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For week ended August 15, 1999 Posted 29 Aug 1999

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New mission for Murphy

Summarized by Kent Larsen

New mission for Murphy
Denver CO Post 9Aug99 L5
By John Henderson: Denver Post Sports Writer

BELMONT, MASSACHUSETTS -- Dale Murphy's most prized possession is a giant plastic baseball, about the size of a beach ball, covered with signatures. If you look at the autographs, however, you may not recognize the names. The autographs aren't from baseball players, they are from his missionaries. He trades them signatures when they finish their missions, even if they don't know about his major league record.

The mission office of the Boston Massachusetts Mission lacks the baseball memorabilia you might think would be there, given Murphy's history. Elder Shane Lamb, who works in the office says that Murphy is really very down-to-earth. "It's weird,'' said Lamb. "I'm sitting next to a guy who might be a multimillionaire, but he doesn't act it." Nor does Murphy rely on his record in talking to others, "He's very much into the work," Lamb said. "He doesn't talk about baseball unless somebody else asks him."

Murphy calls in to let the reporter know he will be late, and eventually drives in to the office in a typical mission car. He's just returned from dropping-off his son Chad at the airport, as he heads off on his own mission to Fukuoka, Japan.

Murphy's involvement with Church leadership comes at a good time in his life. After he retired in 1993, he tried public speaking and television work, but they didn't take up much of his time or give him much satisfaction. His former teams offered him positions as a coach, but he wasn't interested. "I was trying to decide," Murphy said. "I missed the game, but I didn't want to get back in. I wanted to purposely get away. Sometimes it's hard to make the break. You end up just staying. And I wanted to leave and see if there were other things out there."

Then he got a call to be mission president. It filled the void in his life the same way his conversion to the Church filled a similar void in his second year of professional baseball. "We were floored," said Murphy, who has served two years of his term as mission president. "This is a big responsibility. It's just an honor to be asked to work with the missionaries anywhere in the world."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information