A base running speedster, Red Murray was one of the leading players during the dead ball era when the excitement was focused on the infield. Although he led the National League with 7 home runs in 1909 with the New York Giants, John Murray is best remembered for his daring base running. The outfielder broke into the majors with the St Louis Cardinals in 1906 and hit .257 in 46 games. From 1908 thru 1914, he stole a total of 274 bases. After batting .282 with 48 stolen bases with the Cardinals in 1908 he was traded to the New York Giants in a 4-player trade. From 1908 thru 1910 he finished second in the NL in stole bases with 48, 48 and 57.
During his 8-year tenure with the NY Giants Red Murray helped them win three consecutive pennants. He had a poor 1911 World Series, going hitless in 21 at bats. In the 1912 Series batting cleanup, his bat came alive and he hit .323, with 10 hits in 31 at bats, including 4 doubles, 1 triple, 5 runs and 5 RBIs. In the 1913 he lined 4 hits in 16 trips to the plate, 2 Runs and 1 RBI. Note: the Giants lost all three World Series.
Red Murray had 5 seasons of over 10 triples, including 3 with 15 or more. In 1912 he led all NL outfielders in fielding percentage, and in Forbes Field in Pittsburgh he made what was then called ‘the best catch in the history of Forbes Field.’
On August 30 1913 in a game in the Baker Bowl against the Philadelphia Phillies, a fan waved a pistol in the face of Red Murray until the police came and arrested the man.