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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 09, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 11Jul00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Dale Murphy Ends Mission, Returns to Atlanta For All-Star Game
Atlanta GA Journal-Constitution 9Jul00 S2
By Tim Tucker: Staff

ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- The very best part of Atlanta's baseball past is back in town. But it will only be for a few days, when Dale Murphy returns to Atlanta, Georgia to serve as honorary captain of the National League All-Star baseball team. "Gosh, I'm honored," he replies. Murphy will ultimately be returning to his home in Alpine, Utah after spending three years in Massachusetts, where he served as the president of the Boston Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Murphy 44, his wife Nancy and their eight children spent three years in Massachusetts where he was responsible for supervising over 180 missionaries throughout New England. "It was a definite stretch for me to be an administrator," he joked. "You can imagine how organized I was. My desk kind of looked like my locker," which often was a mess, he added. "It was intense. It's like you have 180 children that you are constantly worried about. Your stomach is kind of always churning."

"To see these missionaries---it's a very rigid schedule for them; they don't watch TV, don't go to movies, don't listen to popular music; it's a time for them to really find out about the most important things in life, their faith in God and serving other people, Murphy said. "So it's just a real remarkable experience to see young people change their lives like this." "It was just a highlight of our lives to be a part of it."

Murphy's oldest son Chad, 19, is on a Mormon mission in Okinawa, Japan. His sons Travis 18, Shawn 17, Tyson 14, Taylor 12, Jacob 10, McKay 8 and only daughter Madison, 6 are all into sports. "They follow it so much more closely than I ever did. They even know who's leading the league RBI's." [Leading the National League is LDS Church member Jeff Kent - Editor] As for the All-Star Game, he said, "They're looking forward to the home-run contest." "It's a great time to be a part of baseball," Murphy said. "It'll bring back a lot of good memories."

This week, Murphy will get his first look at Turner Field. He will also see the new parking lot that used to be Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium where he played all or part of 15 seasons with the Braves. "I was going through boxes like crazy (upon returning to Utah last week)," he said, "and I pulled out a picture someone in Atlanta had given me. 'Thanks for the memories' was written on it, and it was a picture of the stadium. I was, like golly, that's not even there any more." "It's going to be weird not to see it," Murphy said. "But that's the way it goes. It's OK."


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