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Forty years ago this summer, the Atlanta Braves were on TV in Arkansas cities every night. Cable service and satellite technology brought an exciting pennant race into homes throughout the country, and the Braves developed a widespread fan base that remains today. The hero of that Division Championship team was a 26-year-old center fielder named Dale Murphy.
On Aug. 27, the fifth-annual Hot Springs Baseball Weekend will give Arkansas baseball fans a rare opportunity to see and hear Dale Murphy in person. Along with Murphy, the yearly event will feature appearances by Chris Chambliss, Murphy’s teammate on that Braves club, and colorful Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. Popular St. Louis Cardinals and Braves reliever Al Hrabosky will represent the Cardinals at the event. Coincidently, Hrabosky was also a member of that 1982 Braves team. He pitched in 31 games for Atlanta in his last major league season.
Murphy, often described as the most beloved player ever to wear a Braves uniform, was one of the most outstanding players of the 1980s. A seven-time All-Star, Murphy was chosen National League MVP in 1982 and 1983.
In his 1983 MVP season, Murphy became the only player in history to compile a .300+ batting average, 30+ home runs, 120+ runs batted in, 130+ runs scored, 90+ bases on balls, and 30+ stolen bases in one season. In 1987, he was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the “Sportsmen and Sportswomen of the Year.” The award is presented to the athlete “Who Cares the Most” and recipients were honored as such by President Ronald Reagan at the White House.
Murphy will be joined by his teammate on the 1982 Division Champions, Chris Chambliss. Chambliss was Rookie of the Year with the Cleveland Indians in 1971. In a 17-year career with the Indians, Yankees, and Braves, Chambliss had 2109 hits and 972 RBIs. He played on two World Series Championship teams in New York.
Back by popular demand from the 2021 Hot Springs Baseball Weekend is the Baseball Hall of Famer known universally as “Goose”. Rich “Goose” Gossage was a seven-time All-Star in a sparkling career that produced 310 saves. The intimidating reliever was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008. According to Visit Hot Springs CEO, Steve Arrison, “The Goose was so popular with last year’s fans that we just had to bring him back this year.”
Al Hrabosky has been a guest at every Hot Springs Baseball Weekend. The former dominating reliever is known as baseball’s “Mad Hungarian.” Hrabosky is currently part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ broadcast team. He will discuss the outlook for the Cards as the 2022 season reaches the final stretch run.
This year’s activities will also feature, as its opening event on Friday, Aug. 26, the Arkansas premiere of the documentary film “Facing Nolan,” The tribute chronicles the life of legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan. “Facing Nolan,” a critically acclaimed and fantastically entertaining look at baseball pitching legend, is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 26, in Horner Hall at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
A sports card show, added last year, will also return on Saturday, Aug. 27. The buy, sell, and trade event is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “This is going to be a real treat for baseball-card collectors and those who just love baseball cards in general,” Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison said. “With 50 tables set up in the lobby of the Convention Center, there will be something to enjoy for everyone who loves this hobby.”
Hot Springs, Arkansas, A Grand Slam for Baseball Lovers
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26
5:30 p.m. – Free Screening of the documentary “Facing Nolan.” In the world of Major League Baseball, no one has created a mythology like Nolan Ryan. Told from the viewpoint of the hitters who faced him and the teammates who revered him.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 27
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Baseball Card Show Open
10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Talking Baseball with Atlanta Braves Legend Dale Murphy (Hot Springs Convention Center – Horner Hall)
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. – Cardinal Baseball Update with Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Talking Baseball with New York Yankee Chris Chambliss
3 p.m. – 4 p.m. – The Goose is Loose Part II: Straight Talk with Hall of Famer Goose Gossage of the New York Yankees
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Ask the Pros featuring Goose Gossage, Dale Murphy, Chris Chambliss, and Al Hrabosky
Everyone who loves baseball is invited to attend. All events are free.
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