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Baseball player with local ties makes major league debut

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Local woman watches grandson reach the big leagues

By The Staff

By Jimmie Earls

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Sun Sports Writer

Kentucky may be considered Cincinnati Reds country, but that's not going to stop Springfield resident Ann Murphy from cheering for the New York Mets. But she has a good reason - her grandson Daniel just got his first major league hit in a Mets uniform.

Daniel's family always knew he had a talent for the game.

"I think he came out of the womb swinging a bat," said Daniel's father, Tom Murphy, formerly of Springfield. "He's always been pretty good at hitting a baseball."

Tom moved to Florida in the early 1980s, and that’s where all three of his children were born and raised.

From 2004-06, Daniel played at Jacksonville (Fla.) University, attending on a baseball scholarship. After his junior year, he was drafted by the Mets in the 13th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft and completed his first season with the Class A St. Lucie Mets, earning the Sterling Award, which is awarded to the team's MVP.

Earlier this year, he spent time with the Double A Binghamton Mets and was named to the Eastern League all-star game. Murphy was called up to the Triple A New Orleans Zephyrs on Aug. 1and spent one day there before being called up to the major league roster, replacing an injured Marlon Anderson.

On Aug. 2, in his first big league at-bat, Murphy hit an 0-2 pitch into right field for his first hit. And while he is mostly known for his hitting, later that game, he made a spectacular catch against the left field wall robbing Houston Astros’ third baseman Geoff Blum of an extra-base hit and doubling up Hunter Pence at second base for the inning-ending double play. Murphy went 1-4 in that game, and his catch made the highlights of most major sports networks that night, including ESPN's SportsCenter.

Murphy's performance over the next couple of weeks will determine if he stays with the Mets or goes back to the minor leagues when Anderson returns. But if Daniel’s first game is any indication of where his major league career may be heading, it’s a sure bet that Ann Murphy is going to be cheering for her grandson for a long, long time.