Eddie Murray, the second greatest switch-hitter of all time (behind the Mick), who likely solidified his first-year induction with his stellar late-career year with the Indians in ’95, and Gary Carter, “The Kid,” the second-best catcher of the last 40 years (behind Bench), were elected into the Hall of Fame today:
- Eddie Murray silently led with his bat. Gary Carter spurred teams with his enthusiasm.
Murray, the only switch-hitter with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, and Carter finally made it on his sixth try Tuesday.
“I got overly excited and screamed,” Carter said. “Now we can do a little celebrating.”
No one else came close in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
….Murray, currently the Cleveland Indians’ hitting coach, was an eight-time All-Star and finished with 504 homers and 3,255 hits in 21 seasons. Hank Aaron and Willie Mays are the only other players in the 500-3,000 club.
He hit 19 career grand slams, second in major league history to Lou Gehrig’s 23, and played a record 2,413 games at first base. Murray batted .287 overall.
In 1983, Murray homered twice for the Orioles in the clinching Game 5 of the World Series against Philadelphia.
Murray never led the league in hitting, homers or RBIs in a full season, was never an MVP and never was friendly with the media, the people who do the Hall voting. Still, his sheer numbers — posted mostly before baseball’s offensive outbursts — made him an automatic pick.
Carter, a three-time Gold Glove winner, got the two-out hit that started the Mets’ incredible three-run rally in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat Boston in Game 6 of the 1986 Series. The Mets won the championship in Game 7.
Carter hit .262 with 324 homers and 1,225 RBIs in 19 seasons. He holds the major league record for putouts by a catcher and played an NL-record 2,056 games at the position.
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