08/05/09 10:55 PM ET
Yankees fan loses battle with ALS
Murray, a former paratrooper, met players during HOPE Week
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
Murray -- along with friends and family, including his wife, Kim, and 4-year-old son, Trayson -- spent a special day at Yankee Stadium that included watching batting practice on the field and meeting with Yankees players Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Hideki Matsui, Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Cody Ransom and Brian Bruney on July 22 as part of the community service-oriented HOPE (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Week.
On Tuesday in his hometown of South New Berlin, N.Y., Murray passed away from the disease --- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- that took the life of Gehrig, the former Yankees great, in 1941.
"It's got to be a very difficult time for their family," manager Joe Girardi said before Wednesday's 8-4 Yankees win at Toronto, according to The Associated Press. "I'm glad we got an opportunity to share those moments with him, because I'm sure it meant a lot to him and meant a lot to his family."
Murray, who served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 and later confined to a wheelchair when he lost the use of his arms and legs.
"Since I was a child, I dreamed of something like this," Murray said on July 22 at the Stadium. "I know there are a million other fathers out there who don't get this experience, and I hope they have it one day. This proves that regardless of your circumstances, your dreams and goals can be accomplished and come true."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.