April 30 – Happy Birthday Lamar Murphy

MurphyHR2Like so many Amsterdam Rugmakers of his generation, its tough to figure out if Perry Lamar Murphy’s dreams for a Major League career were disrupted more by World War II or by his failures early on in his career to hit the pitching in the higher levels of the New York Yankees’ farm system. Born in Lawrenceville, GA on April 30, 1921, Murphy was signed by New York right out of high school and sent to Akron, their Class C affiliate in the Mid Atlantic League. He won a starting outfielder’s job there and was hitting .281 after his first 68 games, when he got a promotion to the Yankee’s B-level Piedmont League affiliate in Norfolk. The then just 18-year-old left-handed-hitter raised some eyebrows by averaging .336 in the 30 games he played for the Norfolk Tars at the end of that 1939 season and it looked as if he was on a fast track to one of those cherished pinstriped uniforms in the Bronx.

Then he stumbled…

You can read the rest of my story about this former Amsterdam Rugmaker in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.

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