Born on February 24, 1956, in Los Angeles, California, Eddie Murray played high school baseball with fellow future star Ozzie Smith. The switch-hitter proved one of baseball's most consistent sluggers and helped the Baltimore Orioles win the World Series in 1983. He retired in 1997 as one of only three players with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2003.
Eddie Clarence Murray was born on February 24, 1956, in Los Angeles, California. The eighth of 12 children, Murray grew up playing baseball with his siblings in the neighborhood of Watts. A teammate of fellow future big league baseball star Ozzie Smith at Locke High School, Murray hit .500 in his senior year. The Baltimore Orioles selected him in the third round of the 1973 amateur draft.
Making his debut with the Orioles in 1977, Murray batted .283 with 27 home runs to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award. The switch-hitter made his first all-star team in 1978, and went on to establish himself as one of baseball's most consistent sluggers and a perennial Most Valuable Player Award candidate. "Steady Eddie" led the AL in home runs and RBIs during the strike-shortened year of 1981, and he blasted a career-high 33 homers two years later to help the Orioles win the World Series. He also displayed strong defensive skills at first base, winning the Gold Glove Award from 1982-84.
After 12 impressive years with Baltimore, Murray was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December 1988. Still formidable with the bat, he hit a career-high .330 in 1990, and earned selection to his eighth and final all-star team the following year. The veteran slugger delivered two more productive seasons with the Mets, and made his second trip to the World Series with a powerful Cleveland Indians team in 1995. Traded back to Baltimore halfway through the 1996 season, he enjoyed one final run to the playoffs before playing out the string the following year with the Anaheim Angels and the Dodgers.
Thanks to his consistency and durability, Murray was just one of three players to have accumulated 3,000 hits and 500 home runs over his career. He ranked first with 1,917 RBIs and second with 504 homers among all switch-hitters, and his 19 grand slams were the second most in history.
Coaching Career and Legacy
Murray returned to the Orioles organization in 1998 as the team's bench coach before taking over as first-base coach. He was the Indians' hitting coach from 2002-05, and served in the same capacity for the Dodgers from 2006-07.
Despite a lukewarm relationship with the press throughout his career, Murray easily earned induction to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in 2003, his first year of eligibility. In 2012, the Baltimore great was honored by his old team with the unveiling of a statue outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
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