In the words of Atlanta Manager Chuck Tanner, Dale Murphy' consecutive-game streak was "a black cloud" hanging over the Brave center fielder's head.
So, Murphy sat out Wednesday's game in Philadelphia after playing in 740 consecutive games, a string that began Sept 25, 1981. It was decided that Murphy, in a 3-for-26 slump, needed to take a day or so off. The Braves, without Murphy, beat the Phillies, 7-3.
Murphy seemed relieved, saying: "It's better not to have it hanging over my head. Helping the team is more important than a streak. I needed a day off. I wasn't swinging that good. I feel I can help the team if I'm mentally sharp, and taking the day off will help me be more mentally sharp."
Murphy's streak was the longest of any active player and was only five games short of Pete Rose's streak of 745 straight, which is in 10th place on the all-time list.