979 World Series: He struggled in the World Series going 4-30. In the Game #2 loss at Pittsburgh, he drove in both Orioles runs, as he hit a solo HR off Bert Blyleven & drove in another run with an RBI double. The Pirates won the series in seven games.

After the Championship: In 1980 he drove in 116 runs while hitting 32 HRs (both 5th in the AL) batting an even .300. In the strike shortened 1981 season he led the league in both HRs (22) & RBIs (78). 

It was the only year he led the league in any significant stats with the exception of 1984 when he led in on base % (.410) & walks (107). 

That year he made his second All Star appearance & the first of six straight All-Star games through 1986. Defensively he led the league in fielding % (.999) & did the same in 1982 (.997%). 

Defensively the three-time Gold Glover, led the league in fielding three times, assists & put outs three times as well as errors twice. He continued his hitting in 1982 with 32 HRs (5th in the AL) 110 RBIs (6th in the AL) posting a career best .316 average up to that point. That year he led the league for the first of three times in intentional walks (18). 

Orioles 1983 Championship season: Murray hit 33 HRs (4th in the AL) drove in 111 runs (5th in the AL) and batted .306. He & rookie Cal Ripken were the legendary faces of the franchise.

1983 Post Season- ALCS: In the ALCS against the White Sox, after going hitless in the first two games he hit a Game #3, three run HR off Richard Dotson in Orioles 11-1 win. Overall, he went 4-15 with three walks & three RBIs in the series.

1983 World Series: In the World Series win against the Philadelphia Phillies, he collected a hit in Game #1 & Game #4. In the Orioles Game #5 Series clincher at Philadelphia, he hit two HRs off Charles Hudson & drove in three runs in the 5-0 win.

Overall, he batted. 250 in the Series 5-20 with a walk two runs scored & three RBIs.

During his time in Baltimore he became close friends with future Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. The two became highly publicized athletes in the Baltimore /D.C area. Murray was a fan favorite as well as Ripken, as they would cheer "Eddie Eddie" many times when he came to bat. 

Murray was a great clutch hitter with runners in scoring position as well as with two strikes on hi. He remained in Baltimore through the late eighties continuing his excellent hitting, although the team did not get to any more post seasons for him. 

In December 1988 Eddie Murray was traded for Juan Bell, Brian Holton and Ken Howell. He was
going back to his hometown of Los Angeles to play for the Dodgers. 

In 1989 he hit 20 HRs with 88 RBIs in Dodgers Stadium, but his average fell to a career low .247. In 1990 he was the league's highest paid player & he rebounded to a .330 batting average coming in second in the NL batting race to Willie McGee. Murray hit 26 HRs with 96 runs scored (8th in the NL) & drove in 96 runs (6th in the NL). In three seasons in Los Angeles, he hit over 20 HRs & drove in over 90 runs twice. 

Mets Career: In 1992 at the age of 35 he signed with the New York Mets as a free agent. By the time he arrived at Shea Stadium, his best years were behind him. 

He debuted as a Met on Opening Day batting fifth behind Howard Johnson & would be the clubs main first baseman. 

In mid-April he showed his Hall of Fame form, on the 14th he drove in three runs, including a pair of doubles leading the Mets to an 8-5 win over the Phillies. The next day he doubled again driving in two more runs in a 7-2 Mets win. As the Mets moved on to Montreal, Murray cleared the bases hitting a double off Dennis Martinez leading the club to a 10-2 win. 

The next day he had two more hits & drove in two more runs, giving him a total of ten RBIs in his last four games. 

 On April 22nd he hit a walk off HR over the right field fence, off the St. Louis Cardinals Chris Carpenter giving the team a 3-2 victory. 

He closed out the month with a four RBI day on April 28th , driving in all runs in the David Cone two hit shut out, over the Astros. In June he drove in runs in the first five games of the month.

400th Career HR: On May 3rd he hit his 400th career HR it came off the Braves Marvin Freeman in a 7-0 Mets win.

Grand Slam HR: On June 2nd, Murray hit a grand slam HR off Trevor Williams of the San Francisco Giants, helping Wally Whitehurst to a 4-3 win. In his career Murray hit 14 grand slams tying him for third on the All-Time list.

All Time RBIs By a Switch Hitter: On June 6th he went into the record books and did it while wearing a Mets uniform. Murray set the record for most RBIs all time by a switch hitter, when he drove in his 1510th RBI with a sac fly in a 15-1 Mets win against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. 

 He drove in twenty runs in the month of June. 

On July 10th, he came to bat in the top of the 9th inning, in Houston with New York trailing 6-4. With the bases loaded he doubled driving in all three runs, leading to a 7-6 Mets comeback win. 

At the end of July, Murray had more heroics, as he had another 9th inning double, scoring two runs & bringing the Mets from behind to win in a game at Philadelphia, against the Phillies. He hit three HRs in games against the Cubs at the start of August, in both New York & at Chicago.

On September 4th he hit another grand slam HR, this one against the Reds at Riverfront Stadium, leading New York to a 5-2 win. He drove in four more runs, including a three run HR, in a game at Shea Stadium on September 19th, in a 7-5 win over the Montreal Expos. Back at Wrigley Field, he drove in two runs in a 10-8 Mets win on September 14th. The next day he hit a two run HR in the 1st inning, helping New York to a 4-2 win.

The durable Murray played in 156 games leading the team in RBIs (93) & doubles (37), both were seventh most in the league. He also led the club in hits (144) walks (66) & runs scored (64). He was second to Bobby Bonilla in HRs (16) & was third in on base % (.336). At first base he led the NL with 12 errors, and was third in games played, assists & put outs

He adjusted with an even better 1993 season, starting out the year going 4-9 with two RBIs in the Opening Series against the expansion Colorado Rockies. In a late April home stand he hit HRs in consecutive games against the San Francisco Giants, both leading to wins.

He went into May driving in runs in six straight games & then drove in the only run of 1-0 Bret Saberhagen win on May 10th against Florida. At the end of June, he hit HRs in three straight games and drove in runs in eight of nine games into the first week of July.  

From July 2nd - July 6th he drove in ten runs, hit two HRs and had nine hits, on a Shea home stand, against the West Coast Giants & Padres. 

Later in the month he hit a two run HR in San Diego leading to a -2 Mets win. The next day, on July 22nd, he hit two HRs, while driving in five runs at Los Angeles in a 10-5 win against his old Dodger teammates.

On July 28th, he hit a walk off double against Brian Harvey leading the Mets to a 5-4 win over the Marlins. In the month he drove in 26 runs & hit five HRs. Murray hit three HRs in the first week of August & then three more in the first week of September. In the month of September, he hit safely in 24 of 29 games, ending the year with a solid .285 average. 

Although he was 36 years old, he was still a productive player & an RBI machine. The rest of the club did not gel around him. There was no pennant race for the '93 Mets either. The team finished dead last going 59-103 under managers; Jeff Torborg & Dallas Green. This cast of Mets were dubbed "The worst team money could buy". 

Murray drove in 100 runs (10th in the league, while leading the Mets). He led the team in batting (.285) hits (174) doubles (28) games played (154) & at bats (610). He hit 27 HRs (second on the club to Bonilla). His nine sac flies were second most in the league. 

Post Mets Career: Murray moved on in 1994, going to the Cleveland Indians for two seasons. After a down year in the strike shortened 1994 season, Murray returned to help the Indians get to the World Series in 1995. 

He was primarily the teams DH batting .323 with 21 HRs 21 doubles & 82 RBIs. 

1995 Post Season: He hit a HR in each round of the playoffs, first in the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox, then a Game #4 HR in the Indians ALCS win over the Seattle Mariners. 

In the 1995 World Series he went just 2-9, but he won Game #3 with a walk off single in the bottom of the eleventh inning off of Atlanta’s Alejandro Pena. 

The next season in July 1996, he was traded by the Indians back to the Baltimore Orioles, in exchange for Kent Mercker. The move was to solidify Murray finish his career back where  it began, in Baltimore. 

On September 6, 1996, he hit his 500th career HR as an Oriole, exactly one year to the day that Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak. He went out a hero as the fans gave him a huge send off in his final game. 

Trivia: A statue of Murray in located outside of Camden Yards in Baltimore. Union Craft Brewery makes a wheat IPA called "Steady Eddie" in his honor. 

Hall of Fame Career Stats: Murrays all time numbers include, 3026 hits (14th all time) 504 HRs (28th all time) (second among switch hitters) 19 grand slams (4th all time) 1917 RBIs (11th all time) 560 doubles (30th all time) 1627 runs scored (41st all time) & 1333 walks (39th all time).

Murray is first all time with 128 sacrifice flies. He has 1099 extra base hits (22nd all time) & 222 intentional walks (12th all time). He struck out 1516 times (72nd all time) & grounded into 315 double plays (8th all time). 

Defensive Career: At first base Murray played in 2413 games the most games of any first base man in the history of the game. He also made the most assists (1865) & was second in double plays turned (2033). He is fourth in put outs (21255) & posted a .993 fielding %.

Cooperstown Induction: In 2003 Murray was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with another former Mets player, catcher Gary Carter. In his speech he said it was never about one person but always about the team.

In the back of the crowd 300 inner city kids came from the Baltimore area to hear his speech, on their way out he gave the bus loads of kids autographed bats, balls & programs. His number 33 was retired by the Orioles in 1998.

In the 1980's he donated large amounts of money to the Baltimore City Parks Department which led to the Carrie Murray Nature Center named in his mother's honor. 

Retirement: After his playing days Murray was the Cleveland Indians hitting coach from 2002-2005. He then spent 2006- 2007 seasons as a Los Angeles Dodger coach.


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