Former GGSL president and park namesake Mike Murphy passes away at age 73

  • Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home

Sports Editor
Published: 6/3/2021 11:23:37 PM

Mike Murphy always had the best interest of his community in mind.

The former president of the Greenfield Girls Softball League and the driving force behind Murphy Park in Greenfield passed away Tuesday at the age of 73.

Murphy, who graduated from GHS in 1966 and was a football captain, spent his career in construction. That life’s work mixed with his personal pleasure and eventually formed what is now Murphy Park. The four-diamond softball complex in Greenfield is one of the best youth venues in Western Massachusetts, and came to be some 30 years ago with much of the blood, sweat, tears (and financial support) coming from Murphy.

“Even with all of his construction accolades, Mike was most proud of his work supporting the Greenfield Girls Softball League (GGSL) and the development of Murphy Park,” his obituary read.

A former GGSL president, Murphy was no longer president of the league by the end of the 1980’s but was still involved. Around that time, a 32-acre BMX bike park off Leyden Road was on its last leg. To build softball fields there, a lot of dirt was required because of wetlands associated with the property.

Many companies pitched in to make the park a reality, though Murphy was always at the forefront.

“I just had a love for it,” Murphy told former Recorder sports scribe Jason Butynski in an article celebrating the 25th anniversary of Murphy Park in 2016. “It’s always been fun, and to go by there now and to watch when they have a tournament, it’s a rewarding feeling. Even if it wasn’t named Murphy Park, it would still be rewarding to see what has developed.”

“Over the years with Mike's guidance and his ability to make friends with whomever he met, he raised over $500,000 in donations of money, time and talent to make Murphy Park a reality,” Murphy’s obituary read. “Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters and the general business community of Greenfield stepped forward to help the Park thrive. He loved going to the park to watch games and talk to the parents and volunteers.”

Calling hours for Murphy are Sunday from 4-6 p.m. at the Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home, 87 Franklin St. in Greenfield. A memorial service will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Following the service, a celebration of his life will be held from 12:30-5 p.m. at Northfield Golf Club.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested memorial contributions in Mike's name be made to the Greenfield Girls Softball League or the Franklin County Sheriff's Office Regional Dog Shelter.




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