The Wolfpacker

Sept.-Oct. 2020

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 47 of 51

48 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY TIM PEELER G eorge Murray was a football and baseball player of distinction at NC State a century ago, a fullback and pitcher for the Aggies from 1918-21 whose college career was interrupted by a brief U.S. Army training stint at Fort Gordon in Atlanta. Only once did he ever play for the same coach in back- to-back seasons during those deadly and turbulent times, yet he always found a way to improve and advance in his four years in both sports, far enough to be signed by the New York Yankees shortly after he graduated with a degree in textile engineering in the spring of 1921. How fortunate was Murray as a baseball player? In 1921, he was teammates with Babe Ruth — both of them. As a senior at State College, the native of Charlotte was team captain and the top pitcher on a squad that included sophomore outfielder/pitcher Rufus Frederick Routh of Randleman, N.C., a World War I hero who everyone called "The Babe." Following his signing with the New York Yankees shortly after graduation, Murray won 13 minor league games for the Rochester Colts of the International League before getting a call to join the Yankees on Sept. 11 on a roster that included George Herman "Babe" Ruth, who earned his famous nickname a decade earlier in a Fayetteville hotel room during spring training. Though he did not pitch in a game during that brief call-up in '21, the next season Murray made the roster thanks to a strong spring training, going to work for Hall of Fame manager Miller Huggins and playing with inducted players Ruth, Frank "Home Run" Baker and pitcher Waite Hoyt. He was a part-time starter and an effective reliever who was on the active roster for the subway World Series against the New York Giants. How- ever, he did not appear in the series, which was won by the Giants in five games. In the offseason, Murray was traded, along with team- mates Camp Skinner and Norm McMillan, to the Boston Red Sox for Hall of Famer Herb Pennock and $50,000. "Don't tell [Capp] Huston or [Jacob] Ruppert [owners of the Yankees] I said so, but I think that in Murray alone, I got a better player than Pennock," said Red Sox owner Harry Frazee, who was not exactly known for making great trades with his Yankee counterparts. Murray exacted a little revenge against his former team in his first start of the 1923 season, beating the Yankees 5-3 in a complete-game effort and going 1 for 3 at the plate. However, the rest of the season was not as promising. He started 18 games and relieved in 21, but he walked 87 batters and only had 40 strikeouts in 177 innings while posting a 4.91 earned run average. PACK PAST George Murray Stood Out In Football And Baseball At NC State, Then Teamed Up With Babe Ruth On The New York Yankees At NC State, Murray teamed up with Rufus Frederick Routh, a World War I hero nicknamed "The Babe," and then when he was on the New York Yankees roster from 1921-22 he was teammates with the much more famous Babe Ruth while also serving as an effective reliever for a squad that reached the 1922 World Series. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - Sept.-Oct. 2020