Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma
July 12, 2008
Bobby Ray Murcer was born May 20, 1946, in
Oklahoma City, the second of three boys to Mae Belle and
Robert Murcer, a jeweler. Bobby grew up rooting for the
Yankees and made All-State teams in baseball and football,
according to an online
biography by the Society for American Baseball Research.
Baseball legend Bobby
Murcer has passed away from complications due to brain cancer.
Murcer played in the major league for 17 years and shared the
field with the likes of Mickey Mantle and Don Mattingly.
arguably one of the most
popular Yankee players in history, and made four all star
appearances in the pinstripes.
Following his baseball career,
Murcer went on to enjoy a long broadcasting career with the
Murcer was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2006 and had whole
nation rooting for him after he was diagnosed and said he
wanted to return to broadcasting. Mercer did return to the
booth on opening day last season.
Murcer passed away this
afternoon in Oklahoma City surrounded by his family. He was 62
A family service will
be held in the next several days in Oklahoma City. An
additional celebration of his life will be held at a date to
be determined. He is survived by his wife Kay, his children,
Tori and Todd, and his grandchildren.
Bobby married his high-school
sweetheart, 18-year-old Diana Kay Rhodes (known as Kay). He
would later tell a story that his father told him to pick out
any wedding rings in his store. After Bobby chose the most
expensive rings in the inventory, his father surprised him by
presenting him with a bill. His reasoning was that if Bobby
was ready for marriage, he could pay for the ring. (8)
Murcer also attended Central Oklahoma State College, majoring
in physical education. He went to Florida a week early in 1967
to take part in a golf tournament, and to get an early start
on spring training. He expected to win the Yankees' shortstop
job, but fate threw him a curve. On the day he reported to the
Yankees' camp in Fort Lauderdale, Kay called to tell him that
he had received his draft notice from the army. Bobby spent
most of the next two years in the military, serving in the
radio corps at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. Kay was pregnant when
he was drafted, and gave birth in the fall to their daughter
Tori Keleighn Murcer.
Bobby had little opportunity to play baseball while in the
army, but it did not seem to hurt him. While on leave in 1968,
he played seven games in the fall Instructional League and
slugged 1.000, before a wrist injury put him on the shelf. He
played a couple of those games at third base, and after his
discharge from the army, played third for Caguas in the Puerto
Rico League. There he continued hitting, driving in eighteen
runs in twenty-two games.
While Murcer was in the service, the Yankees regularly
discussed moving him to another position. In the spring of
1969 they had him compete for the third base job with
incumbent Bobby Cox. Murcer had gained 15 pounds in the
military, mostly muscle in his upper body.
Hill Burial Park