Brooklyn/L.A. Scout Dies in San Francisco

Richard "Dick" Murray, a highly successful high school baseball coach, official and a longtime Dodger scout, died March 16 of natural causes in San Francisco. He was 89.

Mr. Murray helped the athletic careers of several major-league players, most notably Jim Gentile, a three-time All-Star who finished third in the 1961 American League Most Valuable Player voting behind Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.

"If it wasn't for Dick, I probably would have wound up driving a truck," Gentile said.

After graduating from San Francisco's Mission High he was a five-sport athlete at San Francisco State. Mr. Murray began his 38-year coaching and teaching career in 1944, and became the baseball coach at San Francisco's Sacred Heart High in 1950 where set a school record of 300 wins and 65 losses over 12 years at Sacred Heart, earning San Francisco Coach of the Year five times and Northern California Coach of the Year twice.

He fondly remembered everyone of his players and could still give accurate play-by-play accounts of his games until the last days of his life.

He saw Gentile while attending a game and invited him to attend Sacred Heart, where Gentile developed into a star.

"He was a great teacher of fundamentals and that put us way ahead of most kids at (major-league) spring training camps," Gentile said. Mr. Murray was also somewhat of a father figure for Gentile, who had grown up with his grandmother.

Mr. Murray became a member of four halls of fame: Mission High, Sacred Heart High, San Francisco State and the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame.

In 1950, Mr. Murray became a scout for the Dodgers, before they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and held that job for 45 years before retiring.

He was also a respected basketball official, mainly in the Pac 10 and Bay Area High School leagues, but he also officiated an NBA All Star East-West game, a Globe Trotter game and ABA games.

He was working for the Pac 10 as a paid observer/evaluator until two years ago.

Mr. Murray is survived by his wife of 71 years, Norma, children Pati Boyd, Cheryl DeMarta and Bruce Murray, 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. The youngest great-grandchild, Rylee DeMarta, was born four days after his death.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Sacred Heart Prep. Donations should go to the Dick Murray Scholarship Fund at Sacred Heart Preparatory Cathedral.

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