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For week ended October 24, 1999 Posted 31 Oct 1999

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Catching up with...Dale Murphy, Braves double MVP, July 4, 1983

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Catching up with...Dale Murphy, Braves double MVP, July 4, 1983
without permission. For list info see
Catching up with...Dale Murphy, Braves double MVP, July 4, 1983

This Sports Illustrated article gives an artful analogy between Dale Murphy's baseball days in Atlanta with his being mission president to a bunch of young people in the Boston Mass. Mission, which mission home is just seven miles northwest of baseball's "hallowed ground" of Fenway Park.

Dale, who retired from baseball in 1993, joined the church at age 19 when he was playing A league ball. He has an impressive major league record and was nominated for induction into the Hall of Fame last year. However, missionary work might be closer to what Pres. Murphy was interested in doing all along. Although the two MVP awards, the five Gold Gloves and the 398 homers he accumulated during his 18-year career were impressive, he was also noted as one of SI's, (Sports Illustrated) 1987 Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year-for the different types and quantity of his charity work. His wife, Nancy, occasionally had to remind him that he had a growing family at home. That family now includes eight children aged six to 19.

"It's always great when you're really needed," says Murphy. "I've been lucky to have a lot of opportunities to help people."

As a mission president, Pres. Murphy says that it is his job to try to make sure things run smoothly. "I'm sort of like a general manager," says Pres. Murphy with a hopeless laugh. "It's my job to make sure everyone's happy." Continuing, "It has been a great honor to work with people who are so dedicated and selfless."

Pres. Murphy is on his second year of a three-year assignment. His family home is currently in Utah, but he is not sure what he will do when his mission assignment is over. In mid-July, Pres. Murphy attended the All-Star Game at Fenway as an honored guest sitting near Eighty-year-old Ted Williams observing fellow nominees for baseball's All-Century Team. Will there be a return to baseball when his assignment ends next year?

"I always think about the possibility of going back in some way," says Pres. Murphy. "I miss baseball."

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