ARLINGTON -- Before retired Rangers outfielder David Murphy was honored prior to Friday night's game against the Red Sox at Globe Life Park, he met with the media to talk about his career, among other things. Accompanying him were his wife, his four children and his parents, making it quite
ARLINGTON -- Before retired Rangers outfielder David Murphy was honored prior to Friday night's game against the Red Sox at Globe Life Park, he met with the media to talk about his career, among other things. Accompanying him were his wife, his four children and his parents, making it quite clear why he decided to call it quits at age 34.
"I want to take advantage of being a husband and father now," Murphy said.
Murphy was a fan favorite during the Rangers' most successful postseason stretch in franchise history, when they made their first two World Series appearances in 2010 and '11. He spent seven years with the organization from 2007-13, and his 826 career games played with them is fourth-most amongst all outfielders in team history. Only Ian Kinsler played more games with the team from 2008-13.
Former teammate Mitch Moreland and general manager Jon Daniels presented Murphy with an autographed jersey before Friday's game, and he threw out the first pitch to right-hander Shawn Tolleson, who attended his alma mater, Baylor.
"From a standpoint of where we got as a team, obviously the World Series are going to stick out the most," said Murphy. "You come to Spring Training every year with the goal of getting there, unfortunately we never won the final game. But I got to play in a World Series Game 7, and besides that, I had the opportunity to play with incredible teammates. I got to play with Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz, Cliff Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, Elvis [Andrus] and other people I know I'm leaving out. ... We're talking about players who made me better, so I was very fortunate."
During his seven years with the Rangers, Murphy batted .275 with 85 homers and 362 RBIs. In the team's three-year postseason run from 2010-12, he played in 27 of the team's 34 playoff games.
"He was amazing. Everybody loved David, man," Andrus said. "Amazing teammate, great player -- professional. It kind of surprised me when I heard that he was going to retire."
Murphy opened the season with the Red Sox and was released on March 28. He then signed with the Twins on April 15 and played at Triple-A before deciding to retire on April 25. Murphy said there was an opportunity for him to keep playing, but he believed it was the right time to end his career.
"It hasn't been simple," Murphy said of being out of the game. "I think the biggest benefit is the freedom. I always wanted to be a Major League baseball player and I was able to fulfill my dream, but there's days where there's July 4 and your family's sitting by the pool back home and you're on the road. You feel like you've missed things."
It's ironic that Murphy was honored before the Rangers played the Red Sox, the team he was drafted by in 2003, and one of the last teams he played for. But he says his heart will always be with the Rangers.
"Being here felt like home. It felt like a happy place for me," Murphy said. "I think it will always be like that."
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.