Thursday, October 27, 2011

#24 Steve Mura

Card: This is Mura's fifth card.  Mura shared a black and white rookie card in the '79 set with Jim Beswick and a very happy Broderick Perkins.

Picture: Mura playing catch along the third base line at Shea Stadium in New York.  In his powder blue Cardinal uniform he nearly blends into the background in the inset picture.

Player: Mura was drafted in the 2nd round by the Padres in the '76 draft out of Tulane University.  Mura struggled with his control in the minors, walking 257 in 414 innings through the '78 season.  Nonetheless he was called up in September of '78 by the Padres and surrendered ten runs in seven plus innings. 
Mura won a spot in the Padres pen in '79 and made spot starts throughout the year.  Mura finished 4-4 with two saves and a 3.08 ERA. 

In 1980 Mura came out of the pen for 14 games to start the year and then moved into the rotation on May 30.  He pitched well enough to stay in the rotation all year and topped off the year with a complete game, four hit shutout in his last start.  Mura finished with an 8-7 record and a 3.67 ERA in 169 innings.

Mura pitched poorly in '81 winning only five with a league high fourteen losses, a 4.28 ERA and a 1.486 WHIP.
Traded to St. Louis in the Ozzie Smith / Garry Templeton deal, Mura was able to bounce back with a 12-11 season for the playoff bound Cardinals.  Mura's greatest asset was his ability to work deep into games and eat up innings.  Mura threw seven complete games but his pedestrian 84/80 strikeout to walk ratio didn't exactly strike fear into the opposition. Despite pitching the third most innings on the team Mura wasn't used in the postseason as he watched his teammates defeat the Brewers in the World Series.

Mura moved on to the White Sox in '83 when they chose him as a free agency compensation pick.  Mura started out the year pitching in long relief but could not hang with the team.  Demoted to AAA, he went 3-11, with a 4.82 ERA in Denver.

Mura spent all of '84 in AAA pitching in Portland for the Phillies top farm team.  Picked up by Oakland in '85 Mura worked his way back to the majors for a mid-season call up.  Pitching in long relief he pitched 46 innings with a 4.13 ERA, a 1-1 record and one save.  Mura then retired and started a pool service company.

Stuff: Fastball, curve, slider, and a slower curve that he used as an off speed pitch.

Flipside: Mura no doubt benefited from having Ozzie Smith behind in him in both San Diego and St. Louis.  Looking at those SO/BB ratios, he needed all the help he could get from his defense.

Oddball:  Mura had a strange '82 season in that he had seven complete games but also had eleven starts where he failed to finish the fifth inning.

History: Mura was on the St Louis championship team of '82 but didn't get to play in postseason.  Likewise he had a shot at staying with the division winning White Sox in '83 but was ineffective.  Mura didn't have the greatest control and was pretty hittable and thus his career was over before he was 31. 
Mura currently owns Bayou Pool Service in Trabuco California.


  1. Came across this today from Night Owl's post. Great blog!

  2. That picture was taken at Shea Stadium! :)

  3. Nice catch "thosebackpages". I fixed it


  4. Love the pose... looks like his wingspan is about a mile long, as if he's grabbed the ball off the outfield turf and plans to hand it to home plate. LOL

  5. Yeah I know, it looks like he's rearing back to throw it a country mile but he can't be more than 70 ft down the 3b line