07/12/08 9:49 PM ET
Cox recalls friendship with Murcer
Two were roommates during 1969 season with Yankees
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
"He was quite the player and always the gentleman," said Cox, who was introduced to Murcer when the two were teammates with the 1969 Yankees.
During that 1969 season, Cox and Murcer shared a Manhattan residence and developed a friendship that continued to grow over the course of the following four decades. The Braves manager spoke about his former roommate multiple times during Spring Training this year and had a chance to talk to him one last time in March.
While Tiger Woods was at the Braves' Spring Training facility in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., a few years ago, he posed for a picture with Cox. Murcer, who had been sitting in the dugout with the Braves manager, was clearly visible in the background.
Per Cox's request, Woods signed the picture this year with a personalized "Get Well" message for Murcer. Cox sent the photo to his friend in March.
"That was the last time I talked to him," Cox said.
Murcer was a lifetime .277 batter who hit 252 home runs with 1,043 RBIs during a 17-season Major League career that included stints with the Yankees, Giants and Cubs. Soon after his retirement, he began his long career as a Yankees broadcaster.
"He was a great player, quite a hitter" Cox said. "He didn't have the numbers to go to the Hall of Fame. He needed another year. But he was well known. He was a great person."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.