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Interesting. I was just thinking about former Atlanta Braves' great, Dale Murphy, and decided to search his name on epinions' database. This 8x10 was the first photo to "pop up." And, it is one that I already own.
I know what you're thinking: Big deal, mrroland is an Atlanta Braves nut (that's true), and his home is full of Atlanta Braves-related memorabilia (partly true). Seriously, though, this is a nice item, and seeing as how "Murph" needs all the publicity he can get--in the hopes of being enshrined one day in Cooperstown (being in the Braves' Hall of Fame just isn't good enough)--I figure I may as well do my part to aid in this noble cause. More on his Hall of Fame case in a bit, but first...
This is a beautiful shot of Dale Murphy. The right-handed, 6'4", 215 lbs. slugger is tensely-crouched at the plate...a "locked-in" look of fierce determination on his face. It looks like he has just stepped into the on-coming pitch and is about to launch it into the left-field seats for a home run...a feat he accomplished 398 times total in his career.
Dale is wearing the late 70s/early 80s "old school" flannel Atlanta Braves "Home White" uniform. "Braves" is obscured by his left arm, but his retired #3 is clearly visible. My guess is this photo was taken sometime between 1982-84 (mainly because the place looks packed--the Braves were awful in the mid to late eighties)--when the Braves played at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium...a stadium they shared with the (football) Atlanta Falcons.
* AFCS was demolished in 1996, and converted into a parking lot. Thankfully, they kept the site of (True Home Run King) Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th home run intact--and fenced off. Today, the Atlanta Braves play across the street from where AFCS used to be, at Turner Field (recently featured in the Clint Eastwood film, Trouble With The Curve).
I also like how Dale is using the "Powerized", Louisville Slugger bat--not one of those dangerous (because they break in half so easily) "maple" bats used by many major leaguers today. And...the red, white and blue waistband is also a nice addition to his uniform because baseball is, after all, our national pastime.
I must admit I have no idea what the patch (on Dale's left shoulder) is commemorating.
This photo also has an "Officially Licensed MLB Product" sticker-hologram on its lower, right-hand corner, and the "Cooperstown Collection" logo on its left. It is not a cheap "knock-off."
The photo's back (except for the film's stamp) is solid white, with no stats--or anything else--given.
How I Acquired My Photo
Two years ago (2010), Dale Murphy was making an appearance at a (Double A, minor-league) Tennessee Smokies game--just outside of Knoxville. Dale was on-hand to promote his organization, I Won't Cheat (more on this also in a bit). My friends and I made the trip up to get his autograph. Yes, I brought a couple of baseballs for us to get signed, but the Smokies also had this picture available--for only five dollars--so I bought one and had it signed, too (use a blue sharpie for this--it contrasts quite nicely with the photo's glossy finish). Needless to say, it looks great--and Dale Murphy is one of MLB's all-time "good guys." He actually takes the time to talk to everyone in line--it is not just, "Next!"
If you are a collector of baseball memorabilia--and would like an autographed photo of Dale Murphy--my advice to you is go ahead and pick up one of these photos (unsigned) now. Dale is "all over the place" these days promoting his I Won't Cheat organization, and can be easily had at a signing--for free.
Was Dale Murphy good enough to be enshrined in Cooperstown? Well...he was:
* A 2x National League MVP (1982-83)
* A 7x All-Star.
* 5x Gold Glove Winner
* 4x Silver Slugger Award Winner
The two biggest obstacles to his enshrinement thus far have been:
* "Only" 398 career home runs--not 400
* A lifetime batting average of only .265
I grant Dale's critics the .265 batting average, but the "400 home runs argument" is ridiculous. As if 400 home runs are good enough for enshrinement, but not 398? Oh, please...
Dale Murphy was one of, if not the most, dominant players in all of baseball in the 1980s. A devout member of the Mormon Church, he also is remembered as much for his personal character as well as his on-field abilities. In the beginning of baseball's "steroid era," Dale Murphy not only played--by all accounts--steroid free, he also dominated the decade without the use of any "help." In recent years Dale founded his aforementioned "I Won't Cheat" group in an effort to not only warn young men and women about the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs, but also to remind them that, simply put, it is wrong to cheat, too. Dale has been able to recruit superstar players from all professional sports to endorse his site--basketball superstar Dwayne Wade, for example.
Character is listed as one of the reasons for Hall of Fame enshrinement. On this alone, Dale should be in. And...considering he also dominated the 1980s...It'll eventually happen.
So, again, if you are a baseball fan...pick one of these (very nice) photos of Dale up.
Thank you for reading.
Dale Murphy 1980s 8x10 Color Photo
*Wikipeida was used to verify stats.