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Bobby Murcer

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Bobby Ray Murcer

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 180 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Bobby Murcer, who had a 17-year major league career, lost a lengthy fight against cancer on July 12, 2008. A five-time major league All Star and Gold Glove winner in 1972, he was in the top ten in the MVP voting three times in a row.

Murcer represented the first step back to credibility for the post-Mantle Yankees. Having grown up in Oklahoma and been signed by Tom Greenwade, the same scout who signed Mantle, Murcer was touted as the "Next Mickey Mantle" which was unfair. Murcer was a complete player and put together some solid seasons for the Yankees of the late 1960's and early 1970's. No one could even come close to replacing The Mick, and Bobby Murcer took all the pressure that came with that status with the class he has had throughout his career.

As the Yankees began rebuilding, they added players like Thurman Munson, Lou Piniella, and Graig Nettles to Murcer and Roy White to lay the groundwork for the next Championship run of the 1970's. Prior to 1975, the Yankees traded Murcer to the Giants for Bobby Bonds who had been touted as the next Willie Mays. Murcer went on to post some good seasons with the Giants and then the Cubs, but he was not happy to have been traded from New York. In turn, many Yankee fans hated to see Murcer go, he had become that popular in New York. After the 1975 season, although Bonds put up good numbers for the Yankees that year, he was traded to the California Angels for Ed Figueroa and Mickey Rivers who both were key ingredients for the Yankee championship caliber teams of 1976, 1977 and 1978.

In 1979, Bobby Murcer was reacquired by the Yankees to play outfield and DH. It was a welcomed homecoming for the Yankees and Yankee fans, Murcer still was immensely popular in New York. The homecoming became bittersweet for Murcer as his close friend and team captain Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash in August 1979. Bobby Murcer and Lou Piniella gave the eulogy for Munson, and on the night of Munson's burial, Bobby Murcer homered and also drove in the winning run to give the Yankees a victory over the Baltimore Orioles. He always considered that one of the shining moments of his career.

Murcer finally got to play in the 1981 World Series, and got the chance to get in on some Yankee postseason play. When he finally retired, he went to the broadcast booth. He was one of the most beloved Yankees of all time, and had remained a total class act throughout it all. Yankee fans always recognized Murcer as one of the last links between the Mantle era and the Munson/Jackson era. He always carried himself well and led the team through the very lean years when the Yankees went from being a dynasty to league doormats.

Murcer missed the 1967-1968 seasons due to military service.

After his career ended, Murcer was a Yankees broadcaster until the date of his passing on July 12, 2008, except for 1989 when he was an assistant general manager for the club. As of 2004, he was also serving as chairman of the Baseball Assistance Team.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • 1965 MVP Carolina League Greensboro Yankees
  • 5-time All-Star (1971-1975)
  • AL Gold Glove Winner (1972)
  • AL On-Base Percentage Leader (1971)
  • AL OPS Leader (1971)
  • AL Runs Scored Leader (1972)
  • AL Total Bases Leader (1972)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 7 (1969-1973, 1976 & 1977)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1972)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1972)

[edit] Trivia

On June 24, 1970 Bobby Murcer hit four home runs in a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

[edit] Further Reading

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