Dale Murphy

Dale Bryan Murphy (born March 12, 1956), is an American former professional baseball player. During an 18-year career in Major League Baseball (MLB) (19761993), he played as an outfielder, catcher, and first baseman for the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and Colorado Rockies; Murphy is best noted for his many years with the Braves. His entire big league career was spent in the National League (NL), during which time he won consecutive Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards (19821983), the Silver Slugger Award for four straight years (1982–1985), and the Gold Glove Award for five straight years (1982–1986). Murphy is a member of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, and World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.[1]

Dale Murphy
Murphy seated at a table looking to the camera
Dale Murphy meeting fans at the CNN Center, 2007
Outfielder
Born: March 12, 1956 (age 63)
Portland, Oregon
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 13, 1976, for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
May 21, 1993, for the Colorado Rockies
MLB statistics
Batting average.265
Hits2,111
Home runs398
Runs batted in1,266
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Dale Murphy was born in Portland, Oregon, on March 12, 1956 to parents Charles and Betty. He had a sister, Sue. Murphy played American Legion Baseball and attended Woodrow Wilson High School.[2][3]

Baseball

Playing career

In 1976, Murphy began his major league career with a nineteen-game stint catching with the Atlanta Braves. He appeared in only eighteen games the following season. In 1978, Murphy played first base mostly; at the plate he had a .226 batting average, though he also showed hints of his future power by hitting 23 home runs.[4]

Murphy switched to the outfield in 1980, a move that would help initiate a decade of highly productive play in the National League. Beginning in left field, he soon switched to center field, the position at which he would find his greatest success. By 1982, the most decorated year of Murphy's career, the former catcher had transformed himself into an All-Star MVP outfielder who appeared in each of Atlanta's 162 games. His turnaround as a fielder was equally stark. In 1978, Murphy led all National League first basemen in errors. In 1982, spending time at each of the three outfield positions, he won his first of five consecutive Gold Gloves, as well as the first MVP award by a Brave since Hank Aaron, in 1957 with what were then the Milwaukee Braves.[4]

Playing in the decade before the Braves began their dominance of the National League East, Murphy also made his only postseason appearance in 1982. Although he performed well, the eventual World Series-champion St. Louis Cardinals eliminated the Braves in the 1982 National League Championship Series. The league's most valuable player failed to translate his regular season preeminence into October success, hitting safely only three times and scoring one run. Murphy rebounded from the postseason sweep with another MVP award in 1983. This time period ultimately proved the high-water era of Murphy's career. Each year during the four season span from 1982 to 1986 he won a Gold Glove, appeared in the All-Star Game, and placed in the top ten in MVP voting.[4]

In 1988, however, despite being voted to what would be his final All-Star appearance, Murphy's production began an inexorable slide downward. Murphy saw his batting average free-fall from .295 in 1987 to .226 in 1988. Only once more, in 1991, would Murphy bat above .250. Once a consistent source of power at the plate, he never again hit 25 home runs or more in a season.

The Braves traded Murphy after fifteen seasons to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1990. Murphy's two seasons with the Phillies were mostly uneventful (he spent the entire second year of his Phillie’s contract on the Disabled List he didn’t play in a single game.) He signed with the Colorado Rockies for their inaugural season but only played 2 months of the regular 1993 season before he retired due to injury. During his last two years in the majors, Murphy's batting average lingered well beneath baseball's Mendoza Line (.200).[4] (However, his entire 1992 season was spent on DL and Murphy only played 2 months of the 1993 season).

Career summary and honors

BravesRetired3
Dale Murphy's number 3 was retired by the Atlanta Braves in 1994.

Murphy finished his career with 398 home runs (19th in MLB history at the time of his retirement), 1,266 RBIs and a .265 lifetime batting average. His MVP awards in 1982 and 1983 make him one of only four outfielders in MLB history with consecutive MVP years; at the time, he was the youngest to have accomplished the feat. His many honors include seven All-Star appearances, five Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers.[4] Murphy led the National League in home runs and runs batted in (RBI) twice; he also led the major leagues in home runs and RBI over the 10-year span from 1981 to 1990.

One of the most productive and decorated players of the 1980s, Murphy led the National League in games, at bats, runs, hits, extra base hits, RBIs, runs created, total bases, and plate appearances during the decade. He also accomplished a 30–30 (30 home runs with 30 stolen bases) season in 1983.[4] Murphy played in 740 consecutive games, at the time the 11th longest such streak in baseball history. His jersey number ("3") was retired by the Atlanta Braves on June 13, 1994, in his honor as opposed to that of even Babe Ruth, who wore Boston Braves number 3 during the partial season with which his career concluded. Murphy was inducted into both the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.[5][6]

Public persona

Murphy's clean-living habits off the diamond were frequently noted in the media. A devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church),[7] Murphy did not drink alcoholic beverages, would not allow women to be photographed embracing him, and paid his teammates' dinner checks as long as alcoholic beverages were not on the tab. He also refused to give television interviews unless he was fully dressed. Murphy had been introduced to the LDS Church early in his career by teammate Barry Bonnell.[2]

For several years the Atlanta Constitution ran a weekly column, wherein Murphy responded to young fans' questions and letters. In 1987 he shared Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year" award with seven others, characterized as "Athletes Who Care", for his work with numerous charities, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Georgia March of Dimes and the American Heart Association.

One of his more memorable incidents was reminiscent of a scene from the classic black-and-white baseball film The Pride of the Yankees:

Before a home game against San Francisco on June 12, 1983, Murphy visited in the stands with Elizabeth Smith, a six-year-old girl who had lost both hands and a leg when she stepped on a live power line. After Murphy gave her a cap and a T shirt, her nurse innocently asked if he could hit a home run for Elizabeth. "I didn't know what to say, so I just sort of mumbled 'Well, O.K.,' " says Murphy. That day he hit two homers and drove in all the Braves' runs in a 3–2 victory.[8]

He was ultimately granted several honors because of his integrity, character, and sportsmanship including, Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (1985), "Sportsman of the Year" (1987), Roberto Clemente Award (1988), Bart Giamatti Community Service Award (1991), and World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame (1991 Induction).

Hall of Fame candidacy

Despite his reputation as a true five-tool superstar and multiple MVP awards, Murphy did not get elected to the Hall of Fame. He first appeared on the writers' ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999, the earliest possible year of consideration. He has failed to gain election, joining Barry Bonds, late New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris and recently eligibile Juan González as the only Hall of Fame-eligible recipients of multiple MVP awards not in the Hall.[9] His failed candidacy has drawn particular notice due to his reputation as a clean-living player whose career was immediately followed by baseball's scandal-plagued "steroids era".[10][11][12]

Baseball writer Rob Neyer feels that the former MVP's candidacy has been hurt by a career that "got a late start and suffered an early end."[13] Stuart Miller, baseball writer for The New York Times, also notes the "sharp decline" in production that plagued Murphy after the age of 31 in arguing, "Players who were great for a short time do not receive much [Hall of Fame] recognition."[9] Finding "one of baseball's best players in the 1980s" to be "undervalued", Miller nonetheless writes that the Brave great "is typically considered a 'close but no' guy." Bill James, father of sabermetrics, says of Murphy, "It certainly wouldn't offend me to have him in the Hall of Fame. I just wouldn't advocate it." James' "current metric for Hall induction was 300 Win Shares (a complex mathematical equation weighing what players contribute to their team's [sic] victories)...." Murphy stands at 253 Win Shares. James ranks eight Hall of Famers below Murphy.[11]

However, others contend, "Murphy's incredible nine-year run in Atlanta was every bit as good as anyone else during his era,"[14] with many pointing out the fact that he was a rare bright spot of many miserable Braves teams in the 1980s. Neyer notes that the explosion of power during the steroids-fueled era that began after Murphy's retirement may have caused Murphy's numbers to pale in comparison for many voters.[13] Some have argued that Murphy's reputation for clean living may encourage voters to "look more favorably on what Murphy did without using performance-enhancing drugs."[11] (Murphy weighed in on the steroids issue in asserting that career home run leader Barry Bonds "without a doubt" used performance-enhancing drugs.[15]) Sports Illustrated's Joe Posnanski has endorsed Murphy as an "emotional pick . . . a larger-than-life character who signed every autograph, spoke up for every charity and played brilliant baseball every day for mostly doomed teams."[16]

Nonetheless, though he continued to earn the requisite 5% to remain on the ballot, Murphy averaged only 13.6% over the first twelve years of voting.[4] (Election to the hall requires 75%.) In the first decade of his eligibility, he "peaked at 23% in 2000 and fell to 11.5% in 2009."[17] Moreover, as writers may only vote for ten players each year, some have argued that the candidacy of stars from the 1980s—such as Murphy, pitcher Jack Morris, and outfielder Tim Raines—will become imperiled as a wave of more recently retired players with more statistically impressive credentials becomes eligible in the 2010s.[18] Noting his low vote totals, Murphy has said, "Since I'm not that close [to election] ... I don't think about it that much."[12] On January 9, 2013, his 15th and final appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot, Murphy secured 18.9% of the vote, falling well short of the 75% necessary to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame on the BBWAA ballot.[19]

Post-baseball life

From 1997 to 2000, Murphy served as president of the LDS Church's Massachusetts Boston Mission.[20]

In 2005, Murphy started a non-profit organization called the iWontCheat Foundation to promote ethical behavior, and deter steroid use and cheating in youth athletics.[2][21] Since 2008 all players from the participating teams at the Little League World Series wear the "I WON'T CHEAT!" embroidered patch above the Little League Baseball logo on the left sleeve of their jerseys.[22]

In 2008, he was appointed to the National Advisory Board for the national children's charity, Operation Kids. Murphy serves as a national advisor to ASCEND: A Humanitarian Alliance.[23] Murphy is a long time supporter of Operation Smile and also currently serves on the organization's Board of Governors.

During the 2012 MLB season, Murphy was a part of the Atlanta Braves TV broadcasting crew and participated in the telecast of at least 14 games.[24]

He was the first-base coach for the USA team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.[3]

In 2017 he opened a restaurant, Murph's, in Atlanta near SunTrust Park, where the Braves have played since the 2017 season.[25] He lives in Alpine, Utah.[26]

Author

Murphy has written three books. The first, The Scouting Report on Professional Athletics, elaborates details of the professional athlete's lifestyle. Murphy discusses balancing career and family, working with agents, managing business affairs, serving one's community, and preparing for retirement. In his second book, an autobiography titled Murph, he talked about his religious faith. He discussed the struggles of his early baseball career and how he overcame problems. In 2007 Murphy wrote his third book, The Scouting Report for Youth Athletics, in response to what he saw as the increase in negative behavior in youth sports resulting from poor examples set by professional athletes. Included with each book is a 50-page insert which includes contributions from, among others, Peyton Manning, Dwyane Wade, Tom Glavine, and Danica Patrick. In a question-and-answer format, they discuss the lessons they learned from youth sports and how they apply the lessons today. There is also a physician-penned section about illegal performance-enhancing drug use in sports.

Personal life

Murphy and his wife, Nancy, have eight children: sons Chad, Travis, Shawn, Tyson, Taylor, Jake, and McKay and daughter Madison.[26][27]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Bio". Archived from the original on August 14, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Q&A with Dale Murphy". MILB.com. July 15, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Eggers, Kerry (January 18, 2013). "Baseball great Dale Murphy back in Portland to be with his former teammates and take another bow". Portland Tribune. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Dale Murphy Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  5. ^ http://oregonsportshall.org/?page_id=56
  6. ^ http://georgiasportshalloffame.com/site/our-inductees/
  7. ^ [1] Archived October 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Murphy's Law Is Nice Guys Finish First". CNN. July 4, 1983. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  9. ^ a b Miller, Stuart (January 3, 2010). "Twice an M.V.P., but Never a Shoo-In". The New York Times.
  10. ^ "Making the Hall call is never easy (cont.)". CNN. January 5, 2010.
  11. ^ a b c [2]
  12. ^ a b [3] Archived July 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b "Why Dale Murphy is still waiting – SweetSpot – ESPN". Espn.go.com. December 3, 2009. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ [5] Archived March 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Making the Hall call is never easy (cont.)". CNN. January 5, 2010.
  17. ^ [6] Archived July 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Columns". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  19. ^ "2013 Hall of Fame Voting". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  20. ^ O'Keefe, John (October 18, 1999). "Dale Murphy, Braves Double MVP". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  21. ^ Kepner, Tyler (December 22, 2012). "Values Validate a First-Ballot Good Guy". New York Times. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  22. ^ "Former MVP Takes a Stand Against Cheating". The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  23. ^ [7]
  24. ^ "South | FOX Sports". Foxsportssouth.com. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  25. ^ Haws, Jeff (May 25, 2017). "Former Braves great Dale Murphy announces new restaurant venture: Murph's". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  26. ^ a b Thompson, Wright (July 25, 2018). "Where Have You Gone, Dale Murphy?". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  27. ^ Crasnick, Jerry (January 3, 2013). "Dale Murphy's HOF bid a family affair". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 26, 2018.

External links

Preceded by
Bob Horner
Gary Matthews
Mel Hall
Keith Moreland
Eric Davis
National League Player of the Month
August 1980
April 1982
September 1983
September 1984 & April 1985
August 1986
Succeeded by
Gary Carter
Tim Wallach
Tony Gwynn
Dave Parker
Steve Sax
1979 Atlanta Braves season

The 1979 Atlanta Braves season was the 109th season for the franchise and their 14th in Atlanta.

1982 Major League Baseball season

The 1982 Major League Baseball season. Making up for their playoff miss of the year before, the St. Louis Cardinals won their ninth World Series championship, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, four games to three.

1983 Major League Baseball season

The 1983 Major League Baseball season ended with the Baltimore Orioles defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth game of the World Series. Rick Dempsey was named MVP of the Series. The All-Star Game was held on July 6 at Comiskey Park; the American League won by a score of 13–3, with California Angels outfielder Fred Lynn being named MVP.

1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 55th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 10, 1984, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, home of the San Francisco Giants of the National League. The game resulted in a 3-1 victory for the NL.

Of the three All-Star Games played in San Francisco to date, it is the only one to have been held in an even-numbered year. Candlestick Park's only other All-Star Game, played in 1961, and the next Midsummer Classic to be played in San Francisco, in 2007 at AT&T Park, the Giants' current home, took place in odd-numbered years.

1988 Atlanta Braves season

The 1988 Atlanta Braves season was the 118th in franchise history and their 23rd in Atlanta.

1989 Atlanta Braves season

The 1989 Atlanta Braves season was the 119th in franchise history and their 24th in Atlanta.

1990 Atlanta Braves season

The 1990 Atlanta Braves season was the team's 25th season in Atlanta, the 115th in franchise history as a member of the National League and the 120th season overall. The Braves went 65–97, en route to their sixth-place finish in the NL West, 26 games behind the World Champion Cincinnati Reds, and ending up with the worst record that year. On June 23, Bobby Cox replaced Russ Nixon as the team's manager, a job Cox would hold for the next two decades.

30–30 club

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the 30–30 club is the group of batters who have collected 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season. Ken Williams was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1922. He remained the sole member of the club for 34 years until Willie Mays achieved consecutive 30–30 seasons in 1956 and 1957. Bobby Bonds became the club's fourth member in 1969 and became the first player in MLB history to reach the 30–30 club on three occasions and ultimately on five occasions, subsequently achieving the milestone in 1973, 1975, 1977 and 1978. He remained the only player to accomplish this until 1997, when his son Barry Bonds achieved his fifth 30–30 season. The most recent players to reach the milestone are José Ramírez and Mookie Betts, who achieved the feat during the 2018 season.

In total, 40 players have reached the 30–30 club in MLB history and 13 have done so more than once. Of these 40 players, 27 were right-handed batters, eight were left-handed and five were switch hitters, meaning they could bat from either side of the plate. The Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies and New York Mets are the only franchises to have three players reach the milestone. Five players—Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa—are also members of the 500 home run club, and Aaron, Mays and Rodriguez are also members of the 3,000 hit club. Dale Murphy, Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Larry Walker, Jimmy Rollins, Braun and Betts won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their 30–30 season, with Bonds achieving this on two occasions (1990 and 1992). Both Mays and Rollins also reached the 20–20–20 club in the same season. Four different players accomplished 30–30 seasons in 1987, 1996, 1997 and 2011, the most in a single season.Due to the rarity of a player excelling in the combination of hitting home runs and stealing bases, Baseball Digest called the 30–30 club "the most celebrated feat that can be achieved by a player who has both power and speed." Of the 22 members eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, five have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot. Eligibility requires that a player has "been retired five seasons" or deceased for at least six months, disqualifying nine active players and six players who have been retired for less than five seasons.

Andrea Gail

F/V Andrea Gail was a private fishing vessel that was lost at sea with all hands during the "Perfect Storm" of 1991. The vessel and her six-man crew had been fishing the North Atlantic Ocean out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her last reported position was 180 mi (290 km) northeast of Sable Island on October 28, 1991. The story of Andrea Gail and her crew was the basis of the 1997 book The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, and a 2000 film adaptation of the same name.

Atlanta Braves award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Atlanta Braves professional baseball franchise, including its years in Boston (1871–1952) and Milwaukee (1953–1965).

Dale D. Murphy

Dale D. Murphy is a professor in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He teaches international relations, international business, international economics, entrepreneurship, and corporate social responsibility in the Landegger Program in International Business Diplomacy. He serves on the board of Global Integrity. Murphy is the author of The Structure of Regulatory Competition: corporations and public policies in a global economy (Oxford University Press, 2004), which explains the impact of large corporations' preferences on public policies. He has authored various articles on international political economy and corporate social responsibility.

Before joining Georgetown University, Murphy was an assistant vice president at Citicorp. Earlier, he worked on long-term US-Soviet relations and Middle East national security policy for Secretary of State George P. Shultz in the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, and for the World Bank and U.S. Agency for International Development. He has also taught at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dale is currently a visiting lecturer at the Dubai School of Government. He specializes in Entrepreneurship and financial responsibility in developing markets.

Dale Murphy (disambiguation)

Dale Murphy (born 1956) is an American baseball player.

Dale Murphy may also refer to:

Dale D. Murphy, professor

Dale Murphy (fisherman), casualty of the 1991 Perfect Storm

Dale Murphy (footballer) (born 1959), Australian rules footballer

Dale Murphy (footballer)

Dale Murphy (born 4 September 1959) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL).

John Mullen (baseball executive)

John W. Mullen (September 30, 1924 – April 3, 1991) was an American Major League Baseball executive from 1947 to 1991 with the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros. Born in Maine, Mullen served as the farm system director and head of minor league operations with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves from 1960 to 1966.

In 1967, Mullen became the executive assistant to the general manager of the Houston Astros. He served as acting general manager from July 10 to August 7, 1975, when Tal Smith assumed the permanent GM role. He remained with Houston until 1979.

Mullen then returned to the Braves as their general manager in May 1979 after the sudden death of Bill Lucas. Led by sluggers Dale Murphy and Bob Horner, the Braves won the 1982 National League West Division championship during Mullen's tenure in this position.

After being replaced by Bobby Cox in 1986, Mullen served as vice president and assistant general manager of the Braves until 1990. John Mullen died at age 66 in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, April 3, 1991, having been found dead in his hotel room that morning. He was survived by his wife, Clair; a daughter, Kathleen; and two sons, Christopher and Richard.

Said Cox upon Mullen's death, "John had been with the Braves since their Boston days. No one has done more for the Braves than John Mullen. We'll all miss him."

List of Atlanta Braves first-round draft picks

The Atlanta Braves are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Atlanta, Georgia. They play in the National League East division. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is MLB's primary mechanism for assigning players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur clubs to its franchises. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks. Since the establishment of the draft in 1965, the Braves have selected 56 players in the first round.

Of those 56 players, 27 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 15 of these were right-handed, while 12 were left-handed. The Braves have also selected eight outfielders, seven shortstops, five catchers, four third basemen, three first basemen, and two second basemen in the initial round of the draft. The franchise has drafted nine players from colleges or high schools in the state of Florida, more than any other state. Eight more selections have come from their home state of Georgia. Two selections have come from outside the 50 United States: Luis Atilano (2003) is from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and Scott Thorman (2000) is from Ontario, Canada.

Four of these players have won a World Series championship with the Braves—Kent Mercker, Steve Avery, Chipper Jones, and Mike Kelly—all as part of the 1995 championship team. The team's 1974 selection, Dale Murphy, won consecutive National League Most Valuable Player Awards (NL MVP) in 1982 and 1983, the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1985, and the Roberto Clemente Award in 1988. Bob Horner, the Braves' 1978 selection, won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in the same year. Chipper Jones, drafted by the Braves in 1990, won the NL MVP Award in 1999. The Braves have held the first overall pick twice; in 1978 they used it to select Horner, and in 1990 they chose Chipper Jones.

Atlanta has made 13 selections in the supplemental round of the draft. They have also received three compensatory picks since the first draft in 1965. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the previous off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. The Braves failed to sign 1995 selection Chad Hutchinson, for which they received the 35th overall pick in the 1996 draft, which they used to draft Jason Marquis.

Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award

The Player of the Month Award is a Major League Baseball award named by each league every month of the regular season. The National League started recognizing the award on June 4, 1958. National League president Warren Giles conducted a poll of baseball writers in each Major League city and awarded the winner an engraved desk set. The American League did not follow suit until 1974. The National League created a separate award for pitchers starting in 1975 and the American League did likewise in 1979. Pitchers have not been eligible since then.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

Wayne Twitchell

Wayne Lee Twitchell (March 10, 1948 – September 16, 2010), was an American professional baseball right-handed pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers (1970), Philadelphia Phillies (1971–1977), Montreal Expos (1977–1978), New York Mets (1979), and Seattle Mariners (1979), over the course of his ten-year big league career.

Twitchell was an All-Star in 1973 for the last place Phillies when he had a 2.50 earned run average (ERA), good for 3rd in the National League (NL). In the All-Star game, he pitched one scoreless inning. Twitchell was also noted for giving up the home run that got Hank Aaron into 2nd place all-time (649), passing Willie Mays), in 1972. He attended Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon (the same high school as Dale Murphy). Twitchell was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, in 2006.

Twitchell’s career win-loss record was 48–65, in 282 games pitched (133 starts). He had a 3.98 ERA, with 1,063 innings pitched.

Twitchell died of cancer on September 16, 2010.

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