- The Dunedin Blue Jays are off to a great start to the 2012 season with a 15-3 record so far, and one of the players contributing to this early season success is catcher, Jack Murphy.
Murphy was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 31st round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft.
This season marks Murphy's fourth within the Toronto Blue Jays minor league organization and first with the Dunedin Blue Jays. While Murphy has had a successful season so far - he is currently second on the team with 9 RBIs - it's the person that he is off the diamond that makes him an all-around clubhouse favorite.
Murphy is a born and bred Florida boy, having grown up only a hop, skip and jump away from Dunedin, in Lakeland. While he has played professionally in Lakeland once during a Spring Training game, the three game series against the Flying Tigers that begins tonight will be the first time he's had the opportunity to compete in a full game.
He still has family ties to Lakeland as well, "My older sister still lives there and I lived there two seasons ago so I know a lot of people around there still so they will probably come out to one of the games," said Murphy.
Murphy has played for the Auburn Doubledays, Lansing Lugnuts, New Hampshire Fisher Cats and now the Dunedin Blue Jays and he said he's enjoyed playing in all those places. "Lansing was a great town because it was a college town which had a lot of young people around the same age. I like playing around here though because I know all the areas we play at pretty well."
There's no doubt that Murphy is a smart guy, evidenced by the fact that he attended one of the USA's most respected Ivy League schools, Princeton. "He's incredibly smart and calls a smart game," said Lansing Lugnuts Broadcaster, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, who watched Murphy last season. Murphy, a history major, because he's "better at writing papers than doing equations," has just two semesters left before he graduates which he intends on completing in his off time.
Another thing that he got out of his time at Princeton is a friendship with D-Jays closer, Danny Barnes. "Danny and I played together at Princeton for about two years," said Murphy. Barnes was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 2010 Amateur Draft and Murphy called to congratulate him. Barnes made it to Lansing that year while Murphy stayed in Auburn. "He actually leap frogged me!" explained Murphy. Though the two reunited in 2011 when they both played for Lansing.
Murphy is one of those players you can find after a game signing autographs and just chatting with anyone that approaches him. He's also extremely popular in the clubhouse. "He's a great clubhouse guy. He's a great glue guy, he holds things together," Goldberg-Strassler said. It's very obvious from his demeanor to anyone who meets him that he's a laid-back and humorous individual.
Jack Murphy is one of the many great Dunedin Blue Jays you will find at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium when the team returns home on Saturday, April 28 to take on the Tampa Yankees at 6:30pm.