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Eddie Murray vs. Royals 8/11


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Cooperstown, NY

July 27, 2003

Eddie Murray was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. (National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Alright, and that’s it until I’m done, now.

Thank you. Nice little sea of black and orange out there. A wonderful thing. Well, I’m thankful to be here today. I tell you, it’s a dream, one of the few things I’d never dreamed of. The game, I knew I was gonna do. It is a great honor to be here today. When Ted Williams was here, inducted into the Hall of Fame 37 years ago, he said he must have earned it, because he didn’t win it because of his friendship with the writers. I guess in that way, I’m proud to be in this company that way.

I was never one much on words. For me, it focused a lot on an individual and that’s not the way I learned to play the game. Baseball is a team game. You win as a team, you lose as a team, you also do so many things together. But it is not an “I” thing or a “me.” And I tell you that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t have the friendships with the media, maybe like I could have. But I had to do what I had to do to make myself successful. You know, that’s what I learned, that’s what I preach today to my kids. And I still believe it. I’m now the hitting the instructor with the Cleveland Indians. And, you know, you try and preach to them there’s more to this game than just walking up to home plate, swinging the bat, fielding a ground ball. There’s some dedication in it, some love you’ve got to put into this work. I think it becomes…

For me, baseball is about, again, the team winning. I could have taken an 0-fer that day, but if we won, I don’t think you could have come into our locker and been able to tell that I did not get a hit, because the most important thing for me that day was that we won. That’s what we attempted to do when we took the field. That’s what I was about, that’s what I tried. I think my teammates saw it more so than anybody, the will to win that was here. I’m proud to be here as a man that has played first base more than anybody in the game of baseball. It was never about taking days off for me. It was about showing up every day. Letting my managers know that I was here to work. When I signed a contract, I was here to play 162 games. One of my managers happens to be behind me. Where is Tommy at…I’ve got Tommy, I’ve got Earl. Earl didn’t give me days off, he didn’t believe in it. He wanted to win like that.

But Tommy, honestly, one day, decided finally to give me a day off. We got in a nice little argument before the game. I pointed to a day off, that that was my day off. And it ended up with him being a manager, I had to stay off. We were sitting there in Houston, and the game was going on. He false starts me three times. I’m up, I’m on deck, I’m getting ready, I’m getting loose. He calls me back. “Sit back down.” He calls me up a second time, “You’re gonna hit for [unintelligible].” I get up, I get loose, I’m ready to go, he called me back from the on-deck circle. This isn’t going over too good, this pinch-hitting game, so. He calls me back up again to go up for the third time. This time I go up and somehow manage to hit the game-winning home run. I hit a grand slam that particular at-bat. And, boy, did he look good.

I learned the game from some good teachers. I learned life from some good teachers. No one was more important than my mom and dad. I know they are watching from a place up in heaven here today to make sure all their kids are doing good. But, especially here with me, with my sister, Tanja, and Lucilla. It’s great having my family, and I’d like to recognize them all individually. We’ve got Charles here, we’ve got Louise, Venice, Richard, Helen, Leon, Leola, Viola, and Joyce. You guys had a lot to do with me standing here. A lot.

As you can see, it is enough of us for a baseball team. I tell you, we didn’t have to go far to play. I tell you, the games we played, no matter what they were, they were fierce. They were competitive. And like I said, I appreciate my older brothers because they would not allow me to win. They made me learn to play with them, which I think is the most important thing that I learned.

All four brothers played professionally. Charlie [long pause], I’m glad. It’s alright. I’ll take my time here. You inspired us all, man, by signing the contract. That’s what we all wanted to be. We wanted to be like you.

Okay, this is tough. You all don’t know the love I got today. Again, my five sisters are here today with my four brothers. They’re unbelievable. I’d like to also thank my wife, Janice, and my two daughters Jordan and Jessica. I’m blessed to have them. That’s my life, that’s what I live for now, just trying to take care of those two little ones.

There’s a lot of people that helped me get where I’m at today. One person I could never really ever forget, and I’m sorry he couldn’t make it, my Little League coach, Clifford Prelow. He really really helped teach also the love of the game of baseball to me. When I became a minor leaguer with the Orioles at the age of 17, I ran into my good buddy’s dad, Cal Ripken, Sr. Jim Schaffer, who became, that was the most important decision ever made in my career, which was to switch hit. So Jim Schaffer’s awful big in my life. And Ray Miller, who also taught me how to play the game when I became an Oriole. Some of my buddies out there: Lee May, Al Bumbry, Elrod Hendricks. I tell you, the clubhouse was unbelievable. It was a place you wanted to be. It was a place you learned to play this game and know about the Oriole way. I couldn’t have asked for better teammates as Doug DeCinces and Cal Ripken, Jr., Mike Flanagan, Mike Boddicker, Kenny Singleton, and Scott McGregor. These guys were unbelievable to me.

It was wonderful going back home to the Dodger organization, where my dad was probably second to Tommy Lasorda as being a Dodger fan. I tell you, it was fortunate for me to sit up there and watch my family watch me, and it was just like old times when I was a young kid.

I enjoyed playing for the Mets. I hit my 400th home run there. That’s a day in Atlanta I will never forget. I can still remember the pitch. I still remember the guy running after it. I tell you, it was an unbelievable memory for me.

Cleveland was a great place to play. Not because I got my 3,000th hit. It was about winning. And I tell you, we had a ball club there for a couple of years. We were pretty darn good.

I’m also grateful today to Peter, Georgia, John, and Lou Angelos for bringing me full circle back to Baltimore for my 500th home run. That’s an awesome feeling, stepping into Camden Yards and walking out there and looking into the outfield, and you see two orange seats that are out there, and one of them is yours. That’s an unbelievable gesture to me. Thank you. Cal has the other one.

Today I join the greatest players that played the game. It is a great feeling being here. I accepted that I am here with these guys, and I tell you, they’ve all been wonderful. I love Jane, Dale, we’ve got Brad, we’ve got Jeff here. Kim, they’ve all made me feel very comfortable being here and joining my new family.

That’s what you are to me. That’s what I thought, it was teammates, and that is what you guys are to me.

You see some old faces that I am familiar with. Earl, Brooks, Jim Palmer, Ozzie, Kirby, Winnie. It makes you feel at home when you can talk to somebody and really talk about anything. And some of us go way back. And I just loved to be around people that I like being with.

I’d like to say congratulations to Bob Uecker, Hal McCoy, mybuddy, Mr. Carter, over there, Gary. I tell you, it’s wonderful sharing this stage today. Bob, thanks for making it light here. I tell you, I think everybody will go home and talk about you forever.

I tell you, we all benefited from our teammates, and I think these guys would back that up. And like I said, there’s nothing better than to go to war with somebody, and you know they’re giving it their all. Like I said, I’ve never been one on big speeches, so I’d like to thank first of all, again, the writers that voted for me to get me here, because I know, that was a mark they all remembered doing, and I appreciate it. I would like to thank those that came before me, like Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Curt Flood, and those who taught me along the way and that always gave me the support and friendship.

Ron Shapiro made it easy for me on the field. He took a lot of the troubles away, if there were troubles. He helped me with decisions. Lyn, Michael, Brian, thank you.

Diane Hock, she put some work in for me here. She put a lot of work in this for me today, and really made my time here, again, easy. And I appreciate that, Di.

Evelyn Ehlers. People like Joel Lochs, Curt Spell, my buddy, Dicky. Sandy Louis, you’ve been around a long time. Thank you.

The Bumbry family, the Hendricks family, from the time I became an Oriole, accepted me. Thank you.

Good people that started off as business situations, with buddies over at FILA. Mark Westerman, Howe. Thank you. The Geier family, thank you. Charles Baum, you and your group, thank you.

To name Ron’s group. Mark, David, Julie, Laura. Thank you. It’s great to see all my friends come, I tell you, from far away places and some people I didn’t know were coming. I would just honestly like to say, thank you for coming today. Even my kids out there in the back. The Northwood Baseball League, there’s a couple hundred of them out there, come all the way from Baltimore, thank you. Thank you. There will be a little surprise for you later on.

And, finally, I thank all of those who came here today to share in this day with me. I really appreciate it, because you don’t get where you are without support. And I tell you, that “Eddie” chant, it took me a while to learn and deal with it, but I did and I love it. And when I leave you can do it again, but not right now.

For every kid here today, I wish you could feel what I feel today. Because I had a dream as a kid, to actually live that dream, I feel unbelievable. I just definitely have been blessed. I loved playing baseball. I still love the game.

I’d like to just end in closing, with the “Eddie” chant.

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KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Alex Gordon - LF

Alcides Escobar - SS

Mike Moustakas - 3B

Billy Butler - DH

Lorenzo Cain - CF

Salvador Perez - C

Jeff Francoeur - RF

Eric Hosmer - 1B

Chris Getz - 2B

Luis Mendoza - RHP (5-8, 4.36 ERA)

ORIOLES

Nick Markakis - RF

J.J. Hardy - SS

Nate McLouth - LF

Adam Jones - CF

Matt Wieters - C

Wilson Betemit - 1B

Chris Davis - DH

Manny Machado - 3B

Omar Quintanilla - 2B

Chris Tillman - RHP (5-1, 2.38 ERA)

http://baseballpress.com/lineup.php

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I've waited for YEARS to see this back up on YouTube!!! I have an old copy and can't upload it and until now... couldn't find on youboob. :happydance:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ig1Ls8_fBI8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

With my Kansas City baby and a bottle of Kansas City wine.

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I think he's going to start singing that Zou Bisou Bisou song from Mad Men any second.

Like the show--and like sexy French speaking women--but the second hand embarrassment I experienced watching that scene was unbearable!

C'mon Tilly. Really looking forward to the game-- Tillman on the mound and the O's playing well!

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Like the show--and like sexy French speaking women--but the second hand embarrassment I experienced watching that scene was unbearable!

C'mon Tilly. Really looking forward to the game-- Tillman on the mound and the O's playing well!

Crazy what a little offense does for our club!

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Lee May!

<embed width="600" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullscreen="true" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" src="http://static.photobucket.com/player.swf" flashvars="file=http://vidmg.photobucket.com/albums/v340/if6was9/Brooks-THEplay.mp4">

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