Murcer to be honored by Oklahoma school

Murcer to be honored by Oklahoma school

Murcer to be honored by Oklahoma school
TORONTO -- Oklahoma Christian University is all set to dedicate its new indoor facility to a late Yankee who helped rebuild its baseball program.

The school announced Friday that it would dedicate the new Bobby Murcer Indoor Training Facility -- a structure that represents the last step in the program's revival -- on Sept. 23, honoring the former Yankees outfielder and broadcaster who died of brain cancer in 2008.

Murcer, a five-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, starred at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City in the early 1960s, was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and got into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2004.

Murcer never attended Oklahoma Christian, but he and his wife attended nearby Memorial Road Church of Christ and had strong ties to many associated with the university. OC dropped baseball after the '01 season and didn't field a team again until '08. At that point, Murcer agreed to help revitalize the program.

And now, their $503,000 facility is a reflection of him.

"We felt like we needed to give honor to whom honor is due," said OC vice president of alumni relations Kent Allen, whose idea it was to name the facility after Murcer. "In the end, he had developed a keen interest in wanting to bring OC baseball back, even better than before."

The facility is 12,800 square feet, complete with batting cages, a clubhouse, a weight training area, an athletic-training area and other amenities. The lobby includes photos from Murcer's playing and broadcasting career and will soon have two seats from the old Yankee Stadium, dedicated by the Yankees.

Murcer, who passed away at age 62, spent 13 of his 17 years in the big leagues as a member of the Yankees, batting .278 with 175 homers in pinstripes. He then spent more than two decades as a broadcaster for the club, winning three Emmy Awards for live sports coverage.