Monday, March 23, 2015

Hit a home run fundraising breakfast

About six years ago, former major league baseball player and current Utah County resident, Dale Murphy, was asked to return to spring training camp for the Atlanta Braves.

While visiting spring training in Florida, a young fan asked for Dale’s autograph. When Dale signed the baseball, the young fan asked who he was. The young fan’s father explained that Dale Murphy was his generations’ Chipper Jones. After hearing that, the young fan asked if Dale would go to the locker room and have Chipper Jones sign his ball.

It has been 22 years since Dale Murphy has played professional baseball. Now, the grandfather of six spends his time in Utah County and enjoys spending time with his family.

Drafted in the first round of the 1974 Major League Draft by the Atlanta Braves, Murphy began his career as a catcher, he spent a short time at first base and finally ended up in the outfield where he became the youngest player in history to win back-to-back MVP awards (1982 and 1983), was named to the National League All-Star team seven times, earned four Silver Slugger awards and five Gold Gloves.

During the decade spanning 1981-1990, he led the major leagues in home runs and RBIs. He also led the National League in games, at bats, runs, hits, extra base hits, runs created, total bases, and plate appearances during that same period of time. With 7,960 at-bats, he retired in 1993 after a long and successful career with the Atlanta Braves (1974-1991), the Philadelphia Phillies (1991-1993), and the Colorado Rockies (1993.)

Murphy was invited to speak at Habitat for Humanity of Utah County Fifth Annual Fundraising Breakfast on Thursday, March 19, 2015 at the Riverside Country Club in Provo.

Murphy spoke about his distinguish career in baseball and focused his remarks on service. Known for his hitting abilities, from 1981-1991 he led the major leagues in home runs and RBIs. During that period, he would even find himself in a batting “slump.” During these times, he would often look outside of himself to help other players who were also struggling.

“I would get outside of myself and try to help other players,” Murphy said. “When we help others, things will become clearer in our own lives.”

He also reflected upon his careers and volunteer opportunities he has had since leaving baseball; “A life lived in service to others is a healthier life, and will make the world and our communities a better place.”

The Fifth Annual Fundraising Breakfast was a free event sponsored by American West Bank and the Orem Owlz.