MLB All-Star Murphy: “I loved it with the Spurs fans in the away section at Arsenal”
Wed 05 July 2017, 12:30|Tottenham Hotspur
So much so, he travelled over from the USA twice during baseball’s off-season, ticking an item off his ‘bucket list’ to take his place in the away end at Arsenal before returning on his own for a final chance to watch us at White Hart Lane.
You could say Washington Nationals Second Baseman Daniel Murphy has been bitten by the Spurs bug - and then some!
“I’ve certainly got it right now!” he smiled as he talked to us on that second visit in January, just before returning to hook up with the Nationals for winter training. “My wife is unbelievable, so understanding. I came over with a team-mate of mine Mikey Taylor and was lucky enough to go to the north London derby and I just asked ‘could I slide over to the UK again?’ and she said ‘yes, absolutely’.
“It was a bucket list item for me, to go to the north London derby and go into the away section with all the Spurs fans and when Harry Kane buried that penalty, wow, it was wild! I loved it!
“I’ve never experienced anything like that before and I’ve been to some pretty high-profile sporting events in the US. That was the next level. I couldn’t try to explain it back home.
“Harry Kane ran over to the fans and I had my arms open wide, it was like he was running straight to us! I’d love to ask Harry and the guys when they score a goal like that, how much he’s aware of that. To be on the other side of it was some experience. I loved the ride - and it’s a great time to support Spurs.”
Below: Daniel pictured on his visit to the Lane in January
Six months on and back to baseball business in the States, Daniel continues to build on his reputation as one of best hitters around. Just one hit away from taking the prestigious title of number one batter in the MLB in 2016, Daniel is currently top of the standings for 2017 after another outstanding game in an 11-4 win against Mets on Tuesday and his form has been franked by his first starting selection in the MLB’s All-Star Game when the American (AL) and National (NL) Leagues that form the MLB take each other on in Miami on July 11 - a big deal in the sport.
Daniel first told us of his support back in October, 2013, his first visit to the Lane. He’d just completed his best season in the MLB – top 10 in the league for hits - for the New York Mets. A year later, he was back with Mets’ team-mates Curtis Granderson and Matt Harvey after another solid season, and hoping to go better in 2015.
He took his game to another level in 2015 and when he returned for his next visit to Spurs in January, 2016, he did so as a a record-breaker in the MLB – the first player to hit home runs in six-consecutive post-season matches as he led the Mets to the World Series. They eventually lost 5-3 to Kansas City.
He moved to Washington Nationals for the 2016 season and hit new heights. His .347 batting average (hits divided by visits to the batting plate known as ‘at bats’) was just .001 behind DJ LaMahieu of Colorado Rockies as the Nationals won the National League’s East Division but lost in the Divisional Series to LA Dodgers.
Now he’s at it again, notching up a .341 average to sit top of the MLB batting standings after playing 78 games so far of the MLB’s marathon 162-game regular season, helping Nationals take a convincing lead at the top of the National League East Division.
That form has led to him starting for the National League in the All-Star Game, a huge honour in the sport.
Daniel is joined by team-mates Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
"I definitely think it's a team honour," he said. "We've played really well this year, and to have this many representatives, I think, is a reflection on how good our ball club is."