ARLINGTON -- Clark Murphy, the Rangers' Minor League first baseman who took over two months off to care for his brother who was in a car crash, made his return to baseball on Monday, playing for the Rangers' Arizona Rookie League squad. Conrad, Clark's brother, was hit by an 18-wheeler while he was driving home from baseball practice. Murphy said in late June that he was hoping to return at some point this year, if his brother made significant progress. "He's walking with a cane, and talking in full sentences," Murphy said. "He's got a long road ahead, but he's still made a lot of progress already. Hopefully he'll keep being stubborn and makes a lot of progress, hopefully towards a full recovery."
Murphy said he was feeling the pull to return to baseball as early as June. With his brother walking and making solid improvement, Murphy felt it was the right time to return to the playing field now. The Rangers made it clear that he could take until next Spring Training if he and his family felt that was necessary. "It was a blessing to be back," Clark said. "It was just awesome to be out on the field again." Murphy made the return memorable, as he hit a home run on his first swing in the game. "The first swing I took since I came back, I hit one out," Murphy said. "I definitely surprised myself, but I did it for my brother."