re: Hall of Fame candidate: Dale Murphy(Posted by Baloo on 11/29/12 at 12:31 pm to Baloo)
7. Are most players who have comparable career statistics in the Hall of Fame?
According to sim scores, he really only has two similar players, Andruw Jones and Joe Carter.Neither are in, nor will be in the Hall.
The rest of his top ten are classic borderline candidates on both sides: Snider and Santo are in, Hodges and Baylor are out. Carlos Beltran shows up on his comp list, which is about perfect. Well-rounded player, unappreciated, and a bit of a disappointment.
8. Do the player's numbers meet Hall of Fame standards?
Black Ink 31. Average HOF 27.
Gray Ink 147. Average HOF 144.
Monitor 116. Likely HOF 100.
Standards 34. Average HOF 50.
Right at the line, really. What kills Murphy again is that decline phase. He didn’t get those counting stats up in the second half of his career. 2111 hits and 1197 runs don’t really cut it. He falls short of 400 HR by 2 measly dingers. He was top 5 in runs five times, yet 174th all-time. He just didn’t compile. He’s 145th all-time in at bats, which is low for a player of his caliber.
9. Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?
Abso-frickin-lutely. First off, the 1980s were one of the most “honest” eras in baseball history, meaning that we saw neither high peaks in pitching or hitting. Hitting 40 HR was rare, and 50 was considering super human. The offensive explosion of the 90s completely warped our view of offense, and it has killed the 1980s superstars in their historical rep. Guys who put up massive number in those days are now seen as just pretty good, even in our current context. Well, those numbers were massive.
Also, he was a well-rounded player. As a rule, specialists are overrated and well-rounded players are underrated. Guys who do evertyhign well but no one thing fantastic tend to get underrated to guys who did one thing awesome (think Tony Gwynn).
10. Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the Hall of Fame but not in?
He could very well be the best centerfielder not in. OK, Ken Griffey Jr is better but he’s not eligible yet. But Kirby Puckett is in, and I’d say Murphy was a better player than Puckett, who also had a short career. Puckett hit 318/360/477 and had 207 HR and 134 SB. Those are pretty close rate stats only Murphy had better counting numbers and, of course, superior defense and those 5 Gold Gloves. Puckett has the edge in postseason heroics, which count.
11. How many MVP-type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?
Won twice. Could’ve won another two. It’s just that people got tired of him winning it.
12. How many All-Star-type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the other players who played in this many go to the Hall of Fame?
7 All Star Games. Guys who appear in 7 AS Games are a mixed bag. You’ve got all-time greats like Gehrig, Koufax, and Biggio. You’ve got very good guys like Doby, Hoffman, Tony Perez, and Molitor. And you’ve got guys like Billy Pierce and Rudy York. It’s, once again, right on the cusp.
13. If this man were the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?
Clearly not, given the Braves success in the 1980s. Though that says more about the Braves than Murphy.
14. What impact did the player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?
He is the defining player of the Braves in the TBS era, expanding the popularity of baseball into the South. He’s also one of the most clean living people imaginable and has been an outspoken advocate against PED’s. Outside of Frank Thomas, I can’t think of a player more identified as anti-PED advocate. So if you’re looking for the anti-steroid poster boy, it’s Murphy. It’s also entirely possible the reason his decline was so precipitous was because of widespread PED use around the league.
15. Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?
By all accounts, he is one of the most genuinely good hearted and decent people to ever play baseball. He’s not just godlike due to his ability, but his demeanor.
MY VOTE: YES. Sure, he has a short career and he’s on the cusp, but he had an awesome peak and was a truly iconic player. He’s also the perfect anti-PED candidate, I don’t understand voting against Bonds, but not supporting Murphy.