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Murphy Su'a

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Murphy S. Su'a

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 185 lb.
  • Born ~1956

BR Minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Murphy Su'a played in the minor leagues then became a college coach.

Su'a did not play baseball in high school and was a junior college walk-on. Transferring to BYU, he hit .264 in 1978. In 1979, he batted .338/~.375/.648 with 22 HR and 91 RBI in 75 G. He set Western Athletic Conference division records for RBI and total bases (188) in a season. He set school records for homers, RBI, runs (72), doubles (22) and total bases. He was 10 RBI shy of NCAA Division I leader Tim Wallach. Murphy was named All-American at 3B, joining Wallach, Mike Gates and Randy Ingle as the infielders chosen. Undrafted out of college despite that success, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Murphy hit .320/.351/.423 with 56 runs and 53 RBI in 62 games in his pro debut with the 1979 Lethbridge Dodgers, fielding .890 as their main third baseman. He was 9th in the Pioneer League in average (.002 ahead of Gary Pettis), 6th in runs and 4th in RBI (behind Willie Darkis, Greg Brock and Bill Schroeder). His 133 assists led the league's third baseman and his fielding percentage was actually above the median. He did not make the league All-Star team as David Perez was chosen instead. He moved to catcher with the Lodi Dodgers but his batting line fell to .254/.305/.373 in 58 games and he battled a hand injury.

His next stop was in the Milwaukee Brewers chain. He hit .240/.277/.350 for the 1981 Burlington Bees but had 29 passed balls and 17 errors. He led Midwest League catchers in games played (116) and putouts (740) but also in errors. He did not lead in passed balls, being 7 behind Jack Fimple. He produced at a .231/.293/.342 clip for the '82 Stockton Ports. He cut his error total to 8 but had 23 passed balls, one ahead of Gil Reyes for the California League lead. His much lower error rate, though, allowed him to lead Cal League backstops in fielding percentage at .9874, just ahead of Jeff Reed.

Murphy was pitching coach for the 1983 Paintsville Brewers and was a player-coach for Stockton in 1984, hitting .184/.276/.342 in 31 games and even winning a game as a pitcher (though he allowed 2 runs in 2 innings). He finished his minor league playing career with a batting line of .253/.300/.366, 28 home runs, 181 runs and 202 RBI in 385 games.

He then returned to college, serving as pitching coach for East Los Angeles Community College for two years then being assistant coach at West Torrance High School. He also coached for the American Samoa national team in the 1999 Oceania Championship. His son Justin Su'a pitched for the squad. In 2007, he became head coach of California State University, Dominguez Hills and was 173-197-1 through 2013.

Su'a is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild, was a junior golden gloves boxer, a karate grand champion and holds a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

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