Bobby Murcer
American baseball player
Bobby Murcer
Bobby Ray Murcer was an American Major League Baseball outfielder who played for 17 seasons between 1965 and 1983, mostly with the New York Yankees, whom he later rejoined as a longtime broadcaster. A Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star, Murcer led the American League in on-base percentage in 1971, and in runs and total bases in 1972.
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Bobby Murcer's personal information overview.
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The Last Game at Yankee Stadium, September 21, 2008
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Now that baseball season has ended in New York, I'm in a hot-stove season funk. It feels like the boys of summer must still be playing, on these 80-degree days in Manhattan. Thinking about my team, the New York Yankees, and the way this year felt like conclusions all around -- Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte retiring, Derek Jeter injured, Alex Rodriguez facing a year and a half's suspension -- it's inevitable to remember the very last game at Yankee Stadium, if you were there. Here's what I thought at the time, five years ago.... Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte, summer 2008 (photo by me) September 21, 2008. A gorgeous summery day in the Bronx. Sunshine, and scattered harmless clouds in the sky. The bat, its white-taped hilt towering above the rubble and fencing around its base. In the distance, beyond it, the ivory upsweep of Macombs Dam Bridge. A trio of flagpoles, with American, New York state, and National Park Service flags lying limp against them. The beige-khaki walls ...
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Huffington Post article
Book details life with The Boss, the Yankees
Bronx News - over 4 years
Ray Negron’s “Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers” By Howard Goldin A very interesting story of the major baseball personalities that dominated the headlines during the years of George Steinbrenner’s ownership of the New York Yankees was written by Ray Negron and Sally Cook. Negron, now a community adviser with the organization, began as the team’s batboy in 1973 through highly unexpected circumstances. Negron offers the reader that strange story and many others that explain many of the events of his life and how those events affected his growth into adulthood. Unlike other volumes of Steinbrenner’s Yankees that were written by sportswriters or historians, this book is a first-person account written by someone who heard the words quoted and witnessed the events described. Negron includes himself in the events in which he was a part, but he does not narcissistically put himself front and center in place of those who were at the center of the story. Th ...
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Bronx News article
Yanks Honor Old Timers with Win Over Sox
Bronx News - over 4 years
By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, July 2- The Yankees and their fans celebrated and commemorated the organization’s glorious history at the 66th annual Old Timers’ Day on Sunday afternoon. Yankee heroes from the past 65 years were on the field prior to the regularly scheduled game between the Yankees and Chicago White Sox. After the introduction of the more than four dozen former Yankees and the widows of Elston Howard, Catfish Hunter, Bilrly Martin, Thurman Munson and Bobby Murcer, the former players took part in a two inning “game”. The annual festivities entertained those in attendance and brought back heartfelt memories to several generations of Yankees fans. The continuity between the generations of Yankees players remains to the present as the current Yankees and those of the past meet and get to know one another at the yearly ceremony. At 2:07 pm, the scheduled contest began, Yankees starter Phil Hughes gave up two runs in the first inning as sin ...
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Bronx News article
Yankees Elder Statesman
Bronx News - over 4 years
By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, July 2- The only franchise in Major League Baseball that recognizes and regular honors its history is the New York Yankees. More than four dozen Yankees were at Yankee Stadium on a brutally hot afternoon to take part in the 66th annual Old Timers’ Day ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Sunday’s contingent of former stars included Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Goose Gossage, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson. The widows of Thurman Munson, Elston Howard, Catfish Hunter, Jill Martin and Bobby Murcer were there to visit with the teammates of their late husbands. The eldest of the 2012 Yankees returnees was Jerry Coleman. The 87- year old, a regular at the annual Yankees reunion, flew cross-country from his native California to be in the Bronx for the event. The very good humored San Diego Padres broadcaster said of the flight, “They made the seats smaller. I had to sit like this.” He then imitated someone clinching his body to be as narr ...
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Bronx News article
Is Jorge Posada a Hall-of-Famer? - Bleeding Yankee Blue (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In fact, on the all-time OPS+ list, he trails some other Yankee stars who will probably never get in: Roger Maris, Bobby Murcer, Don Mattingly and Hideki Matsui. Baseball-Reference.com, a website which is your friend whether you know it or not,
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Google News article
YANKEES 9, RAYS 2; Posada Gets to Leave Bench and Turn Back Clock
NYTimes - over 5 years
It has been a difficult, almost painful season for Jorge Posada, capped by an agonizing week in which he endured his first benching since he became an established star more than a decade ago. But sometimes, the most gratifying and emotional moments are produced out of such anguish, and Saturday provided a day of those for Posada. Seven days after
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Posada Gets to Leave Bench and Turn Back Clock - New York Times
Google News - over 5 years
It is the most home runs by a Yankees center fielder since Bobby Murcer had 33 in 1972. ... The Yankees held a ceremony to honor Derek Jeter's 3000th hit before Saturday's game. The players presented him with a 225-pound stainless steel commemorative
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MLB: Comparing Granderson & Teixeira's 2011 to Mantle & Maris' 1961 Is Insane - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
It took Granderson, who is the fifth Yankees center fielder to hit at least 30 home runs (Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Bobby Murcer, and Bernie Williams) until the Yankees 115th game to reach the 30 home run mark. There is a tendency to overrate many
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Ain't life Grand? - ESPN (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Bernie Williams, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Bobby Murcer are the others. For Granderson, it is his third multi-homer game of the season and 10th of his career. Earlier, Granderson and Mark Teixeira became the fifth-fastest pair of Yankees
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Baseball scout's legacy endures after 25 years - Springfield News-Leader
Google News - over 5 years
... Springfield's Bill Virdon, Warsaw's Jerry Lumpe, Hank Bauer, Rex Barney, George Kell, Roy Campanella, Tom Sturdivant, Vic Power, Ralph Terry, Bobby Murcer; a 1958 Look magazine noted he had signed 42 big-leaguers in the prior 17 years
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Royals' Gordon climbing back onto launchpad - MLB.com
Google News - over 5 years
Bobby Murcer was supposed to be the next Mickey Mantle. In fact, Bobby Bonds, not Barry, was supposed to be the next Willie Mays. Brett was Gordon's idol. Gordon met Brett, then a Kansas City front office executive during contract negotiations
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When Fan Innocence Was Lost
NYTimes - over 5 years
Alan Schwarz of The New York Times wrote last Sunday that his 5-year-old son, Teddy, was awakened to the harsh reality that sports are a business when the Mets traded Francisco Rodriguez, Teddy's favorite player, to the Brewers. Readers of the Bats blog were then asked, When did you lose your fan innocence? Here are some responses. When Larry
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NYTimes article
Jeter's big day evokes memories of Murcer's big night - The Hour (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
6, 1979 night when Bobby Murcer also had a game for the ages under completely different circumstances. Just four days earlier, another Yankee captain, Thurman Munson, lost his life while practicing landings in his own plane on an off day
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bobby Murcer
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2008
    Age 61
    In May 2008, Murcer's autobiography, Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes, was published by Harper Collins.
    More Details Hide Details The book received widespread critical acclaim. The book was a retrospective on Murcer's baseball career and also his personal struggles with illness. It covers the pressure of being the "next Mickey Mantle", his disappointment at being traded away from the Yankees, his "feud" with Gaylord Perry, and lists his "1965–2007 Yankee All-Star team". Aside from Murcer's broadcasting, he was active in the media. He had guest appearances on Beat the Clock, Hee Haw, What's My Line? (as a mystery guest), appeared in national television ads in the late 1970s along with Carlton Fisk endorsing the dipping tobacco Skoal, and was a guest VJ on MTV with Billy Martin in July 1986. In 1988 Murcer entered and finished the New York City Marathon. He recorded two country songs, "Skoal Dippin' Man" and "Bad Whiskey" in 1982, both released by Columbia Records, and appeared in two films as himself, including The Scout. He also was part of a four-player biography in 1973, "At Bat!: Aaron-Murcer-Bench-Jackson", by Bill Gutman, published by Tempo Books.
    In addition, he had planned to work 60 Yankee home games for the 2008 season.
    More Details Hide Details On June 30, Murcer's family released a statement that he had suffered a relapse: Bobby Murcer continues to recover from the effects of cancer and shingles, which caused him to cut short his broadcasting work and his book tour earlier this month. He has been under medical care in Oklahoma City. The cancer treatment over the last 18 months has been intensive and has, as a side effect, somewhat compromised his immune system and made the fight all the more challenging. While he has shown some measured improvement in recent days, this is clearly a major battle, as all who have been through it understand. Bobby remains hopeful that he will be able to resume his broadcasting work down the road, but for now, is appreciative of the thoughts and prayers of his fans, and wants them to know that he is aware that he is in their hearts, as they are in his.
    In late February 2008, an MRI scan led Murcer's doctors to perform a biopsy, and, optimistically, the biopsy revealed scar tissue, rather than a recurrence of brain cancer.
    More Details Hide Details Murcer stated he planned to rest until spring training where he planned to call Yankee games and work in the YES Network studio. He released his autobiography Yankee For Life, co-authored with Glen Waggoner, on May 20; he appeared in the broadcast booth for the last time two weeks earlier to promote it. The book dealt with his forty years in Major League Baseball and his battle with brain cancer. His last public appearance was May 27, in New York while promoting his book, signing autographs for 2,000 fans despite being frail and physically weak.
    In January 2008, he was honored by the New York Chapter of the BBWA as the winner of the "You Gotta Have Heart" award for his battle against cancer.
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  • 2007
    Age 60
    The Tug McGraw Foundation, which supports research to improve quality of life for brain tumor patients and their families, honored Murcer as their "Good Guy of 2007".
    More Details Hide Details The award was given at the "Denim & Diamonds: An Evening with Tim McGraw and Friends" on November 2, 2007, St. Louis.
    He returned to work as an announcer in the booth on May 1, 2007.
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    Murcer returned to Yankee Stadium for Opening Day of the 2007 season.
    More Details Hide Details He called an inning with the YES Network crew, and once his presence was pointed out on the video scoreboard, he received a standing ovation from the crowd, with the Yankees coming out of the dugout to applaud him.
    Murcer made his first post-operative appearance on fellow Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay's radio show on WEPN on January 23, 2007.
    More Details Hide Details He was interviewed by Kay and took phone calls from listeners. Murcer concluded the interview by saying, "I want to thank you very much for giving me the forum to do this because I wanted you to know that even though this looks bad, I'm doing great. I really am. I'm in a great place. God has given me peace and the overwhelming love has been insurmountable for me to even deal with. I can feel the fans. I can feel their thoughts and their prayers and I wanted to tell them how much I love them."
  • FIFTIES
  • 2006
    Age 59
    Murcer, who had been suffering from headaches and a lack of energy according to the New York Daily News, was diagnosed with a brain tumor (glioblastoma multiforme) on Christmas Eve, 2006, and underwent surgery on December 28, 2006, at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
    More Details Hide Details On January 10, 2007, it was announced that the tumor was malignant.
    In July 2006, Aduddell Industries of Oklahoma City named Murcer as corporate spokesperson.
    More Details Hide Details In his career has invested in jewelry stores, an oil drilling company, a hair cutting establishment franchise called Yankee Cuts and race horses. He was a big fan of comedian Robin Williams, artist Picasso, writer Norman Mailer, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, boxer Jerry Quarry, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Chaos Theory, Harry Houdini and the Beatles. Murcer was involved with many charities, including serving as the chairman of the board of the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), which grants money to former players and other baseball figures who are in need, and holding an annual golf tournament which has raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society since 1990. In 1995, he joined with fellow Oklahoman Mickey Mantle to raise money for the victims of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing. He also appeared in celebrity rodeos for various charitable organizations showing his skills in riding horses and roping.
  • 2001
    Age 54
    He would remain there until 2001 (calling, among other games, David Cone's 1999 perfect game), and then moved to the YES Network to call the games there and on its broadcast partners (originally WCBS, now WWOR-TV), with a reduced workload.
    More Details Hide Details Murcer won three Emmy Awards for live sports coverage as the voice of the Yankees. In November 2007, Murcer was nominated for the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball" by the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. After being a tobacco user most of his life, in the late 1990s Murcer conceded what he thought was the error of his ways. After having a family member that suffered from cancer, Murcer became an anti-tobacco activist, according to the AP. The Senate of the State of Oklahoma passed Senate Bill 619 that purported to "beef up local regulation of tobacco sales to minors". The bill was passed by the lower chamber and signed into law. Murcer defended Yankee pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte who were accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in the Mitchell Report, which was released in December 2007. Murcer was quoted in the Daily Oklahoman as saying, "Roger or Andy, either one, have never been accused of taking illegal drugs", Murcer said. "I mean, they never tested positive for any of that." He further added, "I can't convict somebody on allegations" and "with all the testing that's going on today, and Andy and Roger never testing positive for anything, I can't assume somebody's guilty based on the testimony of a disgruntled trainer."
  • 1998
    Age 51
    Murcer continued to call games on WPIX until 1998, when the station lost the rights to broadcast the Yankees (they would pick up the broadcast rights to the Mets instead).
    More Details Hide Details He then moved to WNYW, where he and Tim McCarver (later Suzyn Waldman) shared play-by-play roles.
  • FORTIES
  • 1989
    Age 42
    In 1989, he became partial owner of the Class AAA baseball team in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma City 89ers.
    More Details Hide Details He was also a regular at the annual Yankees Old Timer's Game, playing his last game in 2007. After his retirement, Murcer turned to a career in broadcasting. He was a sportscaster for the Yankees—on broadcast TV, radio, and the YES Network—for most of the two decades. He and colleague Frank Messer were behind the WPIX microphones as the infamous pine tar incident unfolded at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 1983.
  • 1987
    Age 40
    In 1987, George Steinbrenner hired Murcer to coach left-handed hitters.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1985
    Age 38
    Murcer also was involved in the team as management and part-time coach as well. He was an assistant Yankee general manager in 1985, and individually worked with Rickey Henderson's rehab efforts when Henderson was brought to the Yankees.
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    A 1985 comeback attempt ended after four minor league games where Murcer went 1 for 12 before suffering a shoulder injury.
    More Details Hide Details Once while playing with the Yankees, he and two other teammates got caught in a bizarre 2 - 5 - 3 - 1 triple play. During his second tenure with the Yankees, he also served as the team's player union representative. In his career he held the distinction of being the highest paid Yankee, Giant, and Cub in history (all since broken) and in his 17-year career Murcer earned a total of just shy of $3 million, including the signing bonus he received in the 1960s meaning his career average was around $173,000. He was also the only Yankee to be teammates with Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Thurman Munson, Elston Howard, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, and Ron Guidry.
  • 1984
    Age 37
    Since baseball's contracts are guaranteed Murcer collected the remainder of his contract (estimated at $360,000 a year) through 1984.
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  • 1983
    Age 36
    On August 7, 1983, the Yankees honored his years in pinstripes with "Bobby Murcer Day".
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    His final game on June 11, 1983, occurred 19 days after Bill Robinson's final game on May 23, 1983 (for Phillies).
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    His retirement on June 20, 1983, was hastened by the Yankees wanting to bring up rookie first baseman/outfielder Don Mattingly.
    More Details Hide Details Murcer, fittingly, was the last active player to have been a playing teammate of Mickey Mantle.
    On June 1, 1983, Murcer hit his 100th career home run at Yankee Stadium, which was the 252nd and final home run of his career.
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  • 1982
    Age 35
    On July 28, 1982, Murcer hit a 3-run pinch hit home run to defeat the Detroit Tigers.
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    Prior to the 1982 season Murcer signed a three-year, $1.12 million contract with the Yankees.
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  • 1981
    Age 34
    He finished the season by batting as designated hitter in the 1981 World Series.
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    In 1981, he led the pinch hitters of the American League with three home runs and 12 RBIs.
    More Details Hide Details He also led the club in slugging percentage (.470).
    On September 26, 1981, he hit a three-run pinch-hit homer in the 9th inning in a 6–4 Yankee win over Baltimore.
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    On opening day in 1981 vs Texas, Murcer hit a pinch-hit grand slam at Yankee Stadium.
    More Details Hide Details Alfonso Soriano and Russ Derry are the only other two Yankees to achieve that feat.
  • 1980
    Age 33
    In the winter of between the 1980 and 1981 season Murcer traveled to Japan with an American League "All-Star" team to play a series of exhibition games against a National League team to reportedly promote American baseball.
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    On July 4, 1980, Murcer hit a grand slam in an 11–5 rout of the Cleveland Indians.
    More Details Hide Details He was also credited with 13 game-winning RBIs in his first full season back from the National League.
    Murcer cracked a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning on June 14, 1980, rallying the Yankees to a win over the Oakland A's.
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    Murcer was 5th in the league in 1980 with 9 sacrifice flies.
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  • 1979
    Age 32
    On June 26, 1979, Murcer returned to the Yankees in a trade for Paul Semall and cash.
    More Details Hide Details After wearing uniform #1 from 1969 through 1974, Bobby donned the jersey #2, since manager Billy Martin re-adopted the #1. On August 2, 1979, Yankees catcher/captain Thurman Munson died in a plane crash. Murcer gave one of the eulogies his funeral on August 6, in Canton, Ohio in which he quoted the poet and philosopher Angelo Patri: "The life of a soul on earth lasts longer than his departure. He lives on in your life and the life of all others who knew him." Afterward, the team flew home to play the first-place Baltimore Orioles in a game which was broadcast nationally on ABC-TV. Yankee manager Billy Martin wanted to give Murcer the day off, but Murcer insisted on playing. Murcer practically won the game single-handedly, bringing the Yankees back from a 4–0 deficit with a 3-run homer in the 7th, then hitting a walk-off 2-run single down the left-field line in the bottom of the 9th, causing Howard Cosell to exclaim what a heroic performance Murcer had put on. Murcer never used the bat from the game again and gave it to Munson's widow, Diana.
  • 1978
    Age 31
    On September 10, 1978, Murcer went 5 for 5, the only 5-hit game of his career.
    More Details Hide Details During 4½ seasons in the National League, Murcer was particularly rough on the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 63 games against them Murcer hit .347 with 11 homers and had a slugging percentage of .538.
    Murcer, on April 25, 1978, hit a grand slam off Steve Carlton in a 4–2 win versus the Philadelphia Phillies.
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    In 1978 he was 8th in the league with 15 intentional walks and walked a total of 80 times, which was ninth in the NL for the second time in a row.
    More Details Hide Details He also had one stretch of eight straight hits, a feat not duplicated by a Cub until Andre Dawson did it in 1989. Previously only Billy Williams, in 1972, was the only Chicago Cub to perform that feat. Murcer is one of seven Cubs to have three multiple intentional-walk games since 1960, joining Ernie Banks, Sammy Sosa, Billy Williams, Don Kessinger, Derek Lee and Andre Dawson.
  • 1977
    Age 30
    The homer in the August 22, 1977, "Scott Crull" game was one of 5 game-winning home runs Murcer had in 1977.
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    On August 8, 1977, Murcer promised to try to hit a home run and a double for terminally ill fan Scott Crull whom he had spoken to by phone.
    More Details Hide Details That night, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Murcer hit two home runs. Broadcasting the game nationally on ABC, Keith Jackson told the country how Murcer had fulfilled the dying boy's last wish. However, no one had told the young man he was dying. Murcer, however, denied he made an outright promise to Crull, as ABC had reported during the game. Scott's mother told the AP, "It's wonderful that he got to talk to one of the players, and by Murcer hitting the home runs he was thrilled." The AP later reported comments from Kenneth Crull, the young boy's uncle said "Bobby Murcer did a wonderful thing for Scotty... it was the highlight of his whole life." Linda Crull, the boy's aunt added, "What Bobby Murcer did was great. But what happened afterward we'd just as soon forget about." ABC's Jackson had relayed the story that had been told to him by a Chicago Cub official Buck Peden and alerted the boy to his own medical condition. Three weeks later, On August 22, Crull died. Ten hours later the Cubs beat the Giants 3–2 at Wrigley Field and Murcer hit his 24th home run. At that point the Cubs' record was 70–53, and they were 7½ games out, in 2nd place. The Cubs slumped and finished at .500 with an 81–81 record.
    On September 26, 1977, Murcer hit the 200th home run of his career, off future broadcast partner Jim Kaat.
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    On June 29, 1977, in his return to Candlestick Park, Murcer drove in 6 runs (matching his career high) in a 10–9 win over the Giants.
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    On March 6, 1977, Murcer signed his first-ever multi-year deal, calling for $1.6 million over five seasons.
    More Details Hide Details The contract made him the highest paid Cub player in history. In the span of four years Murcer held that distinction for three franchises, the Yankees, Giants and Cubs. As a tribute to Mantle, Murcer wore #7 with the Cubs. That year he led the league with 10 sacrifice flies, and was 8th in intentional walks (13) while hitting 27 home runs and driving in 89 runs which led the team. Murcer also tied for the team lead (with Bill Buckner) in game-winning hits with nine. His 16 steals were second on the club and he drew 80 bases on balls, good for 9th in the NL. Also, Murcer was third among all NL right fielders in assists.
    On February 12, 1977, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs in a 5-player deal that sent 2-time defending National League batting champion Bill Madlock to San Francisco.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1976
    Age 29
    On May 26, 1976, Murcer hit a grand slam against the Astros and on September 22, 1976, he stole home in a 3–1 victory against the rival Dodgers and a week later, on September 29, 1976, he gloved the final out in John Montefusco's no-hitter.
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    On April 6, 1976, the Associated Press reported that Murcer signed for a reported $175,000, making him the highest paid player in Giants history and gave him about a $25,000 raise over his 1975 salary.
    More Details Hide Details That season Murcer regained his power swing and was 6th in the NL with 23 home runs, and 7th in RBIs (90). He walked 84 times which was sixth in the NL. He was also voted the Giants MVP after leading the Giants in home runs and tied for the team lead in steals with 12 and was second on the club with 10 game-winning RBI. His two consecutive seasons with 90 or more RBIs was not duplicated by a San Francisco Giant until Will Clark did it in 1987–88.
  • 1975
    Age 28
    On May 24, 1975, Murcer went 2 for 3 with a triple and a home run and had a career-high 6 RBIs in a win over the Cubs.
    More Details Hide Details That week he won the first of two National League Player of the Week awards. (He won the second two weeks later when he hit .483 for the week, including one home run and seven RBI). However, despite a fine offensive season, he hit only 11 home runs, eliciting this quote from Murcer, "Patty Hearst could be hiding in Candlestick's upper deck and nobody would ever find her", referring to how tough it was to hit long balls at the park where the Giants played their home games. Author Zander Hollander noted that season that "only Murcer's dwindling power keeps him from superstar status" since other than the lack of home runs Murcer had a fine year in his first season as a Giant, although one of Murcer's homers was a bottom of the ninth solo shot in a 1–0 win against Phillies left-handed pitcher Jim Kaat.
    In 1975, wearing uniform #20, Murcer led the National League in sacrifice flies with 12 and was 5th in walks with 91 and drove in 91 runs and batted .298.
    More Details Hide Details He also led the Giants in game-winning hits with 13. Additionally he was fourth among NL right fielders in fielding percentage with .981.
    Murcer was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Bonds in 1975 in baseball's first-ever even swap of $100,000 superstar players.
    More Details Hide Details In October the Yankees were looking for a quality starter and a righthanded power man. On the 22nd, in the early hours of the morning, Bobby Murcer was awakened in his Oklahoma home by the ring of his telephone. It was Gabe Paul. Murcer had been traded straight up to San Francisco for Bobby Bonds. "The trade came", he remembered sourly, "just after I had told Gabe I could finally accept right field if I knew I would be a Yankee the rest of my career, He said there was no way the Yankees could trade me. Three days later, I was gone."
  • 1974
    Age 27
    In 1974 Murcer led all major league outfielders in assists by throwing out 21 baserunners.
    More Details Hide Details He was 2nd in the A.L. in sacrifice flies (12), 7th in RBIs (88), and 9th in intentional walks (10), and was the highest-paid player in Yankee history, earning $120,000.
    In the 1974 season, Murcer hit only two home runs at Shea, on consecutive days, (September 21 and 22, 1974).
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    Murcer, who had hit 25 homers with regularity, found it hard to hit home runs at Shea Stadium, where the Yankees played in 1974 and 1975 while Yankee Stadium was renovated.
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    In early 1974, along with Mickey Mantle, Murcer flew to Washington, D.C. to visit with Senator Edward Kennedy's (D-MA) son, Teddy, who recently had a right leg amputated due to cancer.
    More Details Hide Details Murcer and Mantle traveled at Senator Kennedy's request and George Steinbrenner's expense.
  • 1973
    Age 26
    Murcer was fined $250 on June 30, 1973, by baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for saying Kuhn didn't have the "guts" to stop Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry from throwing the spitball.
    More Details Hide Details That night he hit a two-run homer off Perry that put the Yankees ahead in a 7–2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Murcer made his original comment about Kuhn after Perry beat New York the previous week, which ended the Yanks' eight-game winning streak. Kuhn said Murcer apologized in their meeting but Murcer refused to tell newsmen that he did and he "didn't sound too contrite". Murcer, who flung his right hand into the air when he rounded first after hitting the 'homer, said to reporters "I hit a hanging spitter." For his career, Murcer hit Perry at a .232 clip with 2 home runs in 69 at bats. However, much of that low batting average was due to the 2 for 20 performance in the 1972 season, which caused Murcer's ire in the first place. Aside from the abysmal 1972 summer he had against Perry, who won the A.L. Cy Young Award that year, Murcer hit .286 against him.
    On July 13, 1973, Murcer hit three home runs (for the second time in his career) and drove in five runs in a 5–0 win over the Kansas City Royals.
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    On March 6, 1973, Murcer asked for and received a $100,000 salary for the upcoming season, making him only the third Yankee to make six figure.
    More Details Hide Details For that season Murcer was 3rd in the league in hits (187), 4th in batting (.301), and 7th in RBIs (95). He was 9th in the MVP voting. He also led the American League in assists for the second time in four years, with 14. He made the Sporting News All-Star team for the third time in his career. He narrowly missed his second Gold Glove, finishing 4th in the voting among American League outfielders. He finished with 17 game-winning hits, second to AL MVP Reggie Jackson's 18.
  • 1972
    Age 25
    On June 3, 1972, Murcer's five runs scored in a game marked the 11th time it had been done in Yankee history.
    More Details Hide Details He was named to the Sporting News All-Star team again and Murcer's 33 home runs were the most by a Yankee center fielder since Mickey Mantle hit 35 in 1964. No Yankee center fielder has topped that mark until 2011 when Curtis Granderson hit 41.
    On August 29, 1972, Murcer hit for the cycle by hitting a single, a double, a triple and a home run in one game.
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    In 1972, with a new $65,000 salary, Murcer hit a career-high 30 doubles (3rd in the AL), 7 triples (4th), 33 home runs (2nd), and 96 RBIs (3rd).
    More Details Hide Details He also led the AL in runs scored (102), extra base hits (70), and total bases (314), was third in slugging percentage (.537) and hits (171), and 10th in batting (.292). He came in 5th in the AL MVP voting and won a Gold Glove for his fielding which included being fourth in the AL in fielding percentage (.992) and leading the league in putouts (382) and being third in outfield assists.
  • 1971
    Age 24
    On Sunday, July 25, 1971, Murcer hit a pinch-hit grand slam in a win against the Milwaukee Brewers—the first of his seven career grand slams.
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    On June 2, 1971, Murcer hit two home runs and "made a spectacular shoestring catch off Rico Petrocelli in the first inning to rob the Red Sox of a run" in a Yankee win over their perennial rival Boston.
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    In 1971 Murcer earned a raise to $35,000 and he ended the 1971 season with a career-high .331 batting average (2nd in the AL) in 1971.
    More Details Hide Details He led the American League in on-base percentage (.427) and times on base (266), and came in 2nd in slugging percentage (.543) and runs (94), 4th in RBIs (94) and walks (91), 5th in intentional walks (13), and 10th in home runs (25). Murcer was 7th in MVP voting and was voted to the prestigious Sporting News All-Star team.
  • 1970
    Age 23
    In June 1970, Murcer hit four home runs in consecutive at bats in a double header against the Cleveland Indians, tying an American League record and joining Lou Gehrig, Johnny Blanchard, and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees to hit home runs in four consecutive at bats.
    More Details Hide Details Murcer's reported salary for both 1969 and 1970 was $27,500.
    Murcer tied for the American League lead in outfield assists in 1970 with 15, while committing only 3 errors in center field.
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  • 1969
    Age 22
    On August 10, 1969, he was part of a feat that was perhaps the highlight of the 1969 season for Yankees' fans.
    More Details Hide Details Murcer, Thurman Munson, and Gene Michael hit consecutive home runs in the sixth inning against Oakland. Murcer led off the Yankees' sixth with a shot into the right field bleachers. Thurman Munson, playing in only his second major league game, hit a pitch into the left field seats, bringing up Michael, who hit a ball into the right field seats. This was the third time Yankees hit three successive home runs. Bobby Richardson, Mickey Mantle, and Joe Pepitone did it in 1966. In 1947 Charlie Keller, Joe DiMaggio, and Johnny Lindell accomplished the feat.
    After returning from the military, Murcer began the 1969 season hitting .321 with 11 homers and a league-leading 43 runs- batted-in when he jammed his heel in Kansas City.
    More Details Hide Details Murcer recalled, "I laid out seven days, and I lost my groove and my momentum". He ended the season batting .259 with 26 homers and playing center field, his third defensive position, after beginning the season at third base and then switching to right field.
  • 1967
    Age 20
    Murcer then spent 1967–68 in the United States Army.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1966
    Age 19
    Murcer married his high-school sweetheart, Diana Kay Rhodes (known as "Kay"), in 1966.
    More Details Hide Details They were married for 42 years until his death, and had two children, Tori and Todd.
    He began the 1966 season with the major league club but was sent down to AAA.
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  • 1965
    Age 18
    His first hit in the major leagues, in 1965, was a home run that won the game for the Yankees.
    More Details Hide Details He also played on "Mickey Mantle Day" on September 18 of that year. Murcer said playing alongside Mantle in that game was the "greatest thrill of his career".
  • 1964
    Age 17
    Playing in the minor leagues from 1964–66, Murcer hit .302 which does not include his 1–12 stint with the Ft.
    More Details Hide Details Lauderdale Yankees in 1985 when he was attempting a comeback to the Yankees or his time with the Instructional League and the Puerto Rico League in 1968. A shortstop in the minor leagues, Murcer was slated to be the Yankees' shortstop but ended up being the center fielder, following in the footsteps of Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. There were strong expectations that he would be "the next Mantle"; Murcer did well enough during the years the Yankees finished second in the division to become one of the team's most popular players of the era.
    He began with the Johnson City, rookie-level Appalachian League club in 1964 and hit .365 in 126 at bats.
    More Details Hide Details The following season, 1965, he was the Carolina League MVP with the Greensboro (N.C.) Yankees. Murcer hit .322, homered 16 times, drove in 90 runs and stole 18 bases, playing in his league's All-Star game that season. In 1966, he began the season with the Yankees, but was sent down to Toledo of the International League. There he was in the All-Star game once again. He hit .266 with 15 home runs and had 63 RBIs to go along with 16 steals. He was the MVP for Greensboro (the Yankee's Single-A affiliate). While on leave from the United States Army in 1968, Murcer played seven games in the Fall Instructional League. After his discharge, he played third base for Caguas in the Puerto Rico League, where he drove in 18 runs in 22 games.
    Murcer signed a contract with Yankees' scout Tom Greenwade, the same scout who signed fellow Oklahoman Mickey Mantle (Murcer's baseball hero). Murcer signed for a $10,000 bonus in June 1964.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1946
    Born
    Born on May 20, 1946.
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