Mercer, Bobby Ray
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Updated: 14 Aug 2013
Created:  03 Apr 2012


BOBBY RAY MURCER
 1946 ~ 2008

We will all miss you Bobby, and we will remember you always.

 

 

Oklahoman Archives
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.

He was 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 team.


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 years old.

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.

Burial: Rose Hill Burial Park

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