Thursday, June 25, 2015

#445 Dale Murphy

About the Front: This photo sums up Dale Murphy in the early 1990s. He's sitting on the bench, staring straight out at the field, wearing an unfamiliar uniform, and searching vainly for answers. Poetic, ain't it? There's also a background cameo by Philly manager Jim Fregosi.

About the Back: Hey, that's the old Phillies uniform! What gives?

Triple Play:

1. His son Shawn was an offensive tackle at Utah State University and a fourth-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2008. He played briefly in the NFL with the Buccaneers and Broncos.

2. Murphy had an amazing peak with the Braves in the 1980s, winning five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers as a center fielder, earning back-to-back NL MVP honors in 1982-1983, and being tabbed for seven All-Star Games.

3. Dale coached first base for Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. He also maintains a steady presence on Twitter (@DaleMurphy3).

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: If I'd followed baseball more closely when I was younger, I'm sure the sight of Dale Murphy in the Rockies' purple and black (he signed with the team on April 3 after being released by the Phillies) would have been jarring.

Bill James Said: "Murphy called it quits in May after getting about one hit a week." Yes, unfortunately the former star batted .143/.224/.167 in 49 trips to the plate for the Rockies, managing a lone double among his six total hits. Even the friendly atmosphere of Mile High Stadium couldn't prop up his flagging career.

On This Date in 1993: June 25. Walkoff walk! The streaking Orioles win their fourth straight with a 7-6 victory over the Yankees in ten innings at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. New York jumps out to early leads of 5-0 and 6-1, chasing starter Fernando Valenzuela in the fourth inning, but the O's rally back with five runs over the last four innings of regular play against Jim Abbott and three Yankee relievers. In the bottom of the tenth, Steve Howe yields a leadoff double to Damon Buford and intentionally walks a pair of batters (bookending a Mark McLemore sac bunt) to load the bases with one out. Buck Showalter replaces Howe with ex-Oriole John Habyan, who strikes out Mike Devereaux before issuing a game-ending free pass to Chris Hoiles on four straight pitches. With Baltimore's win and losses by front-running Detroit and Toronto, the O's close to within four games of first place despite ranking fourth in the top-heavy American League East. Forgive my verbosity, but I was just noting the parallels to the 2015 season thus far; swap out the Tigers for the Rays, and you've got four East clubs within 2.5 games of one another. And just like '93, the Red Sox are in fifth, nine (well, eight and a half) games out!


  1. Growing up my favorite player was Eddie Murray and my little brother's was Dale Murphy. Through the 1980's it was a pretty heated argument of who the better player was, but by the time this card came out I tried to keep my mouth shut out of respect for the player Murphy had been, rather than how things ended.

  2. Rob - Did anyone ever suggest that you split the difference and both root for Dale Murray?