Murphy calls his mother, Susan, "Mama Murph." She is a baseball junkie. Her two sons have been embracing the game for about as long as they could walk. And her daughter, Tricia, played softball for much of her youth.
Most spring evenings, Sharon and her husband, Tom, are either attending a game in Jacksonville or watching the Mets on television, sometimes with Jacksonville University's game tracker on a nearby computer. Sharon recalls one recent weekend, with the Mets in New York and the JU Dolphins in South Carolina, when she and Tom barely moved from the couch.
In that fashion, the Murphys followed Daniel's career from high school to his own three years at JU to the minor leagues and the Mets, attending as many games as possible. The couple typically makes the four-hour drive to spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida, a few times each season, then takes longer treks to New York, Atlanta, and Miami during the summer. Tom, a schoolteacher, may also take a solo trip to see Daniel play.
After games, the brothers often talk on the phone about their swings, which—despite one being lefthanded and the other righthanded—are eerily similar. Because Jonathan has been mimicking his older brother's mechanics for the better part of two decades, he understands intricacies that even some big league coaches do not.
One night, Jonathan was at the family home, trying to help Daniel deconstruct his approach. In highly technical terms, he dove into an explanation of how his older brother should tweak the positioning of his hands.
"Then I got on the phone and said, 'Yeah, I was going to tell you about that whole hand thing, but Jonathan's taking care of that," Sharon said, laughing. But she is the postive one, reminding her sons that the next game you will be just fine.
So imagine what her presence means for Jonathan, struggling through his senior season with his offensive production (outside of a conference-leading stolen-base total), hovering well below the numbers he put up as a junior. Daniel is hopeful that Jonathan may still receive a 2012 draft-day deal. (Anthons DiComo-MLB.com-5/11/12) (Editor's note: In 2012, the Twins chose Jonathan in the 19th round, out of Jacksonville University.)
In 2006, Murphy earned the Atlantic Sun Conference's player of the year award while playing for Jacksonville. Daniel saved some of his better performances for when Mets Vice President Tony Bernazard happened to be in the stands, watching his son Anthony playing for the Dolphins in the same infield.
"He came down to watch the St. Lucie Mets play in Daytona, so he came through and swung over to Jacksonville to watch Anthony play for a game and a half or two games," Murphy said. "I knew his dad was pretty high up. And then once I looked into it a little bit, I realized he was actually a special assistant to GM Omar Minaya, so I tried to play as well as I could." (Adam Rubin-Baseball America-2/9/07)
In 2005, Murphy ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Valley League. In 2006, he ranked second in the Atlantic Sun with a .398 average and 55 RBIs, despite missing 10 late-season games with a strained knee ligament and hamstring tear.
- June 2006: Danny signed with the Mets, and scout Steve Barningham, after being chosen in the 13th round, out of the University of Jacksonville.
During the winter before 2008 spring training, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Murphy as the 15th-best prospect in the Mets' organization.
Daniel eats, drinks, and sleeps baseball. In the second half of 2008, he and teammate Nick Evans lived in a hotel about a one-hop throw from Shea Stadium. They would talk the game over lunch in the lobby of the hotel, then head to the park for some work in the indoor batting cages.
They were roommates when they played for Binghamton, though in Flushing, they each had their own accomodations.
Murphy is a meticulous worker. He knows routine and discipline are at the root of his success.
He has intangibles, including a solid makeup and outstanding coachability.
During the Arizona Fall League after the 2008 season, Daniel bought a CVS-brand notebook at a pharmacy and began recording his at-bats, just like teammate Carlos Delgado has kept for years. And that is where Murphy got the idea, by watching a tape of Delgado, a year and a half before they became teammates.
"Two years ago, I was in minor league camp," Murphy said Sunday in the dugout at Tradition Field. "They showed us film of Delgado hitting a home run off somebody, and he went straight to the notebook and was writing down how the AB went. I was like, 'That's a pretty good idea.' So I started doing it."
In 2009 spring training, Mets Manager Jerry Manuel named Murphy as the regular left fielder for the team.
During the winter before 2011 spring training, Murphy logged 19 games at second base for Cibao in the Dominican League. He batted .320/.395/.515 with four homers and 22 RBIs in 103 at-bats. He also played 10 combined games at first and third base.
Daniel is a bit of a fantasy football geek.
Daniel is a workaholic. When he was injured in 2013 Spring Training, it kept him from over-working himself in the batting cage. In an interview as the season started, Mets manager Terry Collins said: “One of the things about the injury is that it kept this guy from working himself to death.”
Daniel set up the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, providing a four-year high school scholarship to marginalized youth.
Murphy got married to his longtime girlfriend Victoria "Tori" Ahern on December 1, 2012 in Florida.
PATERNITY LEAVE CONTROVERSY
March 31, 2014: Murphy's wife Tori gave birth to their son Noah in Florida.
Daniel received talk-radio backlash after choosing to take paternity leave and miss the team's first two games of the season to be present for the birth of his first child on March 31. Murphy's wife Tori gave birth to 8-pound, 2-ounce son Noah about an hour before the first pitch of the Mets' season.
So in June 2014, the Murphy family was invited to the White House. The White House Summit on Working Families will be held in the South Court Auditorium of the White House. It aims to advance talk about how fathers play a role at home, discuss the challenges of balancing a career and family, and advocate for rights such as parental leave from work.
Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman will participate in the discussion along with Murphy.
Murphy deftly dealt with criticism of his paternity leave in March 2014.
"You're a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse," WFAN host Mike Francesa had said on-air after learning Murphy had decided to take paternity leave. "What are you gonna do, sit there and look at your wife in the hospital bed for two days?"
The radio station's morning host, Boomer Esiason, suggested at the time that wife Tori ought to have gotten a C-section before the season started. He subsequently apologized.
The collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players' association allows for up to a three-day absence after being placed on paternity leave.
"That's the choice of parents that they get to make," Murphy said in April. "That's the greatness of it. You discuss it with your spouse and you find out what you think works best for your family."
Daniel and his family traveled to Washington on June 8, 2014, where the second baseman was an invited guest to speak at the White House.
White House representatives recently contacted Murphy to see if he would be interested in speaking at The White House Summit on Working Families, which aims to advance discussion about fathers' roles at home, including the challenges of balancing career and family responsibilities.
"My wife said I was [interested]," Murphy said, laughing. Murphy endured public criticism earlier in 2014, when he missed two games, including Opening Day, for the birth of his son. In Washington, he will speak on a panel including White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman.
"I don't really have a whole lot of experience in it," Murphy said of fatherhood. "I feel humbled to be asked about it. My wife has two months of experience. I've had the easy part. I think I'll keep my ears open more than I do my mouth." (DiComo - mlb.com - 6/3/14)
But Daniel did fatherhood proud on June 9, 2014, addressing the White House audience that he was proud to explain to his son one day about his biggest accomplishment on the first day of the 2014 Major League Baseball season.
"When Noah asks me one day, 'What happened? What was it like when I was born?' I could have answered 'Well, Stephen Strausburg hung me a breaking ball that day, son, and I slammed it into the right-field corner,'" Murphy said. "But I think it's going to go so much further in that I'm the one who cut his umbilical cord. And long after they tell me that I'm not good enough to play professional baseball anymore, I'll be a father. And I'll be a husband. So that was a reason on the front end that I wanted to be there for my wife and for my son.
"The support I got from my teammates and the coaches was just unbelievable," Murphy said at the summit. "Our manager, Terry Collins, came out after the hoopla had come from our decision as a family, and he really stuck behind me—told me that I'd played 161 ballgames the year before, knew I was a guy who came to work and played ball every day.
"Just to get that support from him, from our owners wishing us congratulations, the players on the team just really congratulating us—it was a level of support that you hope you don't need that affirmation when you make a decision like this, but to get it from my teammates and the organization was awesome."
Insisting he was not nervous to speak at the White House, Murphy said that, in fact, he "winged it." "It was cool," Murphy said. "It didn't feel like it was overwhelming or anything, other than the lack of experience I have as a working dad. It was enjoyable. I'm glad we did it."
Taking a red-eye flight from San Francisco the night before, Murphy met his wife, son, mother and father-in-law in Washington early the next morning. The entire group took a tour of the White House, before Murphy climbed behind the podium for his speech. (DiComo - mlb.com - 6/10/14)
December 4, 2015: Daniel and his wife, Tori, were blessed with the birth of their daughter, their second child.
On being named as a reserve on the 2014 All-Star Game roster, Murphy said, "My immediate reaction would probably be shock. It's a blessing. And I don't work any harder on this ballclub than anyone else does. There's no doubt about that. There's 24 men in here who work really hard. It's just an honor. It's humbling. It's a fantastic blessing." (7/6/14)
Murphy was the Mets' nominee for the 2014 Heart and Hustle Award, the MLB Players Alumni Association announced Tuesday. The award honors active players who "demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball, and best embody the values, spirit and tradition of the game." It is the only MLB award voted on by former players. (7/22/14)
In the spring of 2015, it had been six and a half years since Murphy arrived in Houston as a little-known 13th-round draft pick trying to help the Mets win a pennant race. He spent much of the next half-decade trying to prove he belonged—first in the big leagues, then at second base. Consistently, Murphy defied the odds.
Yet while the Mets have always appreciated Murphy's old-school skill set and attitude, they never rewarded him with a long-term contract extension. Instead, Murphy enters this season on an $8 million arbitration settlement, with no guarantees beyond it.
"Eight million dollars is a lot of money," Murphy said. "That's a lot of scratch. I didn't think I'd make that much money ever. My wife and I looked at each other when we signed that deal, looking at each other kind of cross-eyed. 'They're going to pay us this much money to play baseball? Woof.'" (DiComo - mlb.com - 2/26/15)
In 2015, Murphy said he is 100 percent against the gay lifestyle but would accept gay teammate,calling on Christians to “love the people” even when they “disagree with the lifestyle.”
Murphy said in an interview with NJ.com that he disagreed with the gay lifestyle, but that would not stop him from “investing in someone who is homosexual.”
October, 2015: Two days after the Mets had swept the Cubs out of the NLCS, Murphy received a taste of how his life had changed. He and his wife, Tori, who was seven months pregnant with their second child, took their son, Noah, to a park near their Upper East Side apartment for an extended session of scootering and baseball, as they often do.
"Nobody noticed me in the past," Murphy said.
This time, a student from an adjacent school, which was in the midst of recess, approached him. "Are you Daniel Murphy?" the boy asked. Soon a dozen kids, and eventually 50, were surrounding him, wanting to take photos with him and even to touch him. "we're like 'oh no'" Murphy said. "This is wild. This is really new."
Murphy grew up in Jacksonville, Fla.,the oldest of three children born to (his father) Tom, who used to own a lawn maintenance company and is now an elementary school teacher, and Sharon (his mother), a secretary at a seafood company.
January 2016 Q&A:Favorite Movie: Shawshank Redemption; Favorite TV show: EPL Soccer; Favorite Dessert: Carrot Cake; Favorite board game: Monopoly; Favorite sport outside of baseball: Soccer; Best childhood memory: The Duke vs. Kentucky game in 1998 in Tampa with my Dad; D.C. landmark you are looking forward to seeing; Lincoln Memorial; Historical figure you would like to have coffee with: Abraham Lincoln; Best thing about being a dad: It's my opportunity to serve my family; Most surprising thing about being a dad: So much poop.
Murphy was named the 2015 NLCS MVP.
November 9, 2016: Murphy was selected as the NL's most Outstanding Player for the 2016 Players Choice Award.
December 2016: Murphy committed to play for team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Murphy, who had not played in more than 143 games since 2013, focused on strengthening his lower body in the 2017 offseason in an effort to avoid some of the hamstring issues that slowed him down during the previous season. (Collier - mlb.com - 3/5/17)
March 24, 2017: Daniel Murphy has played in the postseason, and he said the atmosphere in the World Baseball Classic matched that intensity. Murphy returned to Nationals camp fresh off Team USA's championship run in the Classic and raved about his experiences.
He pointed specifically to their matchup against the Dominican Republic in Miami, which will go down as one of the best games in the history of the Classic, as one of the experiences he enjoyed the most.
"It's some really high intensity games in March," Murphy said. "I've never been a part of that before this early."
Murphy did not get much playing time in the Classic. He played in just two games, both as a designated hitter, going 0-for-6 at the plate. Baker worried that Murphy was still struggling with his timing when he left camp and sitting on the bench for most of the tournament did not help.
However, Murphy did not seem concerned about his lack of playing time. He still took time to hit in the batting cage often and said he got a ton of work at second base before the games, including some help working with Tigers' second baseman Ian Kinsler. In fact, Murphy also spent time on the bench talking hitting with D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who finished as the runnerup for the National League MVP Award in 2015 -- an honor Murphy received in 2016 -- and other players whom Murphy described as "baseball rats."
"There were a lot of great conversations," said Murphy, who also connected with players such as the Rockies' Nolan Arenado and Giants' Buster Posey about their faith as Christians. "I think the physical work, I was able to get [it] in. So now I'm back to camp, let's see if I can find some game at-bats." (J Collier - MLB.com - March 25, 2017)
June 2006: The Mets chose Murphy in the 13th round, out of the University of Jacksonville in Florida.
November 6, 2015: The Mets made a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to Murphy, endeavoring to keep Daniel, who has one week to accept or reject the offer, the latter of which means testing free agency. Plus, the decision ensures the Mets will recoup a draft pick after the first round if Murphy signs elsewhere
- December 24, 2015: The Nationals signed Murphy to a three year, $37.5, million deal.