MLB Great Dale Murphy Adds Legitimacy, Face To Big League Utah

Apr 14, 2023, 11:06 AM

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SALT LAKE CITY – If major league baseball is destined to make its way to Salt Lake in the coming years, former MLB superstar Dale Murphy hopes to play a big part.

A two-time National League MVP with the Atlanta Braves, Murphy joined DJ & PK on the KSL Sports Zone to talk about Big League Utah.

“I’ve been in the loop about three weeks,” Murphy said. “They’ve been at it about a year but I was just invited to be part of the coalition and I couldn’t be more excited.”

RELATED: Current State Of MLB Relocation/Expansion Talks

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Murphy joined the city’s Diamond Project more than five years ago.

“I’ve had some good experience with the Portland group and how this thing works,” Murphy said. “I look at which boxes need to be checked and Big League Utah checks all the boxes, like today.”

Is Salt Lake City in the driver’s seat?

If Commissioner Rob Manfred sticks to his stated goal of expansion, MLB is expected to add a team in the eastern U.S. and a team in the western U.S. Does that consideration limit the competition for Salt Lake as a legitimate marketplace for the highest level of pro baseball?

“The commissioner said two teams, east and west. So our competition isn’t Nashville. Or Charlotte or Montreal. Our competition is Portland.”

RELATED: Photos: Renderings of MLB Ballpark In SLC Released

With an ownership group in place, a shovel-ready stadium location in hand, and the support of a community, Murphy believes Big League Utah presents a logical choice for MLB.

“This is anything but a shoo-in but I think we are right at the top of who we are competing against,” Murphy stated.

Expansion or relocation?

“We’d love to have expansion, but we could have relocation tomorrow,” Murphy stated confidently. “We could play at Smith’s Ballpark and go to work on a stadium right now.”

A 100-acre site on Salt Lake City’s west side is the proposed location of a mixed-use development site that, with the green light from MLB officials, would include a major league caliber ballpark just minutes from downtown.

Before expansion talks begin in earnest, MLB first needs to answer the questions surrounding home ballparks for the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics. All signs point to the Athletics relocating to Las Vegas sooner rather than later. Whether the Rays remain in Tampa Bay or relocate, it appears likely the franchise would remain in an eastern city.

RELATED: MLB To SLC: LHM Group Announces Attempt To Bring Major League Baseball Team To Utah

Little is set in stone but Murphy has his vision set for the long term.

“We’ve gotta plan for the long haul and be strategic. The next step is continuing to foster our grassroots support and enthusiasm. This is a marathon.”

Take us with you, wherever you go to learn more about Big League Utah.

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MLB Great Dale Murphy Adds Legitimacy, Face To Big League Utah