- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 11, 2003

It should come as no surprise that Eddie Murray, one of the most productive hitters in the history of Major League Baseball and a man who terrorized pitchers for two decades, was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Unfortunately, the event was marked by tragedy: During the previous week, his younger sister, Tanja, passed away following a long, difficult struggle against kidney disease.
"The elation I feel by being recognized for my achievements on the field is overshadowed by the anguish of losing someone so dear to me," said Murray. "Once again, thank you for this incredible honor, and I appreciate your understanding during this most difficult time."
By any measure, Murray's accomplishments on the field over 21 seasons were extraordinary. In 1996, Murray joined the great Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players to get 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Although he never led his league in home runs or RBIs or won a Most Valuable Player award, Murray was extraordinarily consistent, setting a record by driving in 75 or more runs during 20 consecutive seasons.
Murray's Baltimore Orioles career began in 1977 at the age of the 21. Murray, who spent the year as the team's designated hitter, hit .283 with 27 homers and 88 RBIs that year for a team that was not eliminated from the race until the final weekend of the regular season. During a 12-year stint for Baltimore, Murray became a Gold Glove first baseman and perhaps the most dependable clutch hitter in the American League. In 1979, he helped lead the Orioles back to the World Series for the first time in eight years (albeit a crushing seven-game defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates). Four years later, Murray, with 33 home runs and 111 RBIs and a .306 average, led the Orioles to their last world championship.
Although Murray continued to rack up awesome power numbers for the Orioles, Baltimore, by 1988, had became the laughingstock of baseball, winning 54 games and losing 107. Murray, who clashed with the Orioles front office and reporters, was traded to the Dodgers. He would spend his final nine seasons as a slugger for hire, playing for six different teams, including a mid-1996 return to the Orioles, where he hit his 500th major-league home run.
"Eddie was the best player I ever played with," longtime Orioles teammate Ken Singleton said. "He was the best clutch hitter I've ever seen. He was a great teammate, too." Sounds like stuff that belongs on Eddie Murray's plaque at Cooperstown, N.Y.

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