54 years ago today, Murray began Hall of Fame journey
By Craig Muder
Despite the offensive explosion in Major League Baseball during the last 20 years, this fact remains: Only 10 men in big league history have driven in more than 1,900 runs.
And just two of them – Eddie Murray and Barry Bonds – began their careers after 1960.
Bonds’ 762 home runs tell the story of many of his RBIs. But Murray – one of the most consistent run producers in the game’s history – remains underappreciated.
Murray turns 54 today, making him one of the youngest Hall of Famers (62nd out of 68) despite the fact it’s been seven years since his election. He was a first-ballot choice by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in 2003 after finishing his career with 504 home runs, 3,255 hits and eight All-Star Game selections.
Murray’s consistency was staggering. In his 21 big league seasons, Murray’s team played at least 150 games 18 times. Murray appeared in at least 150 contests in 16 of those seasons – and topped the 160-mark six times.
Consider this: Over a typical 162-game season, Murray averaged 103 RBIs – the exact number as Willie Mays, one more than Mickey Mantle.
Few players answered the bell more consistently – and as well.
Twenty-one big league seasons, 1,917 RBIs – ninth on the all-time list. It’s a standard of excellence that will remain for generations to come.
Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.