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Community rallies behind injured pitcher
Tyler Murphy 2
Former Turlock High Bulldog pitcher Tyler Murphy is recovering from a boating accident that injured his right hand and right leg. - photo by Journal file photo


Purchase pizza from Little Caesars at 2685 Geer Rd. on Monday, Aug. 26.

Half of all gross sales receipts from Monday will be donated to the Murphy family.




Three months ago Tyler Murphy was living his dream. It was the tail end of his senior year at Turlock High, he was leading his record breaking Bulldog baseball team into the SJS Division I Finals, and the ink had already dried on a scholarship to pitch for St. Mary’s College.

But after a tragic turn of events, Murphy is now clinging to his dream from a hospital bed at Memorial Medical Center. On Aug. 8, a boating accident at Lake Tulloch put Murphy’s baseball and college aspirations on hold. After being run over by the boat he and his friends were enjoying the day on, Murphy was air lifted to Modesto with severe lacerations to his right leg and right hand and rushed into surgery.

“It’s pretty tragic and devastating for all of us; all his family and his friends,” Murphy’s mother Lori said. “We’re in the recovery process. He’s making a little bit of progress, but its baby steps. It’s going to take a little bit of time for him to recover.”

In the past 14 days Murphy has undergone three surgeries.

“Initially, I was just hoping he didn’t have any head injuries. I’m thankful that he didn’t,” Murphy’s former coach Mark de la Motte said. “The doctors did some miraculous things. They had the right people at the right time.”

It’s unclear how long Murphy’s recovery process will take; what is known is that it will be intensive and involve a strenuous rehabilitation plan.

“First and foremost, we’re just praying for a full recovery,” Lori said. “We just know that it’s going to be a long recover for him. We’re hoping sooner than later, but there’s no telling. We just have to take it a day at a time and see how everything heals. Eventually we’re hoping he’ll be able to go back to college, that’s his plan.”

“It’s really going to take a lot of mental toughness but I know he’s got it in him,” de la Motte said. “It’s going to make him a better person in the long run and, hopefully, he can fight his way through it and be patient and come back and be able to function normally; and who knows, Lord willing, be able to play down the road.”

In the past two weeks, Murphy and his family have received overwhelming support from friends, family, and the community at large.

“Unbelievable; there’s been an unbelievable amount of support from so many people, near and far. People have reached out from all over the place and we feel overwhelmed with the amount of love and support we’ve received over this time,” Lori said.

This past weekend, former teammates and friends showed their support in the form of an impromptu car wash fundraiser. Family friends Leon and Debbie Curtis are also putting together fundraising events, the first of which will take place on Monday at the Little Caesars on Geer Road. Half of all the gross sale receipts will be donated to the Murphys. There is also a dinner auction in the works with a date that has yet to be determined.

“There are no words to thank everyone for the support and the love that we’ve felt for the last 14 days. We appreciate it more than everything and Tyler does as well,” Lori said. “We just can’t say thank you enough.”

Those interested in donating or helping are encouraged to contact Debbie Curtis at 678-0290

“He’s a great young man and he has a lot of people pulling for him and willing to help him out. I’m just praying that the best will happen,” de la Motte said.

“We’re just praying for recovery and if he can play baseball again, of course that’s what we’re hoping for because that’s his dream; he’s holding on to that dream,” Lori said.