Monday, July 21, 2014
Eddie Murray, 1997 Fleer #9
September 6, 1996 - exactly one year to the day that Cal Ripken played in his record 2,131st consecutive game. It was one of 10 homers that Murray hit in a 64-game stint with the O's, helping them capture the American League Wild Card with a 35-22 surge over the final two months of the regular season. Number 33 also had a big hand in the team's Division Series upset of the Indians, as he reached base nine times in 18 trips to the plate against the club that had dealt him away a few months earlier. Although Eddie's twilight encore in Baltimore ended with the heartbreak of a six-game ALCS defeat at the hands of the Yankees, he had a poetic farewell. In his final at-bat in an Orioles uniform, in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 5 at Camden Yards, he hit a home run off of O's nemesis Andy Pettitte, cutting the deficit to 6-2. It was too little, too late for the Birds, but that doesn't take away the reality that it happened.