By Rosemary Pollock
Murphy Missionary Talk Makes Local Paper
GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA -- The National League's Most Valuable Player in
1982 and 1983, Dale Murphy, again traded in his baseball uniform for
one of dark suits, white shirts and ties that he shared with 600
Mormon missionaries he served with during a three-year assignment as
Mission President in Boston. Murphy recently took a two-day trip to
Oklahoma where he and his wife, Nancy, spoke of their experience
while on their mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. They spoke to the missionaries and longtime friends, Jim and
Tammy Engebretsen, where Jim is serving as the President of the
"I've never been a real fan of baseball, but I'm a big fan of Dale
Murphy," President Engebretsen told the missionaries. "He's a hero of
mine." The Engebretsens are from Pennsylvania and became close
friends with the Murphys after the Braves traded the five-time Gold
Glove outfielder to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1990.
"Money and fame never motivated Murphy," Engebretsen said. "He knew
what was really important. He knows the Lord. He loves people,"
Engebretsen said of his friend.
Murphy became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints when he was 19 and in his second year in the minor leagues. In
2001, Murphy's balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame, fell shy of
the 75 percent support needed for election. He received 93 votes from
the 515 writers who cast ballots. Despite the disappointment, Murphy
is realistic about his chances.
"It's very hard to get into the Hall of Fame, which it should be. And
if I get in someday, I'll be very grateful. But I know where I stand.
I mean, if I had 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, I would be in," Murphy
said of his career batting average of .265 and a finishing hit total
of 2,111. He retired just two home runs short of 400.
"Baseball and sports and those things are a lot of fun. But it really
doesn't provide any lasting happiness," Murphy said. The Murphys have
eight children, ages 7 to 20 and live in Alpine, Utah. Their oldest
son, Chad, 20, is serving his second year as a missionary in Japan.
"Faith, family and friends - those are the things in life that really
matter," Murphy said.
Murphy preaches a powerful sermon
Oklahoma City OK Oklahoman 26Apr01 S2
By Bobby Ross Jr.: Religion Editor