1.31.2011

Dale Murray, 1984 Topps

Name: Dale Murray
Team: New York Yankees
Positions: Pitcher, general manager
Value of card: 3 cents on the free-agent market
Key 1983 stat: Five trades orchestrated
The Boss is the boss: The year was 1983, and Dale Murray had reached the pinnacle of a long career in professional baseball. He hadn't played the game since his days in Single-A in the 1950s, but he had used his shrewdness and knowledge of the game to rise to general manager of the New York Yankees. During the 1983-84 offseason, Murray made a few trades and signed a few free agents, but, mostly, he cruised through his general-manager duties, relishing the life his title afforded him. It didn't take long for Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to take account of Murray's laziness, leading The Boss to offer his general manager a choice: turn around the team's losing ways or find a new job. After a few weeks and a string of Yankees defeats, The Boss made a decision. Murray had one last chance to turn around the team's misfortunes and keep his coveted title. Steinbrenner forced manager Yogi Berra to pencil in Murray as the starter against the Toronto Blue Jays, and told the general manager that he could keep his job if he won the game. The 67-year-old Murray, though embarrassed, took the mound, and proceded to throw 37 straight balls, the fastest clocked at 43 mph. After Berra pulled Murray from the game Steinbrenner invited him to the owner's box. The Boss told Murray he was proud of his effort and said he could keep the title he cherished. The next day, he was to report to the Yankee Stadium Sanitation Department, where he was to begin his tenure as general manager of garbage, a role The Boss said Murray knew well.

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