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Dale Murphy

Dale Murphy (born 1956) is an American baseball player, born in Portland, Oregon. Murphy is regarded by many as one of the most important players to play in Major League Baseball during the 1980s. Murphy, whose best years were with the Atlanta Braves franchise, appeared in the All-Star Game seven times, won five consecutive Gold Glove awards, and two consecutive Most Valuable Player awards. His professional baseball career began in 1976 and ended in 1993, and he also played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies franchises. He finished his career with 398 home runs and a .265 batting average.

Murphy's squeaky-clean habits off the diamond were conspicuous in a league racked by drug and salary controversies. A devout Latter-day Saint (LDS; see also Mormon), Murphy did not drink alcohol, would not allow women to be photographed embracing him, and paid his teammates' dinner checks (as long as alcohol was not on the tab). In a scene reminiscent of The Babe Ruth Story, Murphy once promised a disabled girl in the stands he'd hit a home run for her -- and actually knocked out two.

Despite his career accomplishments, Murphy is typically not considered a viable candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame. The reasons given for this are the lack of success of the teams Murphy played on and Murphy's decidedly mediocre performance at the very beginning and towards the end of his career, not to mention his high strikeout totals.

After his baseball career ended, Murphy became more active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He served three years as president of the LDS Church's Boston mission. Murphy is a potential candidate for Governor of Utah in the 2004 election.