Hall of Famer Eddie Murray settles insider-trading case

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Murray, 56, who lives in Santa Clarita, Calif., was a switch-hitting first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles from 1977-88. After DeCinces left the Orioles, he and Murray maintained a close friendship, according to the SEC.

The agency said that Mazzo, 55, and DeCinces also were close friends and lived in the same exclusive community in Laguna Beach, Calif.

“It is truly disappointing when role models, particularly those who have achieved so much in their professional careers, give in to the temptation of easy money,” Daniel Hawke, chief of the SEC enforcement division’s market abuse unit, said in a statement.

The SEC said that weeks before an announcement of Abbott’s acquisition of Advanced Medical Optics, Mazzo told DeCinces about the deal. As CEO of Advanced Medical Optics, Mazzo knew about it. DeCinces then bought 90,700 shares of AMO through several brokerage accounts, according to the SEC.

DeCinces, in turn, passed the information to at least five people, including Parker and Murray, the SEC says, and they all bought AMO stock.

The merger agreement was announced on Jan. 12, 2009. Abbott agreed to pay $22 a share for AMO. That day, the stock closed at $21.50 a share — a 143 percent jump from $8.85 a share the day before.

DeCinces sold his shares for a profit of about $1.38 million, the SEC said. And it said the five people DeCinces tipped off made a total of $2.4 million in alleged illegal profits.

The Orioles declined to comment Friday.

Though salaries for top players during his day were not what they are now, Murray signed several free-agent contracts in the 1990s and made tens of millions in the game. He protected his privacy and had a reputation for being surly with reporters, but Murray was an unquestioned clubhouse leader who was respected by teammates and opponents alike.

A durable star nicknamed “Steady Eddie,” he also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians and Anaheim Angels in a 21-year major league career. Murray finished with 504 homers and 3,255 hits, making him one of only four players to reach both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits.

Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Rafael Palmeiro are the others.

Murray, an eight-time All-Star and the 1977 AL Rookie of the Year, played in two World Series with Baltimore and one with Cleveland. He helped the Orioles win a championship in 1983 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first try 20 years later.

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AP Sports Writer Mike Fitzpatrick in New York contributed to this report.

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