On Monday night, the 10th season of "The Bachelorette" concluded with 27-year-old Andi Dorfman choosing 29-year-old Josh Murray as her fiancé. The duo, both from Atlanta, showed off their relationship in public for the first time to a studio audience in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, emotional runner-up Nick Viall stumbled over his words as he confronted Dorfman for the first time since his ousting.
For Dorfman and Murray, life goes on to the altar, where they said they hope to wed next spring. In advance of the televised finale, they had been "sneaking around" to see each other the past few months without the paparazzi catching them.
From watching the program, once, a few times or all season, viewers can learn the "careers" of all the characters. Dorfman, a former assistant district attorney in Atlanta, went to LSU for her undergraduate degree and Wake Forest for law school.
Every time Josh sipped a mojito, did an interview or got a rose, ABC would show his subtitle: "Josh M., 29, Former Pro Baseball Player."
This is a very vague term. Did he play in MLB? Did he play in the minors? Did he play overseas?
It turns out Josh Murray is a lot more high profile in the sports world than "The Bachelorette" may suggest. He is not just another hot, single guy on the program.
Murray was the 48th overall pick in the 2002 MLB draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. That is the fifth pick of the second round. He was listed as a shortstop from Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., and had Tommy John surgery just a year earlier. On draft day, Murray was still two months from his 18th birthday and gave up a scholarship to University of Maryland.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 29, 2014
For reference, 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto was selected four picks ahead of Murray by the Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester was drafted by the team at No. 57. All-Stars Jesse Crain, Curtis Granderson, Josh Johnson, Pat Neshek, Howie Kendrick and Russell Martin were all drafted after Murray and signed with their respective teams. Adam Lind, Gaby Sanchez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ricky Romero, Hunter Pence, Matt Garza, Jonathan Papelbon and Scott Feldman were all selected after Murray, but did not sign in the aftermath of that draft.
Murray was immediately assigned to the Brewers' rookie-level affiliate in the Pioneer League, the Ogden (Utah) Raptors, where he made his debut at age 17. In 48 games, Murray batted .255 with two home runs and 19 RBI, playing mostly shortstop (he played one game at third base). Murray was perhaps overshadowed by the Brewers' first-round pick, Prince Fielder, who hit .390 at Ogden with 10 home runs and 40 RBI. Future major leaguers Manny Parra and Craig Breslow were among the arms at Ogden.
Injuries stunted Murray's baseball growth, as he accumulated just 65 total games for the Beloit Snappers (A) in 2003 and 2004. He batted .188 and .160 in those two years, respectively. He split the 2005 and 2006 seasons between the West Virginia Power (A) and the Brevard County Manatees (A+). Not even a stint in his home state could help Murray. He played one season outside the Brewers' farm system for the Charlotte County Redfish of the independent South Coast League before calling it quits at age 23 in 2007 with a career .213 average in professional baseball, according to Baseball-Reference.
Back in 2002, the Brewers awarded Murray an $825,000 signing bonus and a $100,000 sum for a college education. Although Murray's baseball career fizzled out, he left the game with a respectable cash cushion.
The college tuition clause also proved a wise insurance decision. In 2009, Murray applied to the University of Georgia at 24.
His reasoning: His brother, then-18-year-old Aaron Murray, accepted a scholarship to play quarterback for the Bulldogs. Yes, the same Aaron Murray who threw 121 touchdown passes as a four-year SEC starter and was drafted in the fifth round this year by the Chiefs.
With his baseball career behind him, Josh joined Aaron on the football team as a walk-on. While Aaron redshirted the 2009 season, Josh became a member of the scout team. Both suited up for the Bulldogs in 2010. Playing strong safety (he apparently has SEC speed), Josh made appearances at Sanford Stadium in Athens versus Vanderbilt and Idaho State.
While ABC has played up the "Former Pro Baseball Player" title for Josh, Aaron told reporters at Chiefs practice in June Josh is now a financial adviser. Although Aaron is an NFL rookie, his former athlete brother is the one grabbing the spotlight.
"Monday nights are crazy, my phone is blowing up with friends and family talking about what he's doing," Aaron said in June. "And I always give him a hard time. There was a time where he was stuttering on the TV, and I was like, 'Josh, c'mon man, I didn't teach you that.'"
Aaron had a cameo on "The Bachelorette" when Dorfman made her visit to the Murray household. Viall did not have an NFL quarterback brother in his cards when Dorfman made her family visit. (Side notes: Josh gave Dorfman a customized baseball card with her picture and "stats" on his final date on the program. Also, her married name will likely be Andi Murray, not to be confused with the two-time grand slam tennis champion, Andy Murray).
Josh Murray and Andi Dorfman now plan to start their life together back in Atlanta, where they are sure to make the trip to Athens a few times. Dorfman reportedly made $50,000 for her role on "The Bachelorette," which will help get the couple rolling. (Maybe Aaron could share some of his four-year, $2.4 million contract.)
The Chiefs do not make a stop in Atlanta this season, with their closest road game a trip to Miami on Sept. 21. It would not be surprising to see Josh and Andi make the trip to see Aaron.
Josh has reason to hold his head high. For a time, he was a legitimate athlete. Even if he no longer has the talent, he has the girl.
Here's some more throwback images from Josh's Instagram:
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.