Thursday, April 1, 2021

Player collections that make no sense: Dale Murphy edition

1984 Topps - Glossy All-Stars #19 Dale Murphy

I think anyone that's a player collector probably has at least a couple of players they collect for no particular reason. My main collections that fit this category are Minnie Minoso and Luis Tiant. Another player I've considered collecting in the past is Dale Murphy. I'm not entirely sure why. 

All of my player collections other than Minoso and Tiant have at least some rationale behind them. Here's a quick rundown:

Top Tier Collections

Ryne Sandberg (favorite Cubs player of all time; played during my childhood)
Mark Grace (second favorite Cubs player of all time; played during my childhood)
Kerry Wood (great Cubs player who played during my childhood)
Roger Maris (from my hometown - Fargo, ND, went to my high school, and still the legitimate home run king)
Dave Dravecky (met him, read his book, super nice guy and an inspiration)
Deacon Phillippe (great turn of the century player who played in Fargo)

Second Tier:

Maury Wills (met him, has been involved with our local independent baseball team)
Chris Coste (Fargo, ND native)
Jim "Mudcat" Grant (played in Fargo during his first minor league season with Roger Maris)
Minnie Minoso
Tony Campana (5'8" like me; Cub who played with lots of energy)
Darryl Motley (played for our local independent minor league team)
Jeff Bittiger (played for our local independent minor league team)
Darin Erstad (Jamestown, ND native)
Rick Helling (originally from Devils Lake, ND; moved to Fargo and went to same high school I did - graduated about 14 years ahead of me)
Satchel Paige (possibly the greatest pitcher of all time with ties to Bismarck, ND teams in the mid-1930s)

Third Tier 

Travis Hafner (ND native)
Jamie Moyer (played forever, was once a Cub)
Jay Johnstone (read his books and they were funny)
Julio Franco (played forever)
Michael Young (I became a fan of the Rangers after visiting Dallas in 2006; Michael Young could just flat out hit)
Jim Thorpe (one of the first multi-sport athletes; has an interesting story)
Luis Tiant

So back to Dale Murphy. Let's run him through some of the criteria above:
Cubs player? No.
Local guy? No.
Met him? No.
Played for our local independent team? No.
Read his book? No (although I probably would if a new bio came out)
Played forever? No - and darn it if that's pretty much the only reason he isn't in the Hall of Fame.

I think there are some parallels between him and Ryne Sandberg, which I think is where I feel a connection. That's really the only thing I can think of. But for now, I don't have a player collection of Murph. As you can see above, I have too many already!

Hope the card above helped you in your search today.


  1. Luis Tiant is a favorite of mine too - mainly because he was the first Red Sox to autograph a ball for me. Murphy may be an odd choice for a player collection, but he was one of the all-around great players of the era and easy to root for.

  2. I wouldn't consider myself a Murphy collector, as I don't actively seek out his cards. But anything that I get of him goes into my collection. Partly that is part of the religious connection I posted about a few weeks ago, and partly because his son was my roommate for a couple months many moons ago.

  3. Well, he was the Braves star when they had their games on TBS in the 1980s.

  4. Went to high school and college with this guy who was a huge fan of Murphy, so I would give him all of the cards I pulled of him. I've reacquired a handful of his cards over the past decade or so, but not enough to be considered someone I PC.

  5. He seems to have a small, but very loyal fan base. From what I've heard, he is a good person, so that might be enough alone to collect him. After all, how many athletes are genuinely good humans?