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Dale Murphy Utah

Selected with the fifth overall pick in the 1974 Amateur Draft, Dale Murphy wasted little time making his way through the Atlanta Braves farm system. By 1977, he made his debut as a catcher and first baseman. After a rocky start to his career, fate struck in 1980 when current Braves manager Bobby Cox suggested Murphy switch to the outfield. The rest was history.

One of the most outstanding players of the 1980s, Dale was the youngest player ever voted National League MVP back-to-back in 1982 and 1983. Known as perhaps the best all-around player of his time, "Murph" collected 5 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and garnered 7 National League All-Star nods as the Center Fielder for the Braves. In 1983, he became the sixth player in ML history to join the "30-30 Club," an elite group of ball players to have at least 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in one season.

Murphy's charitable work earned him the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1985, recognizing him as the player who best fit the image and character of Lou Gehrig both on and off the field. In 1988, he was the recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award given annually to a Major League Baseball player for his character and charitable contributions to his community.

Following his first and only season with the Colorado Rockies, Dale retired from baseball with an impressive record of 398 home runs, 1,266 RBI's and a .265 batting average. Throughout his 18 years in the majors, Dale maintained his reputation as one of the most clean-cut players. In 1995, Murphy was named to the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame.

In 2000, Dale was admitted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame and his number was retired. Murphy's number was the fifth in the history of the Braves' organization to be retired and joins Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Phil Niekro and Eddie Matthews who have also been given that honor. His jersey now hangs in Turner Field.

In 2005, Dale started the "I Won't Cheat Foundation" in an effort to encourage young players to avoid shortcuts. Players in the Little League World Series wear patches on their sleeves that proclaim, "I Won't Cheat!" The program has since grown beyond the ballfield and now provides schools, youth sports leagues and summer camps with a character education program designed to confront the growing epidemic of dishonesty that permeates society. Through this program/curriculum, kids make a pledge not to cheat in sports, school or life; thereby helping them to feel good about their best effort - win or lose. (Read the press release)

Murphy's streak of 740 consecutive games that ran from 1981 through the middle of the 1986 season is the twelfth longest in baseball history. Joe Torre once said of Dale, "If you're a coach, you want him as a player. If you're a father, you want him as a son. If you're a woman, you want him as a husband. If you're a kid, you want him as a father. What else can you say about the guy?"

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