Saturday, August 4, 2012

On this Day... Dale Murphy debut

On this day in 1990, the was some new excitement in Philadelphia when the great Dale Murphy, a two time NL MVP put on the Phillies uniform for the first time. One day earlier the Atlanta Braves traded their long time leader to a Phils club looking to make a move in the standings. At the time the club was 11 games behind the Pirates in the NL East.

Unfortunately, things didn't turn out as planned. After a couple of days it was clear the best days for the 34 year old former All Star had long since past. To put it kindly, he struggled. In 57 games he only hit 7 home runs and the club finished 18 games out.

The next season (1991), Murphy was respectable as he hit .252 with 18 home runs and 81 RBI in 153 games. But that was it...

Prior to the 1992 season the club announced a plan to give him more days off to help his sore left knee. Unfortunately, Murphy went on the disabled list two weeks into the season. He returned in early May, only to shut it down again ten days later. He would miss the rest of the season, except for one last Phillies at-bat on the season's final day. He led off the game, grounded out to second and was replaced by current Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr.

Murphy came to 1993 Spring Training with the Phillies needing only two more home runs to reach 400, but didn't make the club. That team would go on capture the hearts of Phillies fans and win the 1993 NL pennant.

The best thing about the Murphy trade is that the Phillies actually got the better end of the deal... Not because of Murphy. The Braves included a young pitcher named Tommy Greene. He would win 13 games in 1991 while throwing a no-hitter and in 1993, would win 16 games and the Game six clincher of the NLCS against the Braves.


Vonnoosh said...

I first thought that was the real '90 Donruss Murphy card. Turns out your version looks better than the original with it's blandly colored image of Murphy poised to swing in a Braves uniform.

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