Excerpts from Eddie Murray's speech

Excerpts from Eddie Murray's speech at Cooperstown:

A nice, little sea of black and orange out there. It's a wonderful thing.

I'm thankful to be here today. It's a dream, one of the few things I never dreamed. The game, I knew I was going to do.

It's a great honor to be here today. When Ted Williams was here and inducted into the Hall of Fame 37 years ago, he said he must have earned it because he didn't win it because of his friendship with the writers. I guess in that way I'm proud to be in his company that way.

I was never one much on words. For me to focus a lot on the individual, that's not the way I learned to play the game. Baseball a team game. You win as a team, you lose as team. You also do so many things together, but it is not an "I" thing.

That is one reason why I didn't maybe have the friendship with the media maybe like I could have. But I had to do what I had to do to make myself successful. That's what I learned, and that's what I preach today to my kids. And I still believe it.

Now I'm a hitting instructor with the Cleveland Indians, and I preach to them there's more to this game than just walking up to home plate and swinging a bat, fielding ground balls. There's some dedication and some love you have to put into this work to become good.

For me, baseball is about the team winning. I could have taken an 0-for that day, but if our team won, I don't think you could have come into the locker room and been able to tell that I did not get a hit because the most important thing to me was that we won. That was what we intended to do when we took the field. That's what it was about. I think my teammates saw it more than anyone - the will to win.

I'm proud to be here as a man who's played first base more than anyone else in baseball. It was never about taking days off. It was about showing up everyday, letting my managers know I was here to work. When I signed my contract, I was here to play 162 games. Some of my managers happen to be behind me. Where's Tommy at? Where's Earl? Earl didn't give me days off. He didn't believe in them. ...

I learned the game from some good teachers. I learned life from some good teachers. No one was more important than my mom and dad. I know they're watching from a place up in heaven to make sure their kids are doing good. ... It's great having my family here, and I'd like to recognize them. ... You guys had a lot to do with me standing here - a lot.

As you can see, it's enough for a baseball team. We didn't have far to go. And the games we played, they were fierce. They were competitive. My older brothers would not allow me to win. They made me learn to play with them. ...

All four brothers played professionally. Charlie, you inspired us all by signing that contract. That's what we all wanted to be. We wanted to be like you. ...

My five sisters are here today with my four brothers. They were unbelievable. I'd also like to thank my wife, Janet, and my two daughters, Jordan and Jessica. I'm blessed to have them. That's my life. That's what I live for. ...

There's a lot of people that helped me get where I'm at today. ... My Little League coach, Clifford Prelow, he really helped teach the love of the game of baseball to me.

When I became a minor leaguer at the age of 17 with the Orioles, I ran into my good buddy's dad, Cal Ripken Sr. ... Jim Schaffer is also big in my life and Ray Miller, who also taught me how to play the game when I became an Oriole. Some of my buddies out there, Lee May, Al Bumbry, Elrod Hendricks. I tell you, the clubhouse was unbelievable. It was a place you wanted to be. It was a place you learned to play the game and learned the Oriole Way. I couldn't have asked for better teammates than Doug DeCinces and Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Flanagan, Mike Boddicker, Kenny Singleton, Scott McGregor. These guys were unbelievable to me.

It was wonderful going home as a member of the Dodger organization ... I enjoyed playing for the Mets. I hit my 400th home run there. ... Cleveland was a great place to play, not because I got my 3,000th hit, but because we were about winning. ...

I'm also grateful today to Peter, Georgia, John and Lou Angelos for bringing me full circle back to Baltimore for my 500th home run. ... Looking out Camden Yards and seeing two orange seats in the outfield and they're yours, that's an unbelievable gesture to me. Cal has the other one.

Today I join the greatest players who played the game. ... I see some old faces I'm familiar with. ... It makes you feel at home. ...

I'd like to thank those that came before me, like Jackie Robinson, Larry Doby, Curt Flood and those who taught me along the way and always gave me their support and friendship. Ron Shapiro made it easy for me on the field. He took a lot of the troubles away. ...

The Bumbry family, the Hendricks family, from the time I became an Oriole, they accepted me. ...

I'd like to thank all of you for coming today. My kids out there in the back, the Northwest baseball league there's a couple hundred of them out there that have come all the way from Baltimore, thank you.

And finally, I thank all of those who came here to share in this day with me. I really appreciate it, because you don't get where you are without support. That Eddie chant, it took me a while to learn to deal with it, but I did, I loved it. ... For every kid here, I wish you could feel what I do. ... I feel unbelievable. I've definitely been blessed. I loved playing baseball. I still love the game.

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