With two National League Most Valuable Player Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards, and five Gold Glove Awards, no wonder Hank Aaron called Latter-day Saint Dale Murphy the "best all-around player in either league, probably the most valuable player in baseball right now."
While playing in the minor leagues in Greenwood, South Carolina, Dale Murphy was introduced to the gospel by a teammate, Barry Bonnell. A player with high standards, the values of the Church appealed to Murphy and he got baptized early in his baseball career.
After joining the Church, Murphy remained true to his beliefs regardless of what team he played for or what opportunities came up. As a 1983 Sports Illustrated cover story noted, “Here’s a guy who doesn’t drink, smoke, chew or cuss. Here’s a guy who has time for everyone, a guy who’s slow to anger and eager to please, a guy whose agent’s name is Church.”
Image from cbssports.com.
Just a year after his baptism, Dale Murphy wanted to serve a mission. "But several local Church leaders felt he could do a greater missionary work in baseball and encouraged him to remain," a 1985 Ensign article states.
An official missionary call wouldn't come for another 12 years however, when Murphy and his wife, Nancy, were called to preside over the Boston Massachusetts Mission.
In the meantime, he wrote a column for youth in the Atlantic Journal-Constitution, something that allowed him to share some of his cherished beliefs. "I’d like to help [kids] understand that our bodies are sacred, that we have more freedom to think and walk and talk if we keep ourselves clean—in mind and body," Murphy told the Ensign.