Klapisch: Eddie Murray, the quiet man with the deadly bat

From Bob Klapisch at The National Pastime Museum on August 7, 2017:

It was early in spring training 25 years ago when New York Mets General Manager Al Harazin summoned the beat writers to his office for a friendly word of advice. Actually, the message wasn’t so friendly and the advice was closer to a warning. But Harazin’s point couldn’t have been clearer: Watch your step with Eddie Murray, the free-agent first baseman who had been signed by the team over the winter.

“Eddie doesn’t suffer fools gladly,” Harazin said. “I’ll leave it at that.”

There was no need for an introduction; Murray’s reputation on and off the field were legendary throughout the industry. As a player, he was already on his way to the Hall of Fame. Murray was a lethal blend of power and high-average excellence, a pitcher’s nightmare who could take you deep from either side of the plate. And to say Murray produced under pressure was putting it mildly. Baltimore Orioles teammate Mike Flanagan said, “He was the best clutch hitter that I saw during the decade we played together, not only on our team, but in all of baseball.”

By the time Murray retired in 1998, he had become the third player in the game’s history—after Hank Aaron and Willie Mays—to record 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. During the course of his career, Murray earned the nickname Steady Eddie for an Iron Horse–like ability to avoid injury. Lou Gehrig holds the record for consecutive games at first base (2,130), but no one amassed more time at the position than Murray (2,413).

Read the full article here: https://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/eddie-murray-quiet-man-deadly-bat

Originally published: August 7, 2017. Last Updated: August 7, 2017.