Cooperstown: The Case for Dale Murphy in the Hall of Fame

Blake SilversAnalyst IIIJanuary 25, 2012

ATLANTA - JULY 26:  At Turner Field, a plaque honors #3 Dale Murphy and his career with the Atlanta Braves (1976-1990), on July 26, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Baseball Hall of Fame inductees have historically been chosen by dominant players during the era in which they played.

The precedence for this is long standing and generally understood by all involved.  This hasn't been the case with the shunning of Dale Murphy, however.

Murph dominated the 1980s like no other player in baseball, and because his eligibility came up during the era of the juiced power hitter, Murphy has since been held to the new standard of the 40-50 home run season.

What other explanation can be found to hold him out of the Hall based on his numbers vs. the era in which he played?  It's certainly not character issues.

Let's let his numbers make the case for Murphy's spot in Cooperstown:

Lifetime: .264 BA; 398 HRs; 1266 RBIs

These numbers may not look like much since we've all experienced the 1990s, which turned out to be a sham for the most part, but how does Murph compare to his peers from the 1980s?

  • One of only two players with at least 300 home runs during the 1980s (HOF Mike Schmidt). 
  • Led MLB in home runs and RBIs from 1981 to 1990—the entire span of the decade. 
  • Led the NL in home runs and RBIs twice during his career.
  • Led the NL in games, at bats, runs, hits, extra base hits, RBIs, runs created, total bases and plate appearances in the 1980s.
  • 1983 MVP year is the only time in MLB history that a player has had a .300 batting average, 30 home runs, 120 RBIs, 130 runs, 90 bases on balls and 30 stolen bases with fewer than 10 times caught stealing.
  • 30-30 (hr-sb) season in 1983.  At the time, he was only the 6th player since the 1920s to accomplish this feat.
  • 2× NL MVP (1982, 1983), and back-to-back MVP awards have been ultra-rare for outfielders.
  • 4× Silver Slugger Award winner (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985).
  • 7 time All-Star (1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987).
  • 5× Gold Glove Award winner (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986).
  • 1985 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.
  • 1988 Roberto Clemente Award.
  • No. 3 Retired by Atlanta Braves.


Let the numbers speak for themselves, against the correct era—not the inflated numbers of the 1990s.  Put Murphy in the hall.  It's time.