Monday, October 23, 2017

The Murph

When I was in my early years – ages 4-6 – I knew baseball really well. Or at least as well enough as a kid that age could.

I knew who most stars played for. For example, I could tell you that Wally Joyner was an Angel or that Jim Rice was a Red Sox. It wasn’t a big deal to me at the time, I thought everyone knew these players. But I was often quizzed by my family in front of their friends, or my brother in front of his little league team. They always applied when I said that Bret Saberhagen was on the Royals, or that Mackey Sasser and Tim Teuful were Mets.

Having a five year old now, I can see that it definitely was pretty unique. My son can only name Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan as professional athletes. However, he can name and recognize almost any brand of car, and I like to make him do those tricks in front of others as well. My dad gets a kick out of him asking, “Hey Grandpa, what’s more aerodynamic, a Mustang or a Camaro?”

I say this all because while the Yankees have always been #1 for me, I loved all players and teams. I didn’t want just Yankee Starting Lineup figures – I wanted everyone so I could have a real All-Star game when I played with them.

And I didn’t just get Yankee cards as gifts. I got cards of everyone!

Personally, I can’t believe I still have this, but I’ve never gotten rid of it. One Christmas, my older brother gave me this:
It’s a piece of oddly shaped wood, with two Dale Murphy cards on it – the ’84 Topps an oversized edition. Again, back when I got this, I know I was amazed by it. Because any and all baseball stuff was cool! I know I hung it in my childhood room for years, and eventually tucked it away in all my card and memorabilia storage bins.

Somehow the plastic shrink wrap over the cards is still intact. I plan to keep it that way as long as I live.

My brother has never been the greatest at giving gifts, but this one certainly left an impression on a young kid.


  1. That's a neat gift, and a little symbolic given the big brother-little brother dynamic was at play. Murphy was such a fan favorite back then-I remember seeing his face all over 88 Donruss display boxes.

    "I didn’t want just Yankee Starting Lineup figures" Yes! This! I hoarded SLUs like any baseball-loving boy in the late 80's, but it always bugged me that I could only find the local team(s) and maybe one out of town superstar. Almost immediately after I began collecting SLUs I made it my mission to find as many out of market figures as I could. Wally Joyner, Tony Gwynn, Eric Davis were some of my faves, they were like 'case hits' to me - back before I knew what a 'case hit' was.

  2. Yeah, Murphy was someone everyone liked (Class act), unless he was at the plate with the game on the line against your team. LOL.

  3. I used to make plaques just like that for my fantasy football leagues champs. Got the unfinished wood plaque at Hobby Lobby, stained it, glued down cards of their starters and sealed it with about three coats of Mod Podge. Stuff looks like Elmers glue but dries clear. Added an engraved plate with details. They loved it.

  4. My daughter hasn't really develop an interest like cars or athletes, but we've been amazed with her memory. She noticed our neighbor got a new front door the other day. We hadn't even noticed until she brought it up. She is already an old nosey neighbor!

  5. Very cool piece of memorabilia. I love reading about stuff that has sentimental value to fellow collectors. Although... It makes me feel bad that I sold most of the stuff my family bought me when I was a kid.