SAN DIEGO -- For a brief moment in time, Daniel Murphy was a Met again. Or perhaps more accurately, he was simply a human being. As Major League Baseball paused Tuesday's All-Star Game after the fifth inning to remember those lost to cancer, to honor those fighting it and to raise awareness for an organization bent on eradicating it, Murphy held up a handwritten placard with Sandy Alderson's name.
On the same field, Mets manager Terry Collins lifted a similar Stand Up To Cancer sign honoring Alderson, who was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer late last September. One of Collins' coaches, Tim Teufel, did the same.
"My family's been really blessed that we haven't been as affected by cancer as other people," said Murphy, who came off the bench to go 2-for-3 in the National League's 4-2 loss in the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard at Petco Park. "It seemed fitting. Sandy got to New York in 2011. I spent five years with him. I hope he's doing well."
Always a meaningful event for so many players, managers, coaches and fans in attendance at the All-Star Game and watching around the world, this year's Stand Up To Cancer event seemed especially poignant for the Mets. The team lost beloved media relations staffer Shannon Forde to breast cancer in March, three months after Alderson revealed his own diagnosis to the public. The team has since rallied around both of their families.
Extremely private and reluctant to talk about his disease, Alderson has never revealed its type or severity. But he has continued to run the team on a day-to-day basis in spite of his diagnosis, traveling regularly and breaking only for treatment sessions. Continuing with his duties as general manager, Alderson has said, has aided his battle.
Since signing with the Nationals this past offseason, Murphy has crossed paths with his former boss just once, when the GM presented the longtime Mets second baseman his NL championship ring in May. But although Alderson and Murphy no longer interact on a regular basis, their careers and lives will always be intertwined.
"He's never far from my family's thoughts and prayers," Murphy said.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.