With this being a weak crop of first-ballot candidates, this year gives some guys who have already been on the ballot previously a little extra boost to their chances.
Former Atlanta Braves star Dale Murphy is a player who fits that profile, being a guy who has been on the ballot for a while without making it.
This article examines the reasons why Murphy deserves to make the Hall of Fame as well as the reasons he does not and will give my personal opinion on whether he's Hall of Fame material.
Dale Murphy was a superstar in the 1980s. His play on the field was very good and combined with the fact that he was a very good person off the field and famous for his Mormon beliefs, only helped to add to his personality.
Overall, Murphy hit .265 with 398 homers and a high career on-base percentage of .346, solid numbers but not as impressive as his long list of accomplishments.
Murphy won a pair of MVP Awards in 1982 and 1983. He won a pair of home run titles in 1984 and 1985. He won five consecutive Gold Glove Awards as a center fielder between 1982 and 1986. Throw in a pair of RBI titles, four Silver Slugger Awards, a 30-steal year and seven All-Star selections and he has a very impressive resume.
It's easy to see why there are supporters that believe Murphy belongs in the Hall of Fame. For a six-year period, he was arguably one of the best players in the game—if not the best player for a time. His off-field life and the Braves being "America's team" after being the first team to have all of their games shown on national television because of TBS, only enhance his resume.
The biggest issue with Murphy is the fact that he fizzled out too quickly.
No one can argue that he was elite, but after his final All-Star season in 1987, he was never the same player. Following that year, he never hit higher than .252 or more than 24 homers in a season.
In addition to an early decline at age 32, there were some other marks against Murphy. Murphy played for some bad Braves teams, having only reached one playoff series in 1982. His religious beliefs also caused some to have issues with him, as he brought religion into the game.
It's also understandable to see why Murphy hasn't made it. He would arguably be among the weaker members of the Hall of Fame if he were to make it.
After considering all of the evidence, I believe that Dale Murphy does belong in the Hall of Fame.
Only one other multiple MVP Award winner, Roger Maris, has failed to make it to Cooperstown.
Considering he was one of the top couple players in his decade and his list of accomplishments, I feel he has earned a spot in the Hall.
Please feel free to leave your opinions on Murphy and his Hall of Fame candidacy.