COOPERSTOWN A LOCKE FOR MURRAY

Baseball Hall of Fame induction for Eddie Murray this summer also would be a good time for the 30th reunion of Los Angeles Locke High's Class of 1973. Another member of that class, and a prep teammate of Murray's, is Ozzie Smith, who was the only Hall of Fame inductee last summer. Yet another Californian, catcher Gary Carter, also wins induction vote.

Why couldn't Ozzie Smith have played one more year of his illustrious career as shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals? Or why couldn't Eddie Murray have retired one year earlier as a legendary homer-hitting switch hitter?

If the two had retired after the same season, it's likely they would have been standing together as the only inductees into the most prestigious Hall of Fame in all of sports. Imagine that. Two guys from the same high school team going into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame at the same time.

The only reason that scene never happened is because Smith played his last game after the 1996 season while Murray retired after 1997. The Hall of Fame has a five-year waiting period before induction can occur and last year Smith received the necessary votes from the baseball writers of America for a first-ballot induction. Since Murray wasn't eligible until this year and his first-ballot win was almost a shoo-in, you almost wish Smith hadn't gotten enough votes last year so the two could have been inducted together.

But Murray will not be the only former California prep who will be inducted at Cooperstown, N.Y., this summer. Catcher Gary Carter, who spent his career with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, is from Sunny Hills High of Fullerton.

Murray and Smith make Locke the fourth California high school with two major league Hall of Famers. The other three are Sacred Heart of San Francisco (with Harry Heilmann and Joe Cronin), Fullerton (with Walter Johnson and Arky Vaughn) and Fresno (with Frank Chance and Tom Seaver).

Both Murray and Smith were seniors in the spring of 1973 and played on a talent-laden team at Locke. In fact, two others from the team that season -- pitcher Darrell Jackson and sophomore catcher Rich Murray (Eddie's younger brother) -- also went on to play in the major league. It's only team in California history known to have had four future major leaguers on the roster.

Eddie Murray was the Marine League Player of the Year for that season. Smith and Jackson were also first team all-league while the younger Murray was on second team. Eddie Murray and Jackson were second-team all-L.A. City Section, but Smith earned no other postseason accolades.

Given how Murray turned out, him not being L.A. City Player of the Year for that season would normally look like a poor choice. But the L.A. City Player of the Year at the time wasn't exactly somebody who couldn't play. It was Robin Yount from Taft High of Woodland Hills and Rockin' Robin was so good he practically went straight from high school to the major leagues. Yount was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

With Murray and Smith in the lineup, Locke's 1973 team lost to Kennedy of Granada Hills, 4-3, in the L.A. City Section quarterfinals. Kennedy wound up in the title game, but lost 3-2 to Sylmar.

Both Murray and Smith also were on Locke's 1972 baseball team as juniors. Murray was chosen all-league as an outfielder and Smith was all-league at shortstop. Smith was listed as "Osburn" Smith, although his actual real name is "Osborn." This, of course, makes him the original Ozzie Osborn.

Ozzie also was a high school gymnast back when the L.A. City Section still offered boys gymnastics as an interscholastic sport. That gymnastics background no doubt contributed to Smith's shortstop acrobatics.

Carter was an All-Southern Section quarterback as a junior football player in 1970. But a knee injury suffered in a scrimmage a week before his senior season was about to begin ended his football career. Carter was described as a "6-2, 195-pound three-sport standout."

Carter's last high school playoff batting appearance was forgettable. Carter, then a junior, was called out on strikes with the bases loaded to end the 1971 game as his Sunny Hills team lost to Azusa by a 10-7 score.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

HALL OF FAMERS FROM

CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOLS*

*Two are listed as being from an elemantary school only.

(Listed according to year of induction)

2003 -- Eddie Murray (Locke, Los Angeles) 1B

2003 -- Gary Carter (Sunny Hills, Fullerton) C

2002 -- Ozzie Smith (Locke, Los Angeles) SS

2000 -- Sparky Anderson (Dorsey, Los Angeles) Manager

1999 -- George Brett (El Segundo) 3B

1999 -- Robin Yount (Taft, Woodland Hills) SS

1992 -- Rollie Fingers (Upland) P

1992 -- Tom Seaver (Fresno) P

1991 -- Tony Lazzeri (St. Teresa's Elem, San Francisco) 2B

1990 -- Joe Morgan (Castlemont, Oakland) 2B

1988 -- Willie Stargell (Encinal, Alameda) OF

1986 -- Bobby Doerr (Fremont, Los Angeles) 2B

1986 -- Ernie Lombardi (Cole Elem, Oakland) C

1985 -- Arky Vaughn (Fullerton) SS

1984 -- Don Drysdale (Van Nuys) P

1982 -- Frank Robinson (McClymonds, Oakland) OF

1980 -- Duke Snider (Compton) OF

1978 -- Eddie Matthews (Santa Barbara) 3B

1976 -- Bob Lemon (Wilson, Long Beach) P

1975 -- Ralph Kiner (Alhambra) OF

1973 -- George Kelly (Poly, San Francisco) 1B

1972 -- Lefty Gomez (Richmond) P

1971 -- Harry Hooper (St. Mary's, Oakland) OF

1971 -- Chick Hafey (Berkeley) OF

1966 -- Ted Williams (Hoover, San Diego) OF

1962 -- Jackie Robinson (Muir, Pasadena) 2B

1956 -- Joe Cronin (Sacred Heart, S. F.) SS

1955 -- Joe DiMaggio (Galileo, San Francisco) OF

1952 -- Harry Heilmann (Sacred Heart, San Francisco) OF

1946 -- Frank Chance (Fresno) 1B

1936 -- Walter Johnson (Fullerton) P


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