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The gentlemanly Murcer took the inevitable comparisons in stride. Although he lacked Mantle's awesome power and struck out often in his early years, the line-drive hitter possessed a good Stadium stroke. Beginning with the last at-bat of the first game of a doubleheader against the Indians at Yankee Stadium on June 24, 1970, he hit home runs in four consecutive at-bats, the only Yankee other than Gehrig to accomplish that feat. During the 1971 season, Murcer began to hit more regularly to left field, cut his strikeouts by 40, boosted his average by 80 points to .331, and finished second in the batting race. His great season solidified his popularity in New York and marked his arrival as a star. Murcer hit at least 22 homers in each of his first five full seasons, with a career-high 33 in 1972. He drove in a league and career-high 102 runs that year and won a Gold Glove. In 1973, he became the youngest AL player to earn $100,000, and responded with his second and final .300 season, hitting .304.
With the Yankees' playing home games at Shea Stadium during 1974, Murcer's "Stadium stroke" resulted in numerous warning-track drives but only 10 actual home runs. The Yankees traded him straight-up at the end of the season for the Giants' Bobby Bonds, who was considered a superstar. Candlestick Park was no friendlier to Murcer than Shea. Not until he was sent to the Cubs and Wrigley Field in a five-player deal that included Bill Madlock did Murcer find another home ballpark suited to his home run stroke. He responded with his last great season, hitting 27 homers and driving in 90 runs.
A subpar performance in 1978 led the Cubs to trade him to the Yankees during the 1979 season for a minor league pitcher, and he was reunited with Piniella, Chambliss, Nettles, and his close friend Thurman Munson, who came up at the end of 1969. Murcer homered at the Stadium on the night of August 2 shortly after learning that Munson had died that day in a plane crash.