Bobby Murcer played in the majors from 1965-1983. He was signed by the New York Yankees in 1964 and played in the minors from 1964-1968. Like the player he would eventually replace (Mikey Mantle), Murcer started out as a shortstop. Bobby was with the Yankees for a short time in 1965 (.243 in 37 AB) and in 1966 (.174 in 69 AB).
Murcer came to the majors to stay in 1969. He batted .259 with 26 HR and 82 RBI while spending most of the time in right field. Bobby moved to center field in 1970 and batted .251 with 23 HR and 78 RBI.
Murcer's first big season was in 1971. He was an All Star for the first of five consecutive seasons. Bobby started for the AL in center field and went 1 for 3. Murcer batted .331 with 25 HR and 94 RBI and led the AL with a .427 on base percentage. Bobby Murcer the Yankees' Quiet Hero - November 1971 Baseball Digest.
- In 1972 Murcer led the AL with 102 runs scored and batted .292 with 33 HR and 96 RBI. He went 0 for 3 as the AL starting center fielder in the All Star Game, won a Gold Glove Award, and finished 5th in MVP voting.
Bobby had another good year in 1973, batting .304 with 22 HR and 95 RBI. Murcer was 0 for 3 with a walk in the All Star game and finished 9th in MVP voting. Bobby Murcer: My Goal is The World Series - September 1973 Baseball Digest.
Murcer moved to right field in 1974. His hitting stats were lower, possibly due to the Yankees playing in Shea Stadium during the remodel of Yankee Stadium. Bobby batted .274 with 10 HR and 88 RBI. Bobby was 0 for 2 in the All Star game. After the 1974 season Murcer was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Bobby Bonds.
Bobby had a similar season in 1975 for the Giants, batting .298 with 11 HR and 91 RBI. Murcer played in his last All Star game in 1975 and was 0 for 2. In 1976 Murcer batted .259 with 23 HR and 90 RBI. After the 1976 season Bobby was dealt to the Chicago Cubs as part of the deal that sent Bill Madlock to the Giants.
The Cubs got some good production out of Murcer in 1977 as he batted .265 with 27 HR and 89 RBI. His power numbers dropped in 1978 and Bobby batted .281 with 9 HR and 64 RBI. Murcer started the 1979 season with the Cubs (.258, 7 HR, 22 RBI in 58 games) and was traded to the Yankees for a minor leaguer and cash on June 26. Bobby wasn't the same player as he was when he first came up to the Yankees, but he batted .273 with 8 HR and 33 RBI. Murcer gave one of the eulogies at Thurman Munson's funeral on August 6 and then played in that night's game. Bobby hit a 3-run homer in the 7th to make the score 4-3 and then hit a 2-run single in the bottom of the 9th to win the game for the Yankees.
Murcer was a backup outfielder and DH in 1980. He batted .269 with 13 HR and 57 RBI in 297 at bats during the regular season. Bobby went 0 for 4 in one game in the ALCS. In 1981 Bobby batted .265 with six HR in 117 at bats. He was 0 for 1 in the ALDS, 1 for 3 in the ALCS, and 0 for 3 in the World Series.
Before the 1982 season Bobby signed a 3-year, $1.12 million contract with the Yankees. Murcer batted .227 with 7 HR in 141 at bats in 1982. Bobby batted .182 in 22 at bats in 1983 and retired when the Yankees wanted to bring up Don Mattingly.
After his playing career Mucrer did some coaching with the Yankees and was an assistant General Manager in 1985. He was also a broadcaster for the Yankees for many years and won three Emmy awards for his work. Bobby was also involved in many charitable activities.
- Questions and Answers with Former Yankee Bobby Murcer - July 2008 Baseball Digest.
Murcer was diagnosed with a brain tumor in December 2006 and died on July 12, 2008. Until The Very End Bobby Murcer Showed 'Heart of A Champion' - NY Daily News July 13, 2008
Liked to face: Joe Coleman (.433 in 67 AB); Tommy John (.412 in 51 AB); Dick Drago (.408 in 49 AB); Gene Garber (7 for 12 with 5 HR)
Hated to face: Marcelino Lopez (.000 in 15 AB); Pat Zachary (.040 in 25 AB); Fred Norman (.065 in 41 AB)
Bobby Murcer on What's My Line in 1971: