Daniel Murphy, one of the best Valley League products of the last 20 years, has decided to retire.
Joining Erik Kratz (Waynesboro 2000, Harrisonburg 2001) and Yonder Alonso (Luray 2006), Murphy, now 35 years old, is the third prominent Valley League alum to retire in the last few months.
Known as an excellent overall hitter, Murphy will most likely be remembered for his outburst at the plate during the 2015 playoffs, almost single-handedly pushing the New York Mets to the World Series before falling to the Kansas City Royals. In the Divisional Series and Championship Series, Murphy homered in six straight games, including blasts off the best the game had to offer- Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks.
Murphy’s best two years in the majors were 2016 and 2017, when he played for the Washington Nationals. In 2016, Murph hit .347/.390/.595, led the league with 47 doubles, had five triples, 25 home runs, 104 RBIs, and a 155 OPS+. The following season, he hit .322/.384/.543, again leading the league in doubles with 43, and added three triples, 23 home runs, 93 RBIs, and a 136 OPS+. He spent 2020 with the Colorado Rockies, slashing .236/.275/.333 in 123 at-bats, with three doubles, three home runs, and 16 RBIs.
Murphy is clearly one of the best the Valley League has produced in the last 20 years. He leads the 2006 to 2020 Major League record book (for Valley League alumni) in runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs, and batting average, while he’s third in walks and second in stolen bases.
He was a freshman and sophomore when he played for the Luray Wranglers in 2004 and 2005. In ’04, he hit .317/.417/.401 in 142 at-bats, with 24 runs scored, six doubles, two home runs, 17 RBIs, a 23/17 BB/K ratio, and 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts. He helped lead Luray to a 30-14 regular season record in 2005 by hitting .347/.416/.510 in 196 at-bats, with 44 runs scored, 16 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 31 RBIs, a 21/22 BB/K ratio, and 20 stolen bases in 22 attempts. He was named MVP of the league for his efforts.
Congratulations for your illustrious career, Daniel, and good luck in the next stage of life!
Another sad milestone. Murph was always a pleasure to watch in action, at the plate and at second base — tremendous focused intensity. That 2015 postseason outburst earned NLCS MVP honors. A 3x All-Star and 2x Silver Slugger award winner. Fortunate that we can still watch him on YouTube.