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Baseball’s Marketing Chief Fired

October 18, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ On the eve of the World Series, baseball fired its chief marketing executive, Greg Murphy.

Murphy was hired with much hype in June 1996, with acting commissioner Bud Selig saying he would centralize the sport’s marketing program. However, he quickly ran afoul with the teams and the staff of the commissioner’s office, making many misteps because of his lack of baseball experience.

Owners voted last fall against his contracts with Nike and other apparel manufacturers, and Selig began telling the teams last March that Murphy would be terminated.

Although baseball announced he had resigned, several officials speaking on the condition they not be identified confirmed that Murphy was fired.

Murphy, a 22-year veteran of the baking and food business, came on board as president and chief executive officer of Major League Baseball Enterprises. His responsibilities included advertising, broadcasting, communications, consumer products, film, international licensing, public relations, promotions, publishing and sponsorship.

``Greg is going to be with us for a long time,″ Selig said when Murphy was hired, ``and I can tell you all that ownership feels extremely good about this.″

Murphy spent most of his career working for Kraft Foods’ baking products, mostly Entemann’s, which Kraft sold in 1995.

Paul Beeston, hired in July as baseball’s president and chief operating officer, was quoted in the release as saying that Murphy ``achieved what he has set out to do in his first year. That is, through marketing partnerships with world-class companies ... (baseball) will have for the first time major marketing dollars supporting the game and its players next year.″

Murphy said in the same release that ``there is just not enough content for both Paul and me, so I decided it was time to return to the business world.″

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