Today I'd like to profile another of my all-time favorite cards: 1978 Topps Eddie Murray (#36) rookie card.
God I love this card!
The colors, the great image of the young star, the rookie cup at the bottom. It was perfect!
What a cock-sure look on the young slugger's face, coming off a rookie of the year season in 1977 which saw him slug 27 homers with 88 runs batted in while hitting at a .283 pace.
Take a look:
|An all-time classic rookie card!|
That rookie season was ONLY the beginning for Murray, as he would go on to become one of the most consistent hitters in baseball history over the course of the next 21 years.
From 1977 through 1996, TWENTY YEARS, Murray would never drive in less than 76 runs in any season, including six 100+ and six 90+ seasons.
In those twenty years, he'd also hit 20+ homers 16 times, and would finish with eight top five finishes in M.V.P. voting!
A little known bit regarding Murray and his amazing career: In 1990 he would lead the Major Leagues in batting with a .330 average, yet never get credit for a title since Willie McGee hit .335 for the Cardinals before getting traded to the A's, where he would only hit .274, lowering his season average to .324 combined.
But as it is, his .335 average is what counts towards the N.L. title, with George Brett hitting .329 to lead the American league, leaving Murray with the odd fate of having the highest batting average for the 1990 season without winning the title.
Seems like the perfect example of Murray's career: a guy who basically stayed in the shadows, producing year after year without much fanfare, while guys like Cal Ripken, Robin Yount and Willie McGee took the spotlight and awards by season's end.
But when it was all said and done, Eddie Murray put together a monster of a Hall of Fame career, hitting 504 home runs, driving in 1917 runs, scoring 1627 of them himself, and totaling 3255 hits!
After hanging them up in 1997, he was an easy inductee to the Hall of Fame in 2003, getting named on 423 of 496 ballots.
It only leaves me wondering what sportswriters left him OFF the ballot!
The whole "unanimous" paranoia of Hall of Fame voting leaves me shaking my head every time…