The first star of the Colorado Rockies simply never was.
With 398 career home runs and multiple National League MVP Awards, Dale Murphy entered 1993 as a strong candidate to become only the 25th player to reach 400 homers and secure a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Yet, when we think of all of the long balls that have been catapulted in Denver over the past 27 years, there is no mention of Murphy.
On this day in 1993, the 37-year-old announced his retirement after hitting just .143 (6-for-42) in 26 games with the Rockies. He had one extra-base hit, a double, and no home runs.
The Portland born outfield signed a one-year contract with the expansion franchise after an arthritic left knee sidelined him for much of the 1992 season with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Before his brief run in the city of brotherly love, Murphy was a perennial All-Star with Atlanta throughout the 1980’s and is the youngest of only 14 players to have ever won back-to-back MVP Awards.
Following Larry Walker’s selection to the Baseball Hall of Fame, odds suggest Murphy may become the next former Rockies player to have his ticket punched for Cooperstown, albeit via veterans committee.
Though Murphy never eclipsed more than 25% of votes in any year (a high of 23.2% in 2000), he would remain on the ballot for the full 15 years, as was the maximum duration at that time, and finished with more votes than current Hall of Famer Harold Baines all five years the two appeared together.
During the 1980’s, he amassed 47.1 bWAR, good for 4th most in the NL and 10th highest in all of baseball. Of the top 13 leaders in bWAR during the decade, Murphy remains the only one not enshrined in that hallowed hall.
Last season, Raimel Tapia recorded his second career walk-off RBI with an 11th-inning single to down the Diamondbacks, 4-3.
The Rockies and Reds combine for nine home runs in 2012, the most ever in a single game at Great American Ballpark. Eight different players go deep, including Carlos González twice in Cincinnati’s 7-5 win.
Following a career-high eight strikeouts by Jason Hammel, the trio of Seth Smith, González and Ryan Spilborghs smack consecutive home runs in the seventh-inning to seal an 8-2 win over Arizona in 2010.
On the first pitch in the bottom of the ninth of a 2000 game at Coors Field, Todd Helton broke a 6-6 tie against the Pirates to wallop his second career walk-off homer.
Colorado returned home to Mile High Stadium for a pair of series against Pennsylvania’s finest in 1993 and lose 15-9 to the Phillies to start the sixth-worst homestand (1-5) in franchise history.
In 2001, Paul LoDuca tied Sammy Sosa’s mark of six hits against the Rockies and Helton swatted his first career grand slam, but Shawn Green and the Dodgers’ walk-off in the 11th, 11-10.
Barry Bonds launched the 715th home run of his career to pass Babe Ruth and move into second place all-time in 2006 with his fourth inning blast off Byung-Hyun Kim. Colorado scored six runs off former Rockies’ pitcher Jamey Wright to spoil the celebration at AT&T Park, 6-3.
On This Day In Baseball History
In 1956, Dale Long of the Pittsburgh Pirates set a major league record with a home run in eight-consecutive games. Years later, Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993) would tied the first baseman’s mark.