George Murray: Forever courageous

By Jon Lane
Sad news broke last night when George Murray, who enjoyed an unforgettable afternoon at Yankee Stadium on July 22 thanks to HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel), lost his battle with ALS.

HOPE Week was the Yankees’ wonderful community program that publicized five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities. The organization surprised Murray and his wife Kim – on the day the couple celebrated their ninth anniversary – and son Trason with a meet-and-greet with Yankees players in the Billy Martin suite followed by a postgame tour of Yankee Stadium. During an interview with Murray, I brought up how Yankees legends Lou Gehrig and Jim “Catfish” Hunter lived with such a terrible disease with dignity.

“I never attempted to compare myself to those real men,” he said. “I think if we all look inside us, then maybe we can have some of that strength.”

Allow me to put Murray in the same category as those men and many more. Murray is a hero. He served our country as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and performed a peacekeeping mission in Haiti. Murray is a role model. When he found out he had ALS, he was ready to fight back and live his life as a committed husband and father.

I only knew Murray for 10 minutes but I’ll never forget him. I left the suite telling myself he was one of the most courageous invididuals I’ve ever met.

6:45 p.m.
Phil Hughes shared his thoughts on the positive impact he made on George Murray and his family.

“Just the expression on his face and the joy we were able to give him on that day … you saw a guy who really looked like a fighter. It’s tough and I know a few of the guys took it hard,” Hughes said. To be able to bring him a bright spot during his last days is something I’ll always remember.

“People get caught up that we’re the real heroes. That’s not the case. We play baseball. This guy served our country. He’s way more of a hero than any one of us.”

4 Comments

I’m going to miss George. We worked together when he was a guidance counselor in the school district I worked at. I remember when he had to resign from his job to deal with his ALS. When I saw him on TV after the game when he went to HOPE Week and shed a tear, did the same with the Yankee Magazine show. He was so happy-go-lucky and one hell of a fighter. Thanks Yankees for making his dream come true. True class. George, I’m going to remember you always. I already miss you. Be at peace and be free from your wheelchair. Trason is in good hands with Kim. I know you will watch over them both. You fought one hell of a battle, man. Your work here is done, on to a new chapter, with God. Goodbye my friend and fellow Yankee fan.

A very touching note, Dusty.

Thanks for reading,

Jon

This story touched me enough to write on these. I don’t usually. I am a proud Yankees fan and when hope week started i was even more proud to be a yankees fan and would somewhat point out to my friends and brag about the organization. Although i am still proud to be a yankees fan I realize that maybe this was the wrong thing to do. This goes beyond baseball of course but it also goes beyond feeling pride for your team just because they are your team. Does this make since? It doesn’t matter who did it and who gave him hope. It just matters that it happened. George Murray was one of many who have died of the disease but he was a one in a million man. We got to know his story and feel for him and his family. He was a great man because in an instant millions of people were made aware of a situation that needed to be told, challenged and given HOPE. I love the Yankees. Maybe more than anyone. I love the idea and possibility of hope and courage infinitely more. Rest In Peace. Your life has changed mine.

Well said, Tony. Great job.

Thanks for reading,

Jon

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