Daily Archives: February 24, 2011

Eddie Murray & His Hall Of Fame Plaque

Eddie Murray & His Hall Of Fame Plaque

Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, Eddie Murray gained entry into Cooperstown the first time that his name appeared on the ballot.

The plaque reads – “A powerful and productive switch-hitter whose consistency over 21 seasons led to 3,255 hits 560 doubles, 504 home runs, 5,397 total bases, and 1,917 RBI.  Third player ever to connect for more than 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.  Played in three World Series, winning with the Orioles in 1983.  An eight-time All-Star and 1977 AL Rookie Of The Year.  A skilled fielder, he earned three Gold Glove awards, setting major league records for games played and assists by a first baseman.” 

Eddie Murray’s Super-Sweet 1978 Topps Rookie Card

Eddie Murray’s Super-Sweet 1978 Topps Rookie Card

A few years back I decided that I wanted to honor the career of Eddie Murray, and specifically his time with the Baltimore Orioles.  So, I did what a player collector does – I built a checklist of every major brand issue card from his days with the O’s and went after them.

Some were tough to get, and some were a breeze.  But no card was as enjoyable to bring hom as was Murray’s 1978 Topps rookie card.

And I cannot believe that I paid less than $8 for it!!  What a deal; What a steal!!

Eddie Murray’s Jersey Hangs Alongside Baltimore Orioles Royalty!!!

Eddie Murray’s Jersey Hangs Alongside Baltimore Orioles Royalty!!!

The Baltimore Orioles franchise was born in 1954, but its origins go way back to 1901.  The team has seen its share of success and very successful players.

To honor the best players that have worn the team’s uniform, the Orioles have retired their jerseys.

Amazingly for a team that has such a rich history, the list is relatively short.  But on that list are certainly some of baseball’s most accomplished players and manager:

Earl Weaver – #4

Brooks Robinson – #5

Cal Ripken – #8

Frank Robinson – #20

Jim Palmer – #22

Eddie Murray – #33

Eddie Murray Is Just 1 Of 4 Players To Collect 3,000 Hits & 500 Home Runs!!!

Eddie Murray Is Just 1 Of 4 Players To Collect 3,000 Hits & 500 Home Runs!!!

There are many rare feats in accomplished in a baseball career.  And these feats are what preserves the history of the game’s greatest players.  Without these benchmarks, there would be little that we could use to compare a player that plays in 2011 to one that suited up 50 years prior.

From an offensive standpoint, the two most celebrated feats are 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.  To have a resume that includes either of these statistical landmarks is a golden ticket to Cooperstown(most of the time).

And on occasion, a very rare occasion, a player is able to mix the two – creating the perfect blend of power and skill to become a member of the ‘3000 hits & 500 Home Run Club’.

To date, only four men have mastered this feat.  Eddie Murray is one of those men.  A very rare feat accomplished by an amazingly talented baseball player!!

Eddie Murray’s Simple & Clean Signature

Eddie Murray’s Simple & Clean Signature

Very clean and simple in nature, there is not much to complain about when it comes to Eddie Murray and the autograph that he provides.

Easy to read and unmistakable, you can show his signature to anyone(even a non-baseball fan), and a high percentage of people would be able to make out the name with little issue.

While the signature offers very little creativity or flare, it does represent Murray and his baseball persona to a tee – Serious and Strong!! 

Eddie Murray & The 1983 World Series Championship Winning Baltimore Orioles

Eddie Murray & The 1983 World Series Championship Winning Baltimore Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles were on top of the baseball world in 1983.  Not only did they have the American League’s two best players in their infield(Ripken was the MVP that year, with Murray finishing in second place), but they also won the World Series.

Defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-games-to-1, the Orioles made quick work of the National League champions en route to the World Series title.  In those 5 games, Eddie Murray collected 5 hits in 20 at-bats including two crucial home runs that cemented two of the team’s four victories. 

Eddie Murray Finished In The ‘Top 8’ For The MVP Award 8 Times…

Eddie Murray Finished In The ‘Top 8’ For The MVP Award 8 Times…

Always the bridesmaid, and never the bride, Eddie Murray was often compared to the sport’s great players throughout his career.

During his playing days, he finished in the Top 8 for the MVP award on eight different occasions.  In fact, in seven of his first nine seasons as a major leaguer, Murray collected votes for the MVP award in eight of those years. 

Murray’s best finishes came in 1982 and 1983 when he was the runner-up.  In ’82 he finished behind Robin Yount who won the award unanimously.  And in 1983, he was behind teammate Cal Ripken, Jr. who collected 15 votes to Eddie’s 10.

Eddie Murray Collected 3 Gold Glove Awards For His Defensive Excellence

Eddie Murray Collected 3 Gold Glove Awards For His Defensive Excellence

While maybe not as consistently solid on defense as he was on offense, Eddie Murray was more than a capable defender.

In fact, on three separate occasions, Murray walked away with the Gold Glove Award for his play at first base.

For three straight seasons, from 1982-1984, Murray was the best.  I think that a guy named Mattingly debuted a short time after in the AL – he was pretty goo too if I recall properly…

Eddie Murray Won 3 Silver Slugger Trophies!!

Eddie Murray Won 3 Silver Slugger Trophies!!

Eddie Murray was recognized as the best hitting first baseman in his league on three separate occasions. 

The first two awards came in back-to-back seasons from 1983-1984 with the Orioles.  During that span, Murray collected 358 hits while posting a .306 batting average.  He also rang up 56 doubles and 62 home runs in that time.

Murray’s final Silver Slugger award was won when he was playing for the Dodgers.  During the 1990 season, Murray led the team with 184 hits and a .330 batting average.  His power numbers included 22 doubles, 26 home runs, and 95 RBI.

Eddie Murray Is An 8-Time All-Star

Eddie Murray Is An 8-Time All-Star

During his 21 seasons as a big league baseball player, Eddie Murray was selected as an All-Star 8 times.

Seven of Murray’s eight appearances as an All-Star came during his time with the Baltimore Orioles.  From 1978 through 1986, Murray made seven appearances on the American League squad – a very tough task considering some of the other very talented first baseman and designated hitters that ruled the AL.  Murray’s last appearance as an All-Star was on the National League roster in 1991 during his third season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.