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Dale Murphy

From Academic Kids

Dale Murphy (born 1956) is an American baseball player, born in Portland, Oregon. Murphy is regarded by many as one of the premier players to play in Major League Baseball during the 1980s. Murphy, whose best years were with the Atlanta Braves franchise, appeared in the All-Star Game seven times, led the National League in home runs and RBI twice, won five consecutive Gold Glove Awards , and won two consecutive Most Valuable Player awards in 1982 and 1983, making him one of only 4 outfielders in Major League history with consecutive MVP years.

His professional baseball career began in 1976 and ended in 1993, and he also played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies franchises. He finished his career with 398 home runs and a .265 batting average. He reached the playoffs only once, in 1982, where the Braves were eliminated in the first round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Murphy's squeaky-clean habits off the diamond were conspicuous in a league racked by illegal drugs and salary controversies. A devout Latter-day Saint, commonly known as a "Mormon", Murphy did not drink alcohol, would not allow women to be photographed embracing him, and paid his teammates' dinner checks (as long as alcohol was not on the tab). For several years, the Atlanta Constitution ran a popular weekly column, where Murphy responded to young fans' questions. Murphy's TV commercials usually had him advertising milk, ice cream, and Canon cameras. In a scene reminiscent of The Babe Ruth Story, Murphy once promised a disabled girl in the stands he'd hit a home run for her -- and actually knocked out two. In 1987, he shared Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year" award with seven others, characterized as "Athletes Who Care," for his work with numerous charities, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation (http://www.wish.org/), the Georgia March of Dimes (http://www.modimes.org/) and the American Heart Association (http://www.americanheart.org).

Despite his career accomplishments, Murphy is typically not considered a viable candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The reasons given for this are the lack of success of the teams Murphy played on and Murphy's decidedly mediocre performance at the very beginning and towards the end of his career, not to mention his high strikeout totals.

Interestingly, Murphy did not begin his career as an outfielder. He began as a catcher, but had difficulties throwing out runners attempting stolen bases. He was moved to first base and eventually right field, where he became one of the best in the game.

After his baseball career ended, Murphy became more active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the "Mormon Church". He served three years as president of the LDS Church's Boston mission. Murphy was at one point said to be considering a run for Governor of the State of Utah in 2004, but failed to generate enough interest within the Republican Party.

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