December 10, 2012

Madison Murphy: "My Dad is a Super Hero"

Everyone has already said it, so allow me to be the next...this year, it's likely that Dale Murphy will become the 35th player to drop off the Hall of Fame ballot after 15 years.

But not if his family has anything to say about it.

Murphy has eight kids...and, to help their father collect the 75% of the vote needed for enshrinement (the two-time National League MVP fared best in 2000, when he garnered 23.2%), they've taken to the internets.  Hard.  The Murphy bunch has even set up a petition to help get the word out.

In this Hall of Very Good exclusive...this is what his lone daughter, Madison, has to say.


Understanding exactly who my dad is, has been a lifelong process.

Growing up primarily in Utah, my childhood was far away from the legacy he left in Atlanta. Basically, the only thing I knew about my dad's baseball career is that he had one. I had no knowledge of awards or statistics. My dad never displayed his memorabilia. We didn't have pictures lining our walls or framed jerseys in our family room. Anybody walking through our house wouldn't even know a baseball player lived there.

Baseball fans always know that my dad is modest, and sometimes people even ask me, "Is he really THAT humble?"

Yeah. He really is.

I cannot remember one time where my father boasted about his career. He never gathered us all around to talk about an amazing game he had, or what a great guy everybody thinks he is. He was never his first priority - and neither was his career. Our family never slipped from the top of his list. Because of this, I never looked at him as Dale Murphy the "Baseball Player", he was always just my Dad.

Because I was born a few months after my dad retired, my childhood wasn't filled with trips to the ballpark and people bombarding my dad for autographs. Up until my teenage years, I never looked deeply into who exactly my dad was during his career.

I remember being 14 years old and searching "Dale Murphy Stats" and "Dale Murphy Highlights" on Google and YouTube. I did this often, and tried to learn as much as I could about my dad's career. I wanted to know what he really had accomplished, because I knew if I asked him directly, he would downplay his talent, calling himself "average" or "lucky."

That's just who he is.

He's not one to admit he was one of the greats, even if everyone around him knows it.

I could watch highlights and read statistics for hours, but my father's career was more than numbers.  My father left a legacy, not only for the Braves but for the world of baseball. I sit here trying to give you all a picture of what my dad is like as a baseball player, but more importantly a person. The words that come first to my mind: humble, kind, respectful, strong, talented, caring, full of integrity and character, just to name a few.

I know, I look like a little girl talking about her daddy like he's a super hero. But I'll be the first to argue it - to me, my dad is a super hero.

And this is where the Hall of Fame comes in. This is where I write to you, Baseball Writers. There are going to be people who argue that my father's numbers are just flat-out not good enough. With the help of my eldest brother Chad, I am able to give you said numbers.

Here goes:
  • Back-to-back MVP in 1982 and 1983. One of only 13 players to accomplish feat and, at the time, the youngest ever to do so.
  • Seven-time National League All-Star. Top National League vote-getter and started in five of those games.
  • Four-time Silver Slugger award-winner.
  • Five-time Gold Glove winner.
  • Sixth player in MLB history to reach 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season.
  • In 1983, he became the only player in history to compile a .302-plus batting average, 30-plus home runs, 120-plus RBI, 130-plus runs scored, 90-plus walks and 30-plus stolen bases in a single season.
  • Led the Majors in total bases during the span of 1980-1989: 2796
  • Second only to Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt in total home runs (308) from 1980-1989: 308
  • Second only to Hall of Famer Eddie Murray in total runs from 1980-1989.
  • First in total home runs from 1980-1989 among all Major League outfielders: 308
  • First in total RBIs from 1980-1989 among all Major League outfielders: 929
  • Second in total hits from 1980-1989 among Major League outfielders: 1553
  • Second in total extra-base hits from 1980-1989 among Major League outfielders: 596
  • Played in 740 consecutive games from 1980-1986. 11th longest streak in history at the time, and 13th today.
  • Only missed 20 games total between 1980-1989.
  • In 1987, reached base in 74 consecutive games. Third longest streak in Major League history.
  • 398 career home runs. 19th in Major League history when he retired, fourth among active players.
  • 2111 career hits
  • 1266 career RBI
  • .265 career batting average
  • Sports Illustrated's "Sportsmen of the Year" Award: 1987.
  • Represented baseball as their "Athlete Who Cares the Most" for his charity work, along with U.S. gold medalist Judi Brown King, Kenyan gold-medalist Kip Keino and others.
  • Lou Gehrig Award: 1985. Given to the player who most exemplifies the character of Lou Gehrig, both on and off the field.
  • Roberto Clemente Man of the Year Award: 1988. Given to the player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team".
  • Bart Giamatti Community Service Award: 1991
  • Jersey number "3" retired by the Atlanta Braves: 1994
  • Inducted into the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame: 1995.
  • Induction class included Roberto Clemente and Julius Erving. One of only eight baseball players inducted in the Hall's history.
  • Inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence: 1995. Joining Mike Schmidt, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Nolan Ryan, and others.
  • Inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame: 1997
  • Inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame: 1997
  • Inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame: 2000. Joining Baseball Hall of Famers Phil Niekro and Hank Aaron, among others.
  • Founder of the IWon'tCheat Foundation in 2005, whose mission is to encourage character development among youth.
Now, aside from the fact that those numbers are numbers few have touched, I'd say there are well beyond enough to have him inducted. But, of course there will be those who disagree.

But then there's this, from the Baseball Hall of Fame website:

Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

Integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions?

You'd be hard-pressed to find another man who emulates every one of those attributes better or more frequently than Dale Murphy. Take one look at the fans in Atlanta, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Almost every jersey worn at Turner Field reads number 3. I believe it's because Braves fans know truly what what my father's career was. They wear that number 3 with pride, knowing that the man who once played in that jersey was not only talented, but a genuinely good, humble, honest person.

He was one of the rare bright spots for the Braves in the 1980s. He was their franchise, and he did it with pride, character, and without performance-enhancing drugs.

My father was a clean player - and I mean squeaky clean. No tobacco, no alcohol, not even a puff of a cigarette. More importantly than that, no steroids. Heavy-hitters like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds became the talk of baseball only a few years after my father's retirement.

America lost sight of what baseball was. The purity and love of the game that my dad had so well emulated had begun being overlooked, and the Steroids Era bombarded the world of baseball.

Because of this, I believe my father's statistics (and his character) have been overlooked.

Of course, 700-plus home runs is an amazing feat, but it's time the Baseball Writers see what truly makes a man Hall of Fame worthy. It's time they follow their own rules, by inducting a man who has integrity, sportsmanship, character, and made incredible contributions to the team(s) on which he played.

This is my father's last year on the ballot. He's not campaigning himself. He's not out showing off his statistics or career to anybody. So we, as his kids, have taken it into our own hands. It's time the Writers and fans of baseball see what an incredible player my father was, and the great man he is every single day.

My dad is everything a Hall of Famer should be.

It's time to put him in.


42 comments:

Anonymous said...

i watched your dad play the entire time he was in Atlanta and even i am astounded at some of his accomplishments. i am not sure that i knew he was a 30-30 guy. certainly not that he was the 6th to do it.

you have the right to be proud of your dad. he was the epitome of a 'ball player' and he should have been in the HOF years ago.

best of luck

Anonymous said...

Murphy's name will be remembered by every baseball fan forever regardless of his induction into the hall of fame. This alone nearly proves his worthiness. But I say this only as comfort to the family that Dale Murphy's legacy is much much bigger than baseball and it's hall of fame.

Anonymous said...

Your dad should have been in the hall years ago n if they don't vote him in this year they should be ashamed! U r correct braves country knows his wonderful n inspiring ur father is I am praying they finally get it right this year!

todddowneytx said...

Your dad was and will be a hero to many people. As a Murphy fan who grew up and has kids of my own, I KNOW his love and pride in his own children is far more important than what the BBWAA thinks of his playing career. You speaking up for him now confirms he is a HoF parent.

Anonymous said...

This article was so well written. Dale Murphy I am sure is a man of great character with a very impressive baseball career. However
a family petition? I would think his family would want him to get into the hall of fame on his own merit.
This article does not sound as if it was written by their ninteen year old daughter. It has his Nancy Murphy, his wife, written all over it.


Nancy Murphy said...

Ha ha thank you Anonymous for the compliment. Believe me, I have absolutely no problem putting my name on anything I write. I happen to have a very bright 19-year old daughter who is an amazing writer (if I could have written like that at 19 I would have a best-seller by now!) and who happens to adore her father. The result: this article. Please do not diminish what these kids are doing in support if their father. Get in on his own merit, you say? Yep...that's exactly what they are trying to do: bring attention to a career deserving of the Hall of Fame. Just FYI... the petition will not get him elected... Only the votes of the individual baseball writers will do that. These kids are just doing what they can do bring attention to a player who has been overlooked long enough.


Nancy Murphy (I did write this one!!)

Anonymous said...

It is really sad Anonymous, that you would discredit Madi for the article she wrote. And further, knock his children for believing in their dad so much, they would campaign for him...Dale is very humble and would never boast about his own career. Are you really that jealous to have to diminish their efforts?

Jonathan Hilbun said...

Beautifully written, Madison. I was seven years old when my family first got cable on the Mississippi Coast. During the summer of 1982, my dad sat me down, turned the TV to TBS, and introduced me to the Atlanta Braves and to the sport of baseball. Immediately I became a fan of both the game and the team...and over the course of that summer Dale Murphy became my boyhood hero. Not just for his baseball talent and accomplishments on the diamond. In addition to his athletic talents, Dale Murphy was a good and decent man. I tried as hard to emulate how he lived his life - his values and kindness - every bit as much as I tried to copy his swing at the plate. I first met Dale at Fulton County Stadium in the summer of 1989. I was nervous, giddy, you name it...the way a boy naturally is when he meets his idol. I've had several opportunities to meet him again in recent years. Did I feel or act any differently since I was all grown up? Nope. I still had the butterflies and stuttered and stammered when I found myself in front of him. As for Murph, well, he was just as kind as I remember him being when I met him all those years ago. I've had some difficult times in adulthood. Huricane Katrina. Numerous health problems. I could go on and on. However, whenever I get down or find myself in the middle of a rough patch, I look at an autographed photo of him and me. Or I'll think about the time when I first met him (and how he kindly said, "Excuse me, you forgot your pen" as I was walking away). Or I'll remember all the years I enjoyed watching him play on TBS (even when the Braves weren't so fun to watch). Every at bat and every defensive play. Dale Murphy embodies all that is great about the National Pastime. There's a reason all the boys who played little league ball throughout the South in the 1980s swarmed to the box when uniforms arrived and scratched and clawed to get the prized #3 jersey. Though I admit to being just a tad biased, I believe The Murph deserves a place in the Hall of Fame. And when the day comes when he's offered his rightful place at Cooperstown (whether it be by the writers or by the veterans' committee), I'll be there to celebrate with him. In the meantime, on behalf of all the kids of the 1980s who were positively influenced by your tremendous example and were captivated by your baseball heroics, thank you, Dale. We love you.

Alec Stais said...

I was not a Braves fan but I always admired Dale Murphy as a player and person. I think many fans (and people in the game) did. He is and was a class act.

Dudley Bokoski said...

If you judge players in the context of their era, which is really the only fair standard, Murphy should be there. The big change steroids made in how we view stats is that players often displayed power and production past the point where traditionally we saw declines. So you really can't match Murphy's stats against the inflated ones which came after.

What you can do is review his career and see that if you were playing baseball in the 80's and could start a team, you would build around a guy like Murphy.

Those of us who saw him play can attest that beyond his power hitting, he was a complete player who saved runs in the field and with his arm, ran the bases well, and hit for good average.

What makes his fielding success more remarkable is when he came up he was a catcher, which gives you some idea of his great natural talent and his ability to adapt that talent to where his skills were needed.

@OCP22 said...

Thank you so much for writing this post, Madison. Your dad is a super hero and I'm so glad that you have decided to take on this challenge. Regardless of whether Dale Murphy gets enough votes to be enshrined in Cooperstown, his accomplishments on the field and off it have earned something that few baseball players can ever attain (even those in the HOF) - immortality. He really is what the Hall of Fame should be about. If the writers really wanted to make a statement, they would vote Murphy in and write off *Roger Clemens, *Barry Bonds, *etc. (those with better *numbers who appear on the ballot for the first time this year). What plays a bigger role in the equation, numbers or other? In my opinion, the other.

TLC said...

Thanks Madison,
I have many thanks to a great man. My story, living in Idaho, I came from a broken family and grew up in an environment of drinking, smoking fighting etc...One day I found myself in church and a return missionary was substitute teaching in my class. He was a RM from Atlanta and of course the discussion turned to Murphy and this RM"s meetings with him. Well, long story short, he told stories that sparked my interest and I end up going home and watching Murphy play baseball and instantly I fell in love with the hero I could look up to. While commotion was the typical atmosphere in my home, I often found solace watching the Braves and particularly Murphy and luckily being separated from a lot of vices I could have easily fell into. I credit his great example of keeping me centered on the gospel and making the right decisions at the right time. Again Thanks.

Tony Mac said...

Still dumbfounded how your dad hasn't been elected after all these years! He was a great player & seems to be a great man as well. I signed your brother's petition & hope Murph gets a MUCH deserved election to the HOF this time around. Great article, BTW!

Anonymous said...

I was one of thousands of kids growing up who idolized Dale Murphy back in the 80's. I was a little more unique in that I grew up in Chicago where most people were idolizing Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, and others. I still remember the day I met Dale Murphy. It was at Wrigley Field and the game was delayed due to rain. My dad, knowing my love for Dale Murphy scouted the stadium and found him in the batting cages hidden underneath the bleachers of the stadium. So he grabbed my hand and led me through security (twisting some stories to get us there) and to the batting cages. Through a chain link fence I could see him and my jaw just about hit the ground. Back then Willie Stargell, the Hall of Famer, was the batting coach for the Braves. He walked over to the fence and asked me if I needed anything. I told him I was hoping to get Dale Murphy's autograph. I just about cried when Willie looked me in the eye and said, "Kid, this is a business and he's working. Get lost!" Heartbroken and disappointed I turned to walk away when Dale told Willie it was ok and came over to the fence. I had brought the cover of Sport Magazine from years earlier that Dale was on and he signed it. He also signed a baseball for me, and then signed a second one for my friend who had been left behind at the seats. He talked to me and asked about me. He took a genuine interest in me. To this day my dad still talks about how amazing it was to see our interaction and how hard Dale worked to get the baseball through the fence to me. The scarey thing is, I bet I'm just one of a thousand people that Dale did that for. Heck the Sport magazine cover he signed was for an article about how nice he was. I truly think the Hall of Fame folks are over looking a great one. His numbers are amazing for the period of time he played. Compared to other periods they are very good. But to reward players only for gawdy numbers is only going to offer an incentive and reward for players to dope up to get those numbers to make it to the Hall of Fame. Hopefully voters take those number into account, but also the individual who put those numbers together. What they have done for the sport, the community, the fans, and the and the manner in which they have conducted themselves. If they did, Dale would surely be listed not on 75% of the votes, but 100%. Good luck Dale, you'll always have my vote!

Jack Silvers said...

Dale Murphy, truly a great man. Not just a great man, but also a great father & husband. Dale, & his wife Nancy, have raised their children to stand up for what they believe in. In this case, their fathers HOF induction. The saddest thing with this situation is that these children are doing everything imaginable to get the attention of the BBWAA & all others who have a vote. My question is, when will We, the true fans of the greatest game ever, get a say so as to who gets into the HOF??? Originally I'm from a little hole-in-the-wall town in Ohio. For a family vacation the summer of 1986, Dad, Mom, Sis, & myself headed to Disney in Florida. As an early B-day present to me, we made a pit stop in Atlanta on the way home. We caught a game between the Expos & the Braves. In that game, Bob Horner hit 4 home runs, went 4 for 5 with 6 RBI's. Ken Griffey, Sr. had a couple hits, and my moms favorite Brave, Ozzie Virgil, even had a base knock. And my idol, Dale Murphy, went the big 0'fer. 0 for 5, are you kidding me? I was furious. We didn't come all this way to watch Murph have this bad of a game. With tears in my eyes, we made our way out of the stadium. My luck would soon change though as we found where the players and their families left the stadium. Some would just drive on by, acting as if there was noone standing there. Others stopped, still sitting in their cars, and signed some autographs. Only 1 Brave would stop, get out of his car, and sign every ball, card, program, or whatever he was given. That person was Dale Murphy, my idol. The game he had just played was already in the past to him. His main objective was to get the game off of everyone else's minds. He joked with everyone there. He made us laugh, in turn making himself laugh. Thats what a true hero/role model is all about. During his playing career, I put Murph on a pedistal. That particular day though, I felt as if He put me & all the other kids that were there on a pedistal. So, to sum it all up, with or without being enshrined into the Cooperstown HOF, Dale Murphy is already a HALL OF FAMER in integrity, character, fatherhood, husbandhood, and at just being an all around good guy. Your true fans love you Dale, and you've always got my vote.

Anonymous said...

I believe your dad belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but I know he belongs in something more important. He belongs to the small group of people who made a difference. Not because he was the best player of his time (you can quote all the stats you want, we all knew he was the best), but because he was the best example of a good man you could possibly have. As a child of the south that grew up in the 80's, I like many others used baseball to escape from the problems of life. The Braves were what you watched,and he was the example of how to play the game and how to act like a professional in sport as well as life.
Tell him thanks, a remind him he did make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Your dad signed an autographed picture for me through the mail when I was a kid. (I'm in my 30s now.) He was one of the few active players who ever responded to my autograph requests. I valued his baseball cards because he was one of THE best, and I'm saying this as a Mets fan! I've long thought his numbers are even greater today than ever, in light of the steroid era. I hope he gets in. It may sound like a sentimental cliche, but your dad really will always be a Hall of Famer to the fans. Please take that to heart. God bless.

Nelson said...

As Madi's former creative writing teacher, I can vouch for her writing ability. Great article, Madi.

As for Mr. Dale Murphy. I was an Andre Dawson fan, so....(just kidding)

The numbers speak for themselves. And baseball is the sport where numbers matter more than anything else. But should numbers be the only thing? If numbers were the only thing, then Barry Bonds would be in the Hall. And Sammy Sosa. Roger Clemens. They're not in the hall of fame because of question marks about how they achieved their numbers. All the reasons that keep them out of the HOF are the very reasons why Dale Murphy should be voted in. He performed at a high level, but most importantly, he did things the right way.

Whether he gets voted in or not, he's a hall-of-famer. I've been to his house for a team dinner and I was in a hall-of-famer's house. Each time he's spoken to local athletes about doing things the right way (look up his I won't cheat foundation) he's been introduced as a hall-of-famer. When I saw him the other day at Costco, I leaned over to my son and said, "that's Dale Murphy. He's a hall-of-fame baseball player."

Major League Baseball has gotten a lot of things wrong over the years. Here's to hoping they get this one right.

Nelson said...

As Madi's former creative writing teacher, I can vouch for her writing ability. Great article, Madi.

As for Mr. Dale Murphy. I was an Andre Dawson fan, so....(just kidding)

The numbers speak for themselves. And baseball is the sport where numbers matter more than anything else. But should numbers be the only thing? If numbers were the only thing, then Barry Bonds would be in the Hall. And Sammy Sosa. Roger Clemens. They're not in the hall of fame because of question marks about how they achieved their numbers. All the reasons that keep them out of the HOF are the very reasons why Dale Murphy should be voted in. He performed at a high level, but most importantly, he did things the right way.

Whether he gets voted in or not, he's a hall-of-famer. I've been to his house for a team dinner and I was in a hall-of-famer's house. Each time he's spoken to local athletes about doing things the right way (look up his I won't cheat foundation) he's been introduced as a hall-of-famer. When I saw him the other day at Costco, I leaned over to my son and said, "that's Dale Murphy. He's a hall-of-fame baseball player."

Major League Baseball has gotten a lot of things wrong over the years. Here's to hoping they get this one right.

Tom Loner said...

My name is Tom. I am from Atlanta. I am in my early 40's. I grew up I the 80s watching this lanky player in the Braves outfielder. He layed it on the line each and every game. While the Braves didn't have the records this young fan wished, there were silver linings. One of those linings was that lanky player that wore number 3. It was that same number 3 that every player in little league wanted. It was that same player that every kid in atlanta emulated. It was always the bottom of the ninth inning in my back yard with two outs. The ball is hit to me. And I try making that diving catch or that leaping catch at the wall. Never looking as graceful as Dale Murphy. Back then, there were three athletes in Atlanta that kids emulated: Steve Bartkowski was the QB for the Falcons; Dominique Wilkins was the human highlight reel on the hawks; but neither one of these players meant more to their team or Atlanta than Dale Murphy.

As far as does he belong in the Hall, I think it is a no brainer. I could quote stats, bit there is no way I could do as an eloquent job as Madison Murphy. Instead, I want to speak of Dale Murphy the human. Everyone in Atlanta wanted Dale Murphy's autograph. He never stopped until he signed all that wanted. This incident involves an 11 or 12 year old kid. This kid was at a mall just south of Atlanta. He was in line to get an ice cream cone. He looked up and Madison's father was in front. The one unmistakeble characteristic Dale Murphy has, is his big as Texas smile. This kid, very nervously, tapped him on his back and asked for an autograph. Well, that was when Dale Murphy did what Dale Murphy did best. He flashed that kid-like innocent smile. Not only he sign my autograph, bit he sat down with me and ate his ice cream and talked baseball. Madison, what your dad did for me that afternoon I will never forget. Will the writers do the right thing and induct him? Probably not. Bit the legacy that he leaves to thousands of kids just like myself is worth far more than a shelf at Cooperstown. I still think back to that backyard with two outs. There is a drive. Does the ball get caught? You know it does. Madison, thank you this article and for sharing your dad.

Joey Smith (joesmith273@msn.com) said...

Ms. Murphy, thank you for your wonderful piece regarding your father. I grew up watching him and, with my own father's contributions at the time, through him, learned some powerful life-lessons. I can just hear my dad now, "See, son? Even though the Braves are really bad this year, Ol' Murph still gives it everything he can."

I recently, completely unexpectedly, got to meet him for the first time. This summer my son was invited to a birthday party for one of his 2nd grader friends at the Gwinnett Braves game on July 1st. As we drove up, I noticed a sign that indicated that night was the monthly “autograph night.” I didn’t get to read who was featured that night, as I was driving and had to keep my eyes on the road. I had pointed the sign out to my 8 year-old. “Daddy! It has Dale Murphy’s name on there!,” he screamed in true shock in awe.

So even though my son had never seen your dad play, he noticed the Dale Murphy framed baseball cards in my home. He’s been asking me questions about who the best Braves players were. And I always tell him, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Dale Murphy, and Chipper Jones. He knew your dad was one of my heros.

And this squirming, short attention span 2nd grader, who was a decade away from being born when your dad retired, stood in line with me for an hour and half, never complaining once. I happened to be wearing my Braves powder blue 80’s Jersey, and when we finally got to meet your dad, he was gracious enough to comment on it, with a smile.

And, in that brief meeting, your dad was exactly how I remembered him; big, solid, gracious, and classy.

If I were a BBWA writer, he would have my vote. But more importantly, I think, your dad served as an example to me, and now my own son. Best to you and your siblings.

Mike Arienti said...

I used to watch Braves games on TBS as a kid. When your father was sent to the Phillies, I think every Braves fan may have died a little. He was the epitome of a guy who made every effort to make his team better on the field, and someone who wanted to be better off it.

Dale Murphy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, period.

Ryan Davies said...

Madi,

As your former math teacher and friend, I am so proud of you for writing this article. I always looked up to your dad because of the man that he is. He deserves to be in the Hall and does exemplify everything that the Hall represents. As a baseball coach, I try to teach my players to have all the traits that I have learned from baseball people, like your dad.
You have grown up so fast and I am so proud of you! I wish the best of luck to your dad in getting in the Hall and for the best of success and happiness to you and your family. Say hi to your crazy bro McKay for me.

Ryan Davies

Kelly M Reid said...

Growing up as a boy, I wanted to be Dale Murphy. I watched all his games with my grandparents on WTBS, had all his trading cards, and as all boy's do wanted to be my Hero. Dale was the epitome of what Superstars today are not. No flash, no multi-million dollar endorsements for products he didnt believe in, none of that because Dale was an athelete of character! I find it tragic that he has not yet made the Hall, however Dale should know that to a boy in VA, Dale Murphy was baseball!!!

Anonymous said...

Some of my best childhood memories with my Dad were shared watching the Atlanta Braves throughout the 80s. We knew going to those hot summer games at Fulton County Stadium that the Braves were not very good but the highlight of those times was seeing Dale Murphy play. Thats what brought us to the ball park. My Dad loved to remined me and still does when we talk Braves baseball today, that good ole number 3 was more than a great ball player he was and is the true definition of a role model. Thank you.

chef fred said...

As a Phillies fan playing the Braves was just agonizing--knowing that the great Dale Murphy was going to do something to beat us. Murphy should have been in the Hall of Fame years ago. Just goes to prove that the people watching the game(writers) know very little about it.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid living in New Mexico, I could watch two teams. One being the Dodgers, and the other being the Braves. I was a kid from Detroit who moved out to the desert and no professional sports teams to follow. Talk about withdrawals.

When I left Detroit, I had a #3 jersey. I played short and Alan Trammell was my hero. Since I couldn't watch Tiger games anymore, I watched the Braves. To my amazement, #3 on the Braves was an awesome player too.

To this day, if I'm playing softball, my number is #3. It used to be just for Trammell, but after watching your Dad consistently for 6 years, it came to represent him as well.

My daughter continues to wear the sacred number I have been so fond of. Dale needs to be in the Hall. He should have been there years ago. I wish him well.

victor moreno (from tijuana mexico) said...

Im a PADRES FAN, and during my childhood the only player I didnt wanted to see at JACK MURPHY STADIUM (now qualcomm) was your dad!!! he was a padre killer...he could flat out play ball, I wish you guys the best of luck,your dad deserves to be voted in....I was reading your letter and my 13 yearold daughter couldnt stop crying,she was reading along with me and didnt saw her...

Vienne's World said...

As a baseball fan, when I was coming up in the 80s, my 3 baseball heroes were George Brett, Mike Schmidt and your dad. He was an unbelievable player and its a travesty that he isn't in the Hall. As a father, your touching tribute to your dad gave me the chills and brought a tear to my eye. My daughter is only 2, but I hope that she looks up to me as a hero when she's your age. :) Go Dale!

Golden said...

When I was about 8 yrs old in the early 80's my grandparents took me to Atlanta to see the Braves play. Before the game I was down by the dugout where Dale Murphy was signing autographs. Due to the mass of people I was getting crushed against the rail. Mr. Murphy picked me up and set me down next to him on the warning track. He then calmly asked the crowd to back up and be careful. They respected him enough to obey his request. He then set me back in the stands, signed my glove, and made sure that I was ok. I still remember the gentle nature in which he went about this, and the genuine concern he showed me. He made an impression that has stuck with me for almost 30 years now.

Sandy said...

I met your dad at spring training in about 1988. I was helping a friend of mine, Terry Whitfield sell his toss machine to MLB teams and players. That year, I met probably a hundred major leaguers and to this day your dad was the classiest, down to earth and most professional of anyone I came across. He welcomed my partner and myself and went out of his way to introduce us to as many players as he could. I was always a huge fan of his because of the way he played the game with all heart. I think it is a travesty for him to not be in the HOF! He dominated his league for many years and was truly one of the best players in all of baseball. I sincerely hope he becomes a member in a few short days....

TRAGIC FAN said...

I understand why he wont be elected, but its a crime. As 9 year old in the south late 80s early 90s i had one team to root for and it was the dale... sorry the Atlanta braves. Later to find out that i wish he was my dad, that he is so amazing that/ he sat around for years saying nothing and finally his kids speak up, and tell the world how incredible he is. a testament to this amazing man HOF voters please send a message against doping elect this man, with steroids he would have been a all time great.... would he have been a great father?

Ryan Stewart said...

I grew up a Cubs fan in Indiana, but I always loved Dale Murphy. I cheered for Dale and the Braves, even though frankly, most of those years in the 80's they weren't very good. Dale was always the bright spot on the roster, and for the era, was one of the superstars. My rooting interest for the Braves waned after Dale retired, and I always felt terrible that the Braves got their act together after he was gone, and that he missed the era of Atlanta's success. Dale was a role model for kids of the era, and even in the Midwest, Dale Murphy the player transcended team loyalty, and we all loved him as a player. The Hall doesn't just owe it to baseball fans to preserve his legacy- it NEEDS his legacy, and that of other great players who were also great men to help us all remember that baseball was once pure, and can be again.

Kraig Kojian said...

I had the chance to watch your dad play and also agree that he belongs in the HOF, but your post has led me to the conclusion that regardless of the vote, he is a HOF parent who I'm sure is very proud of you. His accomplishments as a father and husband resonate more than any of his stats and awards on the field. Cooperstown would be nice, but it sounds as thou he's already in the most important HOF - your family's - and there is no waiting period or percentage of votes required to be inducted in that most important shrine. Good luck and keep up the great work.

Matt said...

I'm a Mormon. I'll just get that right out of the way. That is not the reason I am a huge Dale Murphy fan, however. I remember as a kid growing up in Sacramento, CA and getting cable television for the first time. Back then, almost every Braves game was broadcast on Superstation TBS (Home of the Braves). The second I saw Dale Murphy play, I was (and still am) a huge Dale Murphy fan and Braves fan. I tried to be like Dale while playing baseball through high school. Fast forward to my college years at BYU when I had the privilege of hearing Dale Murphy speak. He didn't talk much about baseball but, rather spoke about being a man of God and a father and husband. What a powerful talk he gave! Now, I am a husband and father to 4 fantastic children and I coach baseball. I try and teach the game to the boys I coach the way Dale Murphy played it...with love, honesty and integrity. We don't win all of our games, but I am trying to make sure those boys keep their heads up, learn the game and develop into good men. I guess what I am saying is that it doesn't matter if Dale Murphy gets into the hall (although it would be a travesty). Look at the influence (for good) that he has had on so many people. And to Madison...your dad is a super-hero in every sense of the word, but better yet he is one of those rare professional athletes that everyone should aspire to be like.

Jim said...

A great and wonderful spport of your father and great loving family Dale has..I hope your father will finally make it to HOF this alst time! Good luck! Jim

Anonymous said...

Madison, I know the Hall of Fame is important to your Dad and he deserves it, but as a father of 3 young girls I can assure you that reading what you wrote and seeing the actions of you and your siblings and the love and respect you have for your father means more to him than any award he could ever recieve from baseball. A truly amazing man who has obviously raised some pretty amazing children. Good luck and God bless.

Dan Garcia said...



I became an Braves fan in 1966, when the Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta. I was a college student at Mercer University in Macon, GA I loved baseball and ZI was fiannly close enough to a major league team to attend games. Through my college years and into early career years I was a big Hank Aaron fan. When Hank Aaron move along and the Braves brought up a kid named Dale Murphy, everyone loved the joy with which he l played and the high values with which he lived his life a ballplayer and a family man. By that time I had two boys of my own who followed the Braves and and love Murph. When my boys had to go to bed before the end of a Braves game I could always count on two questions the following morning at breakfast. "Did the Braves win?" and "Did Murph get any hits?"
As team players, the answer to the first question was important; but they lived and died with the answer to the second question. If Murph had a good night, their day was going to be great. If not, they would have to work harder to raise the mojo level for their hero.

Dale Murphy was a hero to many of us who got to see hime play every day either in person or via TBS. During his peak years I got to watch on of the best ballplyers ever and follow him from season to season.
But more importantly, during those years my sons got a great sports role model that to this day makes the proud to wear a throw back # 3 jersey and think back to the day that Murph sat at a table with them at ages 7 and 9 after a game a spend over 20 minutes talking baseball and autographing balls, bats and Sports Illustrated covers. A few years later, My sons were in a store in Gwinnett County and saw Dale looking at a book. My younger so walk up to him, tap him in the arm and said, "Hey Murph. We met you at the hoteltwo years ago, remember me, I'm Matt." To which Dale answered, "oh yeah, I remember." Maybe the only lie Dale Murphy ever told.
Thanks, Murph for the skill and strength of you game as a ballplayer. Thanks, Murph for your character and integrity as a man. Thanks, Murph for being the kind of father whose children love and praise him for who he is, not what he was. And most of all, Thanks Murph for being a Hall of Fame Person. You are part of my Cooperstown.

Chris from Lewsiburg, WV said...

I didn't expect to be surfing the web tonight reading about and being reminded about Dale Murphy, a man whom I so admired at a time when I was entering adolescents. This was a chance moment tonight to tap into those emotions that only a childhood hero can stir. As I read the accounts and impressions of others, I realized once again why there was an affinity towards him and why he was someone to emulate during those formative years. Yes, I tried replicating his unique swing because of his greatness on the field, but more so, I was keenly aware of the goodness of his persona, as an exceptional baseball player who was humble and appreciative of all of the fruits that his unique life had to offer. His offering back to me was being an exemplary man. He allowed me to see how great the human heart and spirit could be. How unique was it to experience a man of such "greatness" be so thoughtful and humble. I had a few other heroes who demonstrated similar qualities, but just as I have discovered that life is not as ideal as I once thought, the struggles of all of those heroes have also come to light. Except Dale Murphy. He is the real deal. Not perfect. But great...yet appreaciative...and thoughtful...and humble. So unique. I am happy for his family because despite any disappointment they may feel after tomorrow's announcement, look what will be affirmed through this process. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to share my thoughts. An please thank your father for me for having a meaningful affect in the life of another person's life.

Rob McG said...

Great article, it just emphasized why your Dad was and is still my favorite baseball player. He's definitely in my Hall of Fame and I'll always appreciate everything he did for the Braves.

Anonymous said...

Dale Murphy was my sports idol as a kid growing up in Montreal. I use to get $2 bleacher tix and come to the game 2 hrs early just to catch batting practice. and maybe get Murph's autograph.Which I have in spades.I use to go to every game the Braves played at Olympic Staudium. it was a routine catch batting practice and get a closer look at the legend. He was so cool...I was this young 13-14 year old acne faced dorky sports fan. I remember I even made a huge poster saying Dale is still #1 with a drawing of him hanging out in right field...He threw up a baseball to me in right field..I'd talk to him here and there over the course of a couple of years..He knew me as Montreal's biggest Murph fan..Even would give me tickets to games sometimes...I'll never forget him...the classiest and most sincere athlete ever. Im proud to say he was my alltime favorite!!! anytime I meet people from Georgia ...the first thing I say is that Dale Murphy was my fave baseball player growing up..

Anonymous said...

what a joke the baseball hall of fame is...to even have bonds, mcgwire, sosa palmeiro clemens on the ballot is an injustice to players who deserve votes like Murph and others,,to me the last great era in baseball was the 80's...back when hitting 30 homers a year .meant you were a true slugger...and getting 100 RBI in a season was a herculean statement..the steroids and PEDS in the 90's on has left a permanent ugly stain on the game..i dont care for the game anymore..greed and ego ruined the game..i took it to heart that Murph got shutout by the HOF. i cant let it bother me cause the people who vote have obviously been blindsided by inflated numbers and permanently skewed their belief on what hof caliber player is...I dont have to sell Murph's career to anybody. im just here to state in a world where heroes and role models are needed more than ever...chances are that people who were touched by #3 growing up in turn touched others .and in the end thats the biggest payoff...yeah there's a small selfish part of me that wishes he hit 500 homers with some help..but now Im proud that he didn't.In light of all the cheaters getting caught like Lance Armstrong are a complete disgrace to the American way of sportsmanship.
By the looks of it eventhough Dale played mostly on at best mediocre teams..Something has to be said about being th eundisputed best player in the game for a string of a few years..Thats mythic!!!
it stings to this day that once he was gone from ATL .the Braves went on an unbelieable run...that one cuts me real deep...anyways thanks for letting me vent HAHA...love the MUrph..best role model in the history of all sports :)the undisputed king of Class