Say a Prayer for Bobby MurcerPosted: March 1, 2008
He’s the poor man’s Don Mattingly, the next Mickey Mantle, the Oklahoma kid redux.
Although Bobby Murcer never lived up to those lofty expectations, the five-time All-Star outfielder had a steady career with the Yankes, Giants and Cubs.
A classy guy, he’s always been a true-blue Yankee. That’s why the news about Bobby’s latest cancer health scare is so distressing.
Very much like Mattingly, Murcer came close but never got that World Series ring. He was traded to the Giants for Bobby Bonds after the 1974 season, missing out on the 1977 and 1978 championship Yankee teams. In June of 1979 he returned to the Yankees in a deal with the Cubs for pitcher Paul Semall, and finished his career in the Bronx in 1983.
Murcer’s best year was probably 1971, when he finished second in the league with a .331 average, 25 homers and 94 RBIs.
I remember seeing Bobby’s first major-league home run in September of 1965 against the Senators on television. He was just 19 at the time, playing shortstop for a Yankee team at the crest of a 12-year decline, and belted a two-run homer in the seventh to break a deadlock and give the Yankees a 3-1 win in Washington.
Later I saw some Murcer home runs, including one against the Red Sox in a Fourth of July doubleheader and an upper deck blast against the Orioles in 1971. He was a clutch hitter, always fun to watch.
And Murcer was always a good listen as a Yankee broadcaster.
We’re praying for you Bobby, and looking forward to that hearing that Oklahoma twang and your Yankee insights in the YES Network booth this year. It’s not the same without you.