Switch-hitting is a craft that few MLB players have mastered and on this day in 1994, Hall of Famer Eddie Murray set the record for switch-hit HRs in a game with 11. Murray was playing on the Cleveland Indians and in the twilight of an illustrious 21-year career, but his rep was built in his first 12 seasons as a Baltimore Orioles perennial All-Star.
The record was tied by Chili Davis, another potent Black Knight from the '80s and '90s, before retired Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira (baseball’s career leader with 14) broke the record with his 12th game of that stature in 2011.
Murray is one of baseball’s iconic Black Knights. What made Murray so special was the fact that he is arguably the greatest switch hitter in MLB history.
According to baseball-almanac.com, “A switch hitter has the power to change any game he is in. His ability to hit from either the right or left side helps set up favorable pitching match-ups for his team and also makes the opposing team’s pitching coach work twice as hard to scout his team. A switch-hitter creates a special problem for position players too; shading a switch-hitter often ends with a hit right up the middle. But it is the switch-hitting slugger that causes the most fear for a pitcher.”
Mickey Mantle and Murray fit the description.
Mantle had 10 switch-hit homer games and leads all MLB players in career homers by a switch hitter with 536 blasts. Murray is second with 504 career bombs and is the only other switch-hitter in MLB history to reach the magical 500-homer mark. A pure beast with his Afro and old school stache, Murray’s records will sit prominently in the record books for years to come as switch-hitting joins base stealing on the the list of those skills that are becoming a lost art in baseball.