On May 20, 1946, Bobby Ray Murcer was born in Oklahoma City. He attended Southeast High School where he played football, basketball, and baseball. His senior year, Murcer hit .458 and only struck out once and signed in 1965 with the same New York Yankees Scout as his baseball hero and fellow Oklahoman, Mickey Mantle. He played two years of minor league baseball before fulfilling his military obligation in 1967 and 1968. He followed in Mickey Mantle’s footsteps as center field for the Yankees. At the time, Murcer was the youngest player to earn a six-figure salary at the age of 26. Murcer was named an All-Star four years in a row, 1971-1975, and won the Gold Glove in 1972.
When batting against Hall of Fame pitchers, Murcer hit .291 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs, impressive numbers versus some of the best. He went on to play for the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs each for a season before returning to the Yankees where he retired. On June 1, 1983, Murcer hit his 100th career and final home run at Yankee Stadium before retiring on June 20, 1983. However, he remained with the organization and picked up a career in broadcasting where he won three Emmy Awards for live sports coverage as the voice of the Yankees. Murcer lost his battle to brain cancer in Oklahoma City on July 12, 2008 at the age of 62. This commemorative portrait sculpture, by John Gooden, was placed at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City as one of the most beloved players to come from the state.