Murphy List of the Day

Note the new category. Let’s get Murph where he belongs, okay?

Most Runs Created, 1980-1989:

CAREER
1980-1989

RUNS CREATED RC
1 Rickey Henderson 1078
2 Dwight Evans 1049
3 Eddie Murray 1045
4 Dale Murphy 1018
5 Robin Yount 1015
T6 Wade Boggs 984
T6 Mike Schmidt 984
8 Tim Raines 967
9 George Brett 965
10 Andre Dawson 877
11 Keith Hernandez 864
12 Dave Winfield 843
13 Alan Trammell 830
14 Pedro Guerrero 825
15 Harold Baines 813
16 Paul Molitor 809
17 Lou Whitaker 808
18 Jack Clark 796
19 Cal Ripken 786
20 Brian Downing 775

Hall of Famers in RED
Players on the 2006-07 ballot are in BLUE
Players who have fallen off the ballot are in GREEN
Players in BLACK are not yet eligible.

As I mentioned in comments, there is no doubt that Dale had a Hall of Fame peak. The problem is that he didn’t have enough ordinary years around that peak to build up counting stats. Note that I am not picking and choosing. If I limit it to Murphy’s great years — 1982 to 1987 — he is first.

The two players most comparable to Murphy on this list are Dwight Evans and Andre Dawson. Evans went on the ballot in 1997, receiving 5.92% of the vote. In 1998, he rose to 10.36%, but in 1999 fell off with only 3.62%. (1999 was one of those rough years, as four Hall of Famers — Ryan, Brett, Yount, and Fisk — all appeared for the first time; the first three made it in on the first try, Fisk the next year. As a rule, years like that are rough on marginal candidates.)

Dawson, on the other hand, is a popular candidate. He first appeared in 2002 and got 45.34 percent, then got 50 percent the next two years, 52.32 last year, and 61 percent in the recent voting. He will almost certainly make it in, probably the year after Jim Rice does. In the future, expect a lot of comparisons to Mr. Dawson, a comtemporary player (both first appeared in the Majors in 1976) whose candidacy is more popular almost entirely because he had more of those ordinary years to build up good counting stats. Dawson had fewer great years, but many more good years. He was a good or great player for about fifteen seasons; Murph was a good or great player for about eight, but was great for most of those. I may also include Dave Winfield, but Winfield was probably slightly greater than Murphy at his peak and had more great years. However, the reason it was easy for Winfield to get in was, again, that he had good years at the end of his career to build up his counting stats. Winfield didn’t pass Murphy on the home run list until late in his Age 39 season. He made it in on his first try, named on almost 85 percent of the ballots.

YearElectionVotesPct
1999BBWAA9619.32
2000 BBWAA11623.25
2001BBWAA9318.06
2002BBWAA7014.83
2003BBWAA5811.69
2004BBWAA438.50
2005BBWAA5410.46

Murph isn’t making much progress — in fact he is regressing — and next year’s strong ballot may hurt him. Hence this campaign.

I’m looking for a volunteer who can create a Murphy for Cooperstown Campaign graphic… Tomorrow afternoon I’m hoping to run Murphy through a well-known Hall of Fame process. You may be surprised how well he does.

30 thoughts on “Murphy List of the Day”

  1. I like the campaign & I hope it succeeds. However, in my heart I don’t think Murph should get in. Dawson neither.

    But I’d love to have my mind changed, because I recall Murphy & those years (yes, even the bad ones) with incredible fondness. Those throws from center, those laser-beam HRs to right, the all-out effort, that big smile, just inspiring.

    I’ll always remember being at the game in 1986 where he didn’t start because he cut his hand on the fence the previous day & his consecutive-game streak was in jeopardy. Dwight Gooden & the Mets were drilling the Braves about 6-0 in the 5th or 6th, and here comes Murph into the on-deck circle to pinch hit for whatever lousy pitcher we had going that day. What a roar.

    With a bandage on his hand, Murph, as if on cue, hit a PH HR off Gooden. Bonkers. I’ll never forget that. Even though ATL lost big that day, it remains one of my favorite moments at an MLB game.

  2. If Dawson can get into the HOF, it is almost a crime for not voting for Murphy as well. If Dawson is a hall of famer, then Fred McGriff has to be one as well.

  3. At the time of Murphy’s precipitous decline, I remember thinking that if he just had one more big year his HOF chances would be greatly enhanced, and it was with a great deal of depressed resignation that I gradually realized it wasn’t going to happen. There’s no doubt in my mind that the grind of playing every day in center field cost him dearly — had he played RF and taken a few days off, he might have eked out that little extra to bring those poor (and they were poor, and they unfortunately count) seasons up to respectability, and may have ended up in Cooperstown.

    It’s too bad, because he was the best guy you could ever have hoped to root for. Personal story — I had the great good fortune of attending a Sunday school class that he taught back in about 1984. My high school girlfriend was Mormon, and church and church dances were pretty much the only parentally sanctioned activities we were allowed to engage in. He was a guest speaker one Sunday, and while I can’t remember anything he said (it was, after all, church), the decency and humility that he projected was awe-inspiring to all of us.

    At the end of the day, I’d be thrilled if he got elected, but I’ll bet it means more to those of us who got to follow him than it would to him. Greatest Brave there ever will be.

  4. Was he ever the best player in baseball?

    Yes

    That alone makes him a Hall-of-Famer unless he had Dick Allen’s personality rather than that of a great teamate and complete gentleman.

  5. I just had a good argument with my best friend over HOF selection, although we both think more players are deserving of the Hall than are in.
    Our differences always come down to gut feelings, I guess. I’d put Murphy in with no doubts, but don’t think much of Jim Rice. I’m probably wrong.
    He’s adamant that Blyleven and Morris are getting shafted.
    But Mac’s headline for the post “Whatever” firmly sums up the frustration that fans feel with the process. I don’t know how a better system might work, but I no longer believe the BBWA has the best view in the age of ESPN-based saturation coverage. Now we all know who the managers mean when they say, “No way do I let that guy beat me. No way.”
    Like they did for Dale Murphy for about 5 years.

  6. If Bruce Sutter is in the Hall of Fames, Dale Murphy has to be. I think the Braves should do more as an orgainization to help campaign for Murph.

  7. mac,how many former “atlanta” braves players are in the hall?

    Players who played for the Braves while they were in Atlanta in reverse order of their induction: Sutter, Niekro, Wilhelm, Aaron, and Mathews. Only Niekro can really be claimed by Atlanta. Even Hammerin’ Henry has to be, at least, split with Milwaukee.

  8. Niekro and Aaron are the only HOFers who played more than a few seasons with the Braves. The others are:

    Eddie Mathews 1 season
    Gaylord Perry 1 season
    Hoyt Wilhelm parts of 3 seasons
    Orlando Cepeda 2 seasons and part of a third
    Bruce Sutter 3 seasons

    Of the remaining five, only Cepeda enhanced his resume during his time with the Braves.

  9. Aaron and Niekro, of course. Mathews played one year in Atlanta. Sutter, now, and Wilhelm played a couple of years with the Braves, Gaylord Perry one year. I think that’s everyone.

  10. Niekro and Aaron are the only HOFers who played more than a few seasons with the Braves.

    With the ATL Braves, that is.

  11. Prime example of the occasional inconvenience of being colorblind, especially with respect to red/green.

  12. No, it’s not a problem, I know who’s in the HoF and who’s not. The names just didn’t jump out at me like they might to others.

    Anyway, I’m undecided about Murphy’s HoF candidacy, but his strong peak is a huge point in his favor. If the Hall of Fame is going to be selective in this respect, it should favor great and short (like Koufax) over good and lengthy.

  13. any1 else see where astros want their poster boy bagwell to retire? he is owed 17 mil next year. that is a lotta dollarinies. mlb.com says houston hasnt asked him to retire, but espn says different.

  14. You know, if they did ask him to retire, I really wish no one had leaked it to the press. He’s had too good of a career and he’s too classy of a guy for his career to end in a messy public dispute about whether he should hang up his spikes to save the team a few quid.

    There’s no chance this will ever happen, especially given all the undeserved trouble Dale Murphy’s been having, but I think he and Biggio should go into the Hall together.

    Being a Hall of Famer is like the description that Supreme Court Justice once applied to pornography: “I know it when I see it.” Dale Murphy’s a Hall of Famer–you just had to watch him play in the 1980’s to know it. It’s not an issue of who’s a fan of whom, it’s an issue of the grace that separates the good from the truly transcendent.

  15. While I agree that Dale Murphy was as dominant as they come over a five year period, my barometer for the hall of fame was supplied by none other than Frank Robinson. He said something to the effect that if there is any doubt, that player is not a hall of famer.

    Whle Murphy’s run of dominance and his persona on and off the field make me consider him, his career batting average and years of relative mediocracy put doubts in my head. That in and of itself makes me exclude him without even getting into more obscure statistics.

    It is the Hall of Fame. It isn’t supposed to be easy to get into. While there is no player who has represented the game with as much class, there are too many holes in his resume for him to be a hall of famer

  16. Anyway, I’m undecided about Murphy’s HoF candidacy, but his strong peak is a huge point in his favor. If the Hall of Fame is going to be selective in this respect, it should favor great and short (like Koufax) over good and lengthy.

    This is not really an argument for Murphy. Koufax never experienced the long period of mediocrity that Murph experienced in the late ’80s – early ’90s. While I look forward to Mac’s case for Murph’s induction, I have to point out that Murph was bad almost as long as he was great.

  17. This is not really an argument for Murphy. Koufax never experienced the long period of mediocrity that Murph experienced in the late ’80s – early ’90s.

    Sure he did. As a 19 year old bonus baby, the Dodgers couldn’t send him to the minors. He was a mediocre pitcher for six seasons bouncing between the pen and starting. Granted, he never had the long decline phase, but he had his mediocre period too.

  18. As attested in my last post, I’m a dinosaur. I love the wealth of information available online, but I have to get my granddaughter to bail me out when my computer does what I ask rather than what I want.

    That said, I follow orders very well. I am not proficient enough to head the Murph for HOF campaign, but I will be a strong follower of whoever does.

    Quality should be measured by excellence, not longevity. When Murph was good, no one was better. I’m sorry his peak wasn’t longer, but it was a thing of beauty.

  19. Like I said earlier, it is all on some dumb sports writters who don’t know their asses from a shole in the wall. If Murph doesn’t get in soon the Vets group will put him in. When he gets in I am going to Cooperstown to cheer him on.

  20. Objectively, I don’t think Murphy belongs in the Hall, but he was the heart and soul of the team when I first became a fan more than 20 years ago, and I’d cheer like hell if he ever made it in. I’m glad ububba brought up the homer off of Gooden. That PH appearance kept his consecutive games string going when it looked like it was in serious jeopardy after slicing his hand open the night before – it is also the most memorable at-bat of Murph’s career to me.

  21. Smitty, has the vets group put anybody in the hall since 2001, before the structural change? I wouldn’t count on the vets committee doing anything unless ANOTHER radical change is made to the group.

  22. JoeyT, if the vets committee doesn’t put anyone in soon, expect another radical change. The HOF is a business, and it’s bad for business to only have one inductee.

  23. Ok I have a plan.

    This summer I went to the Rock and Roll HOF and they have a guest book to sign. I singed it and asked “Why is Lynard Skynard not in the RRHOF?” Last month I read that they were getting in. So I need to go to Cooperstown and do the same for Murph, I will get him in.

  24. Sure he did. As a 19 year old bonus baby, the Dodgers couldn’t send him to the minors. He was a mediocre pitcher for six seasons bouncing between the pen and starting. Granted, he never had the long decline phase, but he had his mediocre period too.

    Fair enough, you’re right. However, it also took Murphy several seasons of mediocre-to-good performance to become Murphy, so I can’t give him extra credit. Also, the difference in their respective peaks is worth mentioning. I would describe Murphy during his peak as “arguably the best player in the league, definitely in the top 4 (Schmidt, Dawson, Raines)”. Meanwhile, Koufax’s peak could be described as “a period of dominance practically unequalled in major league history”. Big difference.

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