FAZIO

The Covington News - - Sports -

re­spect as Mur­phy has earned, his ca­reer has never given him a big­ger win. It’s a ca­reer that he stuck with be­cause he en­joys be­ing near the di­a­mond. He en­joys de­vel­op­ing new re­la­tion­ships. And he en­joys teach­ing young people.

It’s a path that started more out of ne­ces­sity than any­thing else, when his wife talked to him about get­ting in­volved.

Mur­phy didn’t carve out a path in base­ball, as his own play­ing days were not that spec­tac­u­lar, and he never in­tend on coach­ing youth base­ball for al­most 30 years. But in the mid 1980s, his wife, who was on the Rock­dale Youth Base­ball As­so­ci­a­tion board, needed a coach for an ad­di­tional team the league would be fielding.

De­spite feel­ing he didn’t have the pa­tience to work with young base­ball play­ers, he kept the Mrs. happy and put on the uni­form.

After his first sea­son fin­ished with a 7-7-1 record, he reached his then-ca­reer height with an 11-12-year old Dixie Boys state ti­tle in 1989.

After the state ti­tle he was ap­proached by Char­lie Carr with Post 77, who got him to join the le­gion and would later talk him into get­ting in­volved with the base­ball team. In 1991, he was an as­sis­tant on the le­gion’s team and be­came head coach in 1995.

Since then, he’s tried to teach the game the right way, and as he ap­proached his third decade in youth base­ball looked like it would never pay off.

Mon­day it did, as an old-time base­ball guy lifted the state’s top tro­phy in a sport that with mem­o­ries of Babe Ruth’s pointed bat, Lou Gherig’s speech, Pete Rose’s slide, Kirk Gib­son’s home run, Derek Jeter’s div­ing catch salutes its ban­ner car­ri­ers.

As Mur­phy has car­ried the ban­ner for old-time base­ball, he can now carry a state cham­pi­onship ban­ner. Fol­low­ing Mon­day’s vic­tory Mur­phy’s sons, now 35 and 38, called to con­grat­u­late him.

From con­grat­u­lat­ing his chil­dren as their coach to re­ceiv­ing the same in re­turn from them for reach­ing the top of his league, Mur­phy has come so far in his coach­ing ca­reer; he hasn’t capped a ca­reer but rather brought it full cir­cle.

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