Aaron, Orioles salute Murray Likely Hall of Famer honored for reaching 500 HRs, 3,000 hits

September 23, 1996|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

The Orioles' Eddie Murray doesn't like talking about his accomplishments, or his likely place in the Hall of Fame, but for a few minutes yesterday, he relented.

The Orioles honored Murray for his 500th home run before yesterday's 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. On Sept. 6, Murray became the 15th player to hit 500 home runs and the third player with 500 homers and 3,000 hits, joining Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.

"When I stop and think about 500 home runs, first of all, I didn't consider myself a home run hitter," Murray told the crowd. "Now, I'm happy to have it. I never thought it would happen here in Baltimore, but it's just been fantastic, the reception I've gotten here since I've been back."

Murray, 40, played for the Orioles from 1977 to 1987 and returned to the club July 21 in a trade with Cleveland.

Aaron, who attended the ceremony, presented Murray with a gold ring embedded with diamonds showing "500," and a bat commemorating his 3,000 hits.

"To have 500 home runs and 3,000 hits is not something that should be overlooked," Aaron said. "Eddie Murray is a very dedicated ballplayer and has done a lot for baseball."

Teammate Cal Ripken talked about the influence Murray has had on his career.

"What matters to Eddie is to go out there every day and do whatever he can to help us win," Ripken said. "That was an early lesson he taught to me."

"I really care about these guys a lot," Murray said, thanking his TC teammates. "I really like to see people do better. I think that's what I get most out the game, trying to help others."

Pub Date: 9/23/96

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