Dwayne Keith Murphy (born March 18, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball player who spent most of his career playing for the Oakland Athletics as an outfielder. He was the first base coach for the Toronto Blue Jays during the 2013 season, and retired after that season.
Murphy was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1973 and made his Major League debut in 1978. He spent nine years with the Athletics and played under managers, Billy Martin, Sparky Anderson, and Tony LaRussa. The A's made the playoffs in 1981, where they lost to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. In those playoffs, Murphy hit .421 and hit one home run in six games. Murphy's biggest offensive year came in 1984, where he hit 33 home runs and drove in 88 runs. Murphy also drew many walks, and had excellent speed on the base paths. He stole 26 bases in both 1980 and 1982.
He was also one of the best defensive outfielders of his time, receiving six consecutive Gold Gloves from 1980 through 1985. Murphy had a signature play where his hat blew off his head virtually every time he made a spectacular catch. It occasionally even happened on routine fly balls and it eventually became Murphy's trademark.
During most of his career in Oakland, he batted second in the lineup behind hall-of-famer Rickey Henderson. Henderson credits Murphy for helping him set the single-season stolen-base record of 130 steals in 1982.
Murphy finished his career with a .246 batting average, 166 home runs, 609 runs batted in, in 1360 games. After retirement as a player, Murphy became a coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 1998 to 2003. He was the Diamondbacks' hitting coach when they won the World Series in 2001. In 2005 and 2006 he became hitting coach for the Syracuse Skychiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.
He was promoted to first base coach for the Blue Jays in 2008 when manager Cito Gaston took over for John Gibbons.
- ^ Davidi, Shi (November 26, 2012). "Gibbons names five to Jays coaching staff". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- ^ http://www.avsports.com/halloffame/dmurphy.asp
- ^ http://www.tomsusan.com/tom/alltimeathletics.aspx
- ^ http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/sports/story.html?id=653c6a50-4fe3-4eac-b950-40e771514988&k=46997&p=1
- ^ http://www.nationalpost.com/scripts/story.html?id=675355
- ^ Robinson, Alan (June 20, 2008). "Blue Jays fire manager Gibbons, rehire Cito Gaston". USA Today.
By Dean Hanley
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