Eddie Murray, all-star rookie card (Topps 1978).
Switch-hitting slugger Eddie Clarence Murray, born Feb. 24, 1956, in Los Angeles, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1973, moved up to the majors in 1977 and was named
American League Rookie of the Year with a .283 batting average, 27 home runs and 88 RBI. He averaged 28 homers and 99 RBI for the next decade and was traded prior to the
1989 season to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Usually in contention for the National Leage batting crown (hits-homers-RBI), in 1992 he went to the New York Mets and hit his 400th career home run.
His 3,000th career hit came in 1995 with the Cleveland Indians, and his RBI single in the bottom of the 11th won Game 3 of the World Series that year.
Traded back to the Orioles, he hit his 500th career homer Sept. 6, 1996. He went briefly to the Angels and retired as a Dodger in 1997 with 504 career home runs (25th all-time and No. 2 among
switch-hitters after Mickey Mantle's 536); 3,255 hits; a .287 batting average; and 1,917 RBI (8th all-time; No. 1 among switch-hitters). His 19 career grand slams are fourth all-time and his
home runs from both sides of the plate in 11 games tied a then-record. The Orioles retired his number (33)
in 1998. He was elected to the National
Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 while he was coaching for the Indians (2002-2005). In 2007 the Dodgers hired him a a hitting coach.
Along the way, Murray moved to Canyon Country and formed a partnership with onetime Expos and Dodgers General Manager Kevin Malone and car dealer
Lenny Sage to open the Santa Clarita Valley's first Mercedes-Benz dealership. It opened in December 2005 at 23355 Valencia Boulevard, an expansion of Valencia's
original "auto row" on Creekside Road.
Malone, a fellow Santa Clarita resident, said in a 2007 interview:
"Mercedes-Benz contacted me and let me know that they were looking at bringing a franchise here and a dealership, and I was excited.
So I met with the president of Mercedes-Benz USA at the time, Paul Halata. He liked me and they were looking for a celebrity, and at that time, I was considered such. ...
And they said: Well, find somebody else from the community that maybe is a celebrity. Eddie Murray fit that well, and he came on board. ...
The most important piece, I think, was my partner who is in the car business, Lenny Sage. He and his family own four other dealerships.
Eddie and I ... were baseball guys; we needed a car guy to run the business, and Lenny is running the dealership."
Further reading: SCV Newsmaker of the Week
with Kevin Malone (March 13, 2007).