Murton with the Hanshin Tigers
October 3, 1981 |
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|MLB: July 8, 2005, for the Chicago Cubs|
|NPB: March 26, 2010, for the Hanshin Tigers|
|Runs batted in||112|
|Runs batted in||417|
Matthew Henry Murton (born October 3, 1981), nicknamed "Thunder Matt", is an American professional baseball outfielder in the Chicago Cubs organization. He previously played five years in Major League Baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, and Colorado Rockies.
Boston Red Sox
Murton was drafted out of Georgia Tech baseball in the supplemental first round of the 2003 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox. Murton played just 155 games in the Red Sox organization, with the Lowell Spinners and the Sarasota Red Sox, hitting for a high on-base percentage and average power.
Murton was acquired at the 2004 trading deadline by the Chicago Cubs along with Red Sox star shortstop and fellow former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Nomar Garciaparra as part of a four-team blockbuster deal. He spent the rest of the year with the Single-A Daytona Cubs.
He started 2005 with the Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx and on July 8, he was called up along with Adam Greenberg, replacing the struggling Corey Patterson, and Jason Dubois. On the same day, he went 2-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice fly against the Florida Marlins in his major league debut. He continued his success in the majors over the rest of the season, hitting .321 with two stolen bases, seven home runs, and an on-base percentage of .386 in 51 games in 2005.
In 2006, Murton became the Cubs' starting left fielder. On August 3, 2006, Murton went 4-for-4 with 4 doubles and 5 RBIs in game 2 of a doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks, matching a major league record for doubles in a single game. He finished the year with the second-highest mark on the team in batting average, at .297, with 13 home runs and 62 runs batted in.
For 2007, Murton saw his playing time reduced when the Cubs signed Cliff Floyd to play in left field. When center fielder Alfonso Soriano switched back to left field in April, Murton switched to right field. On June 13, after hitting only one home run with eight RBIs in limited playing time, Murton was optioned to Triple-A to make room for left-handed pitcher Clay Rapada.
In 2008, Murton saw his playing time diminish even further, playing in just nineteen games, and recording only 42 plate appearances in the first three months of the season for the Cubs. In those 42 plate appearances, he managed to accrue only two hits, leading to his early exit from the team.
On February 4, 2009, Murton was traded to the Colorado Rockies for infielder Corey Wimberly. When stepping to the plate at Rockies home games, the song "Strong Tower" by Kutless was played over the speaker system.
On December 4, 2009, Murton was released by the Rockies, who sold his contract to the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball. In Murton's rookie season with the Hanshin Tigers he became only the fourth player in Nippon Professional Baseball history to have a 200-hit season. On October 5, 2010, Murton broke the single season hit record, set by Ichiro Suzuki (in 130 games), hitting his 211th hit (through 142 games). He successfully finished his first regular season in Japan with 214 hits (in 144 games), .349 batting average, 17 home runs and 91 RBIs. Murton's single season hits record was eclipsed in 2015 by Shogo Akiyama of the Seibu Lions, who recorded 216 hits in 143 games.
Murton is married to Stephanie Murton and has homes in Georgia, Florida, and Colorado. Murton played baseball for Eagles Landing High School in McDonough, Georgia, and later for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Matt's younger brother, Luke, also played for Georgia Tech and is currently in the New York Yankees farm system. It is rumored that Matt will occasionally attend Hanshin Tigers games and sit in the grand stands incognito.
- "Matt Murton: Who Is He and Why Should the Boston Red Sox Sign Him". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/draftday/search.jsp?sc=team&sp=bos 2003 First-Year Player Drat Tracker | MLB.com
- http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/baseball/mlb/07/31/trade.deadline/ SI.com – MLB – Red Sox trade Nomar to Cubs in deadline deal
- http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2103231 Patterson recently lost starting job – MLB – ESPN
- http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/FLO/FLO200507080.shtml July 8, 2008 Chicago Cubs at Florida Marlins – BaseballReference.com
- http://mlb.mlb.com/chc/history/single_game_records.jsp Cubs Single Game Records | cubs.com History
- http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2006.shtml 2006 Chicago Cubs Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics – BaseballReference.com
- http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20070727&content_id=2112908&vkey=pr_chc&fext=.jsp&c_id=chc Cubs recall outfielder Matt Murton and right-hander Rocky Cherry from Triple-A Iowa | cubs.com Press Release
- "Cubs acquire right-handed pitchers Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin from Oakland". cubs.mlb.com. Associated Press. July 8, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Ringolsby, Tracy. Rockies release Murton to pursue career in Japan, FOX Sports. Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
- Harding, Thomas. Rockies clear space for Spilborghs, MLB.com. Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- Clemmons, Anna. "Matt Murton thrives in Japanese setting". Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "Matt Murton breaks Ichiro Suzuki's Japan season hits record". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
- http://www.japantimes.co.jp/sports/2015/10/01/baseball/japanese-baseball/lions-akiyama-sets-single-season-hit-record/ Japan Times – Lions' Akiyama Sets Single Season Hits Mark. Retrieved February 10, 2016