Chuck Murphy has been the president of the Florida State League since late 1989, making this upcoming season his 17th at the helm of the FSL. Murphy sat down for a few questions from MiLB.com, from his office at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona, Fla.
What makes the Florida State League special?
The biggest thing for us is our ballparks and the fact that we have really good facilities throughout the league. We have experienced people running the ballclubs. Our people really get double-dipped -- working during Spring Training and the Florida State League -- so it's a pretty long year. But that makes us special. Also, we have a lot of communication between ballclubs. Everyone is trying to help everyone else out, and it's really like a big family.
Outside of the FSL, what's your favorite Minor League ballpark?
Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana. It's a field that's been around since 1915, and it's where I broke into baseball as a business manager. It's a beautiful old ballpark, and it's still there. It's part of the Frontier League now.
Who is the best player you've seen come through the Florida State League?
Normally, the Florida State League is a pitchers' league. I'd have to say Kerry Wood was very impressive when he came through. Perhaps the reason I was attuned to him is that he played in Daytona, where my office is. But I remember him throwing two no-hitters in a row. They weren't complete games because he got pulled after five innings, but he was throwing 95 mph and was very impressive.
What's the one initiative you'd like to see accomplished before your term ends?
I've always wanted to get us up to 16 teams. That is the one thing I've always wanted to do because 16 teams would be optimal in terms of scheduling.
What's your favorite offseason activity?
Being the league president is...
Probably one of the most satisfying positions I've ever had. I've been very fortunate in my professional career. I spent 21 years in the military and that was very satisfying. I've been in baseball for 25 years, and I've also enjoyed that very much. I have some great people to work with here in the Florida State League. Like I said earlier, we're like a big family down here.
The best thing about Minor League Baseball is...
Fan entertainment and the fact we're giving families an opportunity to watch good baseball at a reasonable price and have fun at the ballpark.