AFC East: Jimmie Foxx
DAVIE, Fla. -- Of all the sports celebrities hanging around the Miami Dolphins training camp, the most interesting to me has been Dale Murphy. The beloved former Atlanta Brave has been in town to watch his son, rookie guard Shawn Murphy.
Dale Murphy is an answer to one of my favorite trivia questions -- before Barry Bonds ruined it (among other things).
There once were nine back-to-back baseball MVPs, and each one of them played a different position, including left, center and right field. Next time you're among a group of sports fans, ask them to fill out the lineup card. Everybody will get into it.
The answers are below.
So there was Dale Murphy a few feet away inside the Dolphins' practice bubble, and I couldn't help myself. I asked the other reporters to name the back-to-back MVPs. Practice suddenly became an afterthought.
As is usually the case with me because I can never remember these two, we got hung up on the pitcher and the first baseman (Frank Thomas became the 11th player to do it, but we couldn't get the original).
So Andy Kent from MiamiDolphins.com wandered over to ask Dale Murphy. A few minutes later, Kent walked back and informed us Murphy couldn't summon the answers either.
Murphy apparently had blown Kent off. After all, Murphy was there to watch his kid and didn't want to be bothered, right? Either that or Murphy was busy responding to text messages because he kept scrolling through his cell phone.
Ten minutes later, with the Dolphins going through a two-minute drill, Murphy bounded over, his cell phone raised.
"The pitcher was Hal Newhouser!" said Murphy, who had spent several minutes looking it up on ChaCha. Just then local radio reporter Josh Friedman interjected the first baseman: Jimmie Foxx. Murphy threw back his head and groaned.
Now I can't feel bad for routinely forgetting Newhouser and Foxx if Murphy can't remember them either.
I had a chance to talk football with the seven-time National League All-Star ad five-time Gold Glover as practice broke up.
"I don't really know what's going on when I watch this," confessed the slugger who hit 398 home runs and knocked in 1,266 runs. "It's a little more intense than spring training. It's been really interesting to watch, a whole different deal.
"There's something things you can't really relate to because it is such a different sport, culture, intensity. It's hard for me to relate to."
Shawn Murphy, the fourth-round draft pick out of Utah State, laughed about his famous father's football ignorance.
"He gets it," Shawn Murphy said, "but we'll sit there and talk after practice and he'll say 'Ok, now what was going on over here?' and 'What was the point of that drill?' He's a sports fan, but certain intricacies he doesn't fully get, but we talk about it, and he loves to learn about it."
Now for the rest of the back-to-back baseball MVP answers:
C: Yogi Berra
1B: Foxx (and later Thomas)
2B: Joe Morgan
3B: Mike Schmidt
SS: Ernie Banks
LF: Murphy, although he played all three OF spots (and later Bonds)
CF: Mickey Mantle
RF: Roger Maris