During his long playing career and subsequent time as a television announcer, Bobby Murcer became a favorite for generations of Yankee fans. However, I wonder how many know that the five time All Star was also a “Skoal Dippin’ Man”? The evidence is below (the embedded audio includes the full song and an interview with Murcer as well as a hilarious impersonation of Yankees’ broadcaster Frank Messer).
Murcer’s brief foray into country music occurred in 1983, while the outfielder was winding down his career by riding the pine for the Yankees. That season, hits were hard to come by for Murcer, so the outfielder stepped away from the batter’s box and took a couple of swings in the record studio. With the backing of friends like Willie Nelson, Murcer recorded two singles for Colombia Records, “Skoal Dippin’ Man” and “Bad Whiskey”, which were eventually released in June.
Although he was still an active player at the time, Colombia billed its new star as a “former Yankee”. In a matter of weeks, that slip up would prove prophetic. On June 21, Murcer officially retired from baseball. However, instead of shifting his focus to a career in music, Murcer put his Oklahoma drawl to good use in the Yankees’ television booth, joining Phil Rizzuto and Bill White on WPIX. For much of the next 25 years, Murcer remained closely associated with the team, while his short-lived music career faded into a novelty. As a result, a younger generation of Yankees fans had the opportunity to know Murcer as a baseball player rather than a Skoal Dippin’ Man.