Posted in Family on 06. Jan, 2011
Keli, who turned 25 on January 4, leaves one baseball family and joins another: her fiance, Pedro Alvarez, is the third baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“I knew of his name because he was a great player out of New York… he still kids me that he wanted to come to Arizona State but I didn’t recruit him,” said Coach Murphy.
Alvarez played for Murphy’s friend Tim Corbin at Vanderbilt, where he earned numerous national awards and led the school to its first SEC championship.
“Coach Corbin and his wife Maggie raved about this kid as a player but more as a person. They couldn’t say enough nice things,” said Murphy.
“We played against him a couple times, Pedro beat us in Houston with a home run and it was a standing joke that I didn’t have to pitch to him but I did just out of respect.”
After graduating from Arizona State, Keli took an internship as an athletic trainer at Vanderbilt and met Alvarez.
“She called me and said, ‘This Pedro Alvarez guy wants to date me, what do you think?” I said I’d never heard anything but unbelievable things about him…. but I wish he’d go to left field a little bit more.’
She yelled, ‘DAD!’ The rest is history.”
During the following offseason, Pedro and Keli moved into the house next door to Coach Murphy’s, where the minor league prospect developed a relationship with her youngest brother Kai.
“Pedro was very comfortable being around and respectful. Great to Kai. Kai was so into Pedro it was amazing. They bonded, played video games together,” said Coach Murphy.
“He called me up one day and said, ‘Coach can I talk to you for a minute? I like to meet with you alone without Keli.’ So I made him wait and cancelled it a couple times. Finally he caught me and he straight-forward said he’d like to spend the rest of his life with Keli. It was very emotional for me.”
Alvarez proposed on December 20, 2009.
He made his Major League debut on June 16, 2010 in Pittsburgh. His future father-in-law (and the coach who didn’t recruit him) sent out a Tweet: “Great news. pedro alvarez in the show..keli murphy pretty excited for her man. happy for such a class guy.”