eddie murray was one of my favorite non-dodgers. he burst on to the big league scene at the same time i was starting to collect cards, so i took a great interest in following his career as it progressed in baltimore. then, in december of 1988, i heard that the dodgers had acquired steady eddie in a trade. hearing that news made me forget about the loss of steve sax, and besides, the dodgers were the world champs so who was i to complain about anything. i also remember being surprised at some of the comments that murray made after the trade was confirmed. he said something along the lines of 'i thought this was going to happen a few years ago' which was news to me. there was no mlbtraderumors back then to get this type of gossip. imagine if the dodgers had had murray at first in 1985. 1986 and 1987 might have been different, too. ah, what might have been...
murray's first season with the dodgers was disappointing, but then again, so was the entire team. his .247 batting average was (by 30 points) the lowest of his career. still, he drove in 88 runs and hit 20 homers and played in 160 games. the dodgers even stuck him over at third base a couple of times - the first time murray had ever played the hot corner in the big leagues. t's also worth noting that murray's first home run as a dodger was a 9th inning grand slam that broke a tie against the giants.
here's murray's 1990 leaf card, which at one time was one of my 'nefarious 9'
in 1991, murray's average dropped to .260, although he still drove in 96 runs and made the all-star team for the first time as a dodger and the last time of his career. i was always kind of perplexed that topps gave murray an all-star card in 1991 even though he wasn't on the team in 1990. but, after what they did to steve garvey in 1985 and 1986, i wasn't going to look a bonus dodger card in the mouth.
after the season, the dodgers were only interested in keeping murray with a one-year deal, so he took two years from the mets and headed east as his 1992 o-pee-chee card would indicate
murray left the dodgers with 398 career home runs, so the met fans got to see him join the 400 home run club, or so this 1992 upper deck card would have you believe.
after the season, murray moved on to cleveland where he hit .323 in 1995 over 113 games, and collected his 3000th career hit along the way. during the 1996 season, the tribe sent murray back to baltimore, and he swatted his 500th career home run as an oriole.
i figured murray would retire with his 501 home runs after the season ended, but instead, he signed with the anaheim angels. he hit three more home runs during his stint there which lasted into august. after being released by team disney, murray was picked up by the dodgers who were just a couple of games out of first in the nl west. murray was used exclusively as a pinch hitter, and was 2 for 7 with 2 walks and 3 rbi in his final big league appearances.
topps didn't give him a card in 1998, but donruss did, in their preferred set.
i posted murray's 1998 upper deck flagship card in one of my early final tribute posts on this blog, and i wasn't too kind to upper deck because they had him with the angels. i since learned that there was a second murray card in the 1998 set, one that did things right.
there was no doubt where eddie murray was headed after his career, but leaf gave us this shiny card in 1998 just in case we weren't sure
murray made it into the hall in his first year of eligibility, although he (obviously) went in as an oriole. that's ok - i'll take all the eddie murray as a dodger cards as i can get.
here's to you, eddie murray - one of my favorite dodger double dippers!