When Dale's parents enrolled him in Little League at age 10 he made a splash by getting a hit off his best friend's brother, John Dunn. John had thrown 17 no-hitters at that time. Unfortunately, that was his only hit of that season.
The first time he played in the field in Little League was as a pitcher. The first batter Dale faced was his best friend Jeff Dunn. Dale accidentally plunked Jeff with the first pitch.
Jack Dunn, Dale's high school baseball coach, is the one who Dale owes the most in his athletic development to. A man by the name of Jack Dunn (no relation) was responsible for discovering the legendary Babe Ruth!
Dale thought the Philadelphia Philles would draft him as they had shown the most interest in him. But the Phillies chose Lonnie Smith and the Braves chose Murphy. In 1982 Murphy won the NL MVP and Lonnie Smith was the runner-up. In 1990, Lonnie Smith came to the Braves just as Murphy was traded to the Phillies.
Dale was not drafted for his hitting skills. Paul Snyder, the director of scouting for the Braves, recalls of early reports, "We took him because of his defensive abilities and athletic skills." Phillies scouts also said "It is doubtful that he'll develop into a power hitter."
Adam Sedlack of Portland, Oregon legally changed his middle name to "Murphy" and named his cat "Murph". He apparently looks a lot like Dale and has a birthmark on his face also.
Dale almost gave up baseball to become a missionary in the Church of Latter-Day Saints. He was having trouble throwing out baserunners (he was a catcher at the time) and he wrestled with the problem after the 1976 season. He was consequently a holdout at spring training in 1977 and only the pleas of Braves' owner Ted Turner and the urging of the Mormon church kept Dale from quitting baseball entirely.
Dale once turned down $25,000 to do a commercial for an automobile when he test-drove it and didn't like it. How many celebrities in a similar position would do that?
Dale once apologized to Bruce Sutter for hitting a home run off him.
Infielders always had to be on their toes when Murphy was up to bat. Because Dale held the bat so loosely, when he was fooled by a pitch his bat usually went flying. Dale threw his bats farther than anyone, sometimes all the way to the outfield or into the bleachers.
Dale doesn't smoke, drink, curse, or chew tobacco.
Dale was called to serve on a Federal court jury in October of 1985 and befitting his clean-cut image, the case he was assigned involved the ownership rights to the marketing campaign of Cabbage Patch Dolls.
Dale has never been ejected from a baseball game.
A reporter once tried to find out if Murphy was really as good as his reputation. After an exhaustive search, the only "dirt" he could find was a speeding ticket Murphy was issued for driving 35 MPH in a 25 MPH zone (he was late for a speech he was to give at a church!).
In the minors, Dale once hit a foul ball which hit a fan in the chest. The fan proceeded to ask Murphy if he would autograph the bruise. Dale obliged, of course.
Dale bats and throws right-handed but uses his left hand to write and eat.
On June 12, 1983 Dale visited a 6-year old girl in the stands who had lost both arms and a leg in a power line accident. The girl's nurse asked Murphy if he would hit a home run for the girl. Flustered as he was, Dale could only mumble "Well, O.K." That night he hit not one but two home runs and drove in all three runs in a 3-2 Braves victory.
Rangers star shortstop Alex Rodriguez grew up idolizing Dale Murphy and wears the number 3 in tribute to Dale.
After receiving his first MVP award in 1982, Dale immediately left to play in the Instructional League!
Dale's Little League shoes are in the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum