If you are a fan of the New York Mets, you probably remember Daniel Murphy. He was a key player for the team from 2008 to 2015, making two All-Star appearances and leading the Mets to the World Series in 2015 with his record-breaking postseason performance.
He hit six home runs in six consecutive games, setting a new MLB record and earning the NLCS MVP award.
But after that magical run, Murphy left the Mets and signed with the Washington Nationals, where he continued to excel for three seasons. He then played for the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies in 2018 and 2019, respectively, before becoming a free agent in 2020.
Now, at age 37, Murphy is back in New York, but not with the Mets. He has joined the Long Island Ducks, an independent minor league team that plays in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.
The Ducks announced Murphy’s signing on April 28, 2023, making him one of their biggest acquisitions ever.
Murphy said he decided to join the Ducks because he wanted to keep playing baseball and stay close to his family. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida, but his wife’s family is from Long Island.
He also said he was impressed by the Ducks’ organization and their history of winning championships.
“I’m excited to be a part of this team and this league,” Murphy said in a press release. “I’ve heard great things about the Ducks and their fans, and I’m looking forward to playing in front of them and helping this team win another title.”.
The Ducks are no strangers to signing former major leaguers. In their 23-year history, they have had more than 200 players with MLB experience on their roster, including stars like Carlos Baerga, John Rocker, Dontrelle Willis, Rich Hill and Pete Rose Jr.
They have also won four Atlantic League championships, most recently in 2019.
The Ducks’ manager is Wally Backman, another former Met who played on the 1986 World Series team. Backman said he was thrilled to have Murphy on his squad and praised his versatility and professionalism.
“Daniel is a tremendous addition to our club,” Backman said in a press release. “He can play multiple positions on the infield and outfield, he can hit for average and power, and he brings a lot of experience and leadership to our clubhouse.
He’s a proven winner who knows how to play the game the right way.”. . . . . . . . .
Murphy will wear number 28 for the Ducks, the same number he wore for the Mets. He said he hopes to make a positive impact on his new team and his new community.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity and I’m ready to work hard and have fun,” Murphy said. “I love baseball and I love New York. This is a perfect fit for me.”.
Final Thoughts: Daniel Murphy Joins Long Island Ducks, Bringing MLB Experience to Independent League
It’s not often that a former MLB All-Star decides to play in an independent minor league, but that’s exactly what Daniel Murphy has done by signing with the Long Island Ducks.
At age 37, Murphy’s career may be winding down, but his passion for the game is still strong, and he sees an opportunity to keep playing and stay close to his family.
Murphy’s signing is a major coup for the Ducks, who have a long history of attracting former major leaguers to their roster. Murphy brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the team, as well as a versatile skill set that will allow him to play multiple positions on the infield and outfield.
But Murphy’s signing is also significant for the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, which is considered the highest level of independent minor league baseball in the United States.
The league has been trying to establish itself as a legitimate alternative to affiliated minor league baseball, and signing a player of Murphy’s caliber is a major step in that direction.
Of course, Murphy’s presence on the Ducks’ roster will also draw attention from baseball fans in the New York area, who remember his heroics with the Mets in 2015.
While Murphy may not be the same player he was then, he still has the ability to make an impact on the field and in the community.
Overall, Daniel Murphy’s decision to join the Long Island Ducks is a win-win for both the player and the team. Murphy gets to continue playing the game he loves while staying close to his family, and the Ducks get a proven winner who can help them compete for another Atlantic League championship.
It will be interesting to see how Murphy fares in this new chapter of his career, but one thing is for sure: he’s not done playing baseball just yet.