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2.26.2013

Underrated Tuesday: Dale Murphy

Classic Dale Murphy Poster
Even though the weather is crummy across this great land, the fact remains that the boys of summer have reported, and baseball is being played in both the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. It's cold and dreary here in Florida, but that doesn't temper my enthusiasm for the great game, and I'm excited to see a bunch of Jacksonville Suns games with Jeanne and Lyla this year.

I thought, given the game's rich tradition, that I might shine an occasional light on some of the great, unsung ballplayers of this era and others. I'll start with the best slugger of the 1980s, the waaaay underrated Dale Murphy.

Dale, a native of the Portland area, was a back-to-back MVP in 1982 and '83. He crushed 72 bombs in an era when power hitting at that level was rare. He patrolled the outfield with ease, running balls down so effortlessly that he ultimately won a bunch of Golden Glove awards.

He dominated for years on some very bad Atlanta Braves teams. Growing up, I watched him play all the time on TBS (he was also very durable). He was clutch. I can't remember how many times he came through in the late innings, but it always seemed to me as a kid that he just couldn't be retired after the seventh inning.

From everything I've read about Dale, he's also a gentleman. It's a shame he didn't make the Hall of Fame this past year, his last year of eligibility, because he certainly deserves it in my book...

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