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Sports Then and Now



Mark Belanger: A Fielding Aficionado 13

Posted on April 15, 2012 by Dean Hybl
Mark Belanger

Mark Belanger

The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Week for April is a former Major League shortstop who was never known for his offensive production, but was one of the best ever at fielding his position and was a key reason that his team was baseball’s best during his era.

Mark Belanger was such a valuable player for the Baltimore Orioles in the late 1960s and 1970s that he knocked a future Hall of Famer out of the Baltimore lineup and twice finished in the top 30 in the American League MVP despite hitting below .230 for the season.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Dale Murphy: A Hallmark of Excellence
      July 2, 2024 | 1:53 pm
      Dale Murphy

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a standout player of the 1980s, remembered not only for his exceptional skills on the field but also for his exemplary character and sportsmanship.

      Born on March 12, 1956, in Portland, Oregon, Dale Murphy’s journey to becoming one of the most respected players in baseball history is a testament to dedication, perseverance, and a genuine love for the game.

      Early Career and Rise to Prominence

      Murphy was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 1974 MLB Draft. He made his Major League debut on September 13, 1976, at the age of 20. Initially a catcher, Murphy transitioned to the outfield early in his career, where he would solidify his place as one of the premier outfielders of his era.

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