Skip to main content

True Meta'Murph'asis

To me, the name Murphy represents quality, whether we're talking about Johnny, Bob, Brown, or Tim (the best playground baseball player I knew as a kid).

I have always felt a special association with Dale Murphy, and have been a supporter for his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe someday I'll be able to say something similarly kind about Daniel Murphy.

The first baseball regular season for which I have strong memories is 1982 (I recollect the 1981 World Series a little bit) and the first superstar with whom I became familiar was Braves outfielder Dale Murphy.

Dale Murphy was the type of player who scared the bejesus out of you- part Ryan Howard, part Pat Burrell, part Chase Utley, part Jimmy Rollins. His stats seem rather pedestrian in an era in which greater offensive numbers are easier to come by (thanks to joke ballparks like Minute Maid and Citizens Bank).

It's funny, I was listening to a game from 1984 in which Bob Murphy marveled at Ryne Sandberg's approaching 80 RBI as September neared. That used to be a big deal. So was Dale Murphy. Dale Murphy's numbers, over a four-year stretch, were the most impressive in the NL

1982- .281 BA, 36 HR, 109 RBI (MVP)
1983- .302 BA, 36 HR, 121 RBI (MVP)
1984- .290 BA, 36 HR, 100 RBI
1985- .300 BA, 37 HR, 111 RBI

In 1982 and 1983, Murphy hit .325 with 7 HR in 24 games against the Mets, but when you're 7 or 8 years old, .325 feels like .625 (still does, actually). I didn't watch TBS a lot, but I saw enough games beyond those against the Mets to know that the guy was a heck of a player.

One of the signs that the Mets turned the corner in 1984 and 1985 was that they were able to get Murphy out, with regularity. He had 95 at-bats against the Mets, didn't crack .200, and only managed one home run.

He was still a threat at the plate every time up though, even in 1986 when he pinch-hit against Dwight Gooden, with what I believe was a broken bone somewhere (hand, wrist, finger?), to keep his consecutive games streak alive (Murphy regularly played 162). In that turn, he hit a long home run.

I think we've got a player on our hands with that kind of determination, and his name happens to be Murphy too. Forget the comparison statistically, because there is none (our Murphy is more likely to do a .310, 13, 83, circa Keith Hernandez, 1986). But remember the comparison as far as good hitter's go. This Murph's a smart one.

Jason at Faith and Fear wrote a nice post noting the slump that Murph had been in, and I think you could argue that he should have been yanked from Wednesday's game when Scott Eyre made his entrance. But Jerry Manuel, for some reason kept him in the game, and when the time came to face Brad Lidge, Murphy came through with the game-winning hit.

From 1982 to 1985, Dale Murphy had 20 go-ahead hits that came in the seventh inning or later. Daniel Murphy just got the first of what will hopefully be many. In just a short time, he's shown himself to have some pretty good qualities.

True Metphys know... Dale Murphy beat the Mets via walk-off RBI 3 times. He had a walk-off walk against them in 1982, a walk-off home run against them in 1988, and a walk-off fielders choice (as a member of the Phillies) against them in 1991.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Dale was a monster in the early '80s. My father used to point to him as the player I should think about when I was playing ball.

That pinch HR off Dwight in '86 - I believe that was off a curve ball. I seem to remember the announcers (Kiner/McCarver) questioning why Gooden threw a curve ball to a guy with a broken wrist. Should have gone with the heat Doc.

Also, wasn't Dale the one who slammed into the CF wall at Shea, I think in '86 or '87, damaging (breaking) the bottom of the fence? You can still see that damage today.

Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry walk-offs...so if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls

The 'Duca of Earl (and walk-offs)

If I told you that the Mets had just obtained a guy who is a career .316 hitter with runners in scoring position? How about if I told you that the Mets just traded for a hitter who has consistently ranked among the toughest in baseball to strike out? Or if I mentioned that the Mets just dealt for a player who was selected to the NL All-Star team the last three seasons, with the last honor coming via a vote by his peers? So, although he's on the down side age wise, his throwing arm isn't as good as it used to be, and he doesn't provide much power, there are a lot of good things that Paul Lo Duca brings to the New York Mets. For example: He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team The Dodgers and Braves squared off on August 23, 2002 and Lo Duca made an impact both on the start and finish of this game. Three pitches after being dusted by Greg Maddux, Lo Duca made him pay with a first-inning home run. The Braves rallied to tie the game, 3-3 in the ninth, but thei

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for