Braves Fans Should Be Furious About Fred McGriff's HOF Snub, Not Dale Murphy's

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJanuary 16, 2013

Atlanta fans seem to forget about The Crime Dog.
Atlanta fans seem to forget about The Crime Dog.Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Atlanta Braves fans should be furious that a former player is not getting enough votes to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

However, that player is not Dale Murphy.

While he had good numbers, Murphy's numbers aren't worthy of the Hall.

Instead, fans should be looking at the numbers put up by former first baseman Fred McGriff and wonder why he isn't getting more consideration.

Some writers have called Murphy's non-election a historic injustice. Really?

We're not talking about human trafficking or child soldiers in Africa. We're talking about a baseball hall of fame, which means very little in the grand scheme of things.

While Murphy not getting the call in his 15 years on the ballot is somewhat disappointing for Atlanta fans, what's a bigger disappointment is the 'Crime Dog' hasn't gotten more than 23.9 percent of the vote.

What's done is done and Murphy can only hope the Veterans Committee eventually elects him. However, let's compare McGriff and Murphy and see which player is more deserving.


Dale Murphy

It's true, Murphy does have two league MVPs and five Gold Gloves to his credit. He batted .265 with 2,111 hits, 398 home runs, 1,266 RBI and scored 1,197 runs.

From 1982-87, Murphy was arguably one of the best players in the game with a .289 average, 218 home runs and 629 RBI. He deserves credit for those six years.

However, a great six years doesn't make a player worthy of the Hall of Fame.

From 1988-93, Murphy batted .234 with 88 home runs and 339 RBI. That's not exactly the way to go out in retirement if you want to make it into the Hall of Fame.

Among all center fielders to ever play the game, Murphy's wins above replacement (42.6) ranks 36th. That's just among center fielders. His seven best WAR years totaled 39. So, over the course of the 11 other years he played baseball, he had a total WAR rating of 3.6.

Compare that to all center fielders in the Hall of Fame and the average of the seven best WAR years was 42.5, with a career average of 67.1. That's an average of 24.6 for the 18 center fielders over the rest of their careers.

Murphy was a great player for Atlanta and likely is the reason the Braves still call the city home.


Fred McGriff

McGriff spent five years in Atlanta and his career got off to a fiery start...literally.

Most fans remember the press box catching on fire at the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on McGriff's first day in Atlanta.

Over the course of his career, McGriff hit .284 with 493 home runs and 1,550 RBI.

The Crime Dog may have never won an MVP or Gold Glove, but you also have to remember he played in an era where many players were linked to steroids.

His 493 home runs are often overshadowed by what Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco did.

McGriff's numbers don't look like much compared to those five mainly because he wasn't taking steroids. Had he taken steroids, he likely would have had close to 600 home runs over the course of his career.

He had a total WAR of 48.2, with his seven best years totaling 33.2.



Many fans have distorted opinions because this is an argument pertaining to their hometown guy. A guy that was the face of their franchise.

However, would you think Alan Trammell is worthy of the Hall of Fame? He was the hometown guy for the Detroit Tigers. Many Tiger fans think he's worthy of Cooperstown, but we all know that he isn't.

He totaled more hits (2,365), a better average (.285), more runs scored (1,231) and one less Gold Glove.

Or what about Larry Walker, who is the hometown guy for the Colorado Rockies?

He scored 158 runs more runs, had 49 more hits, had 45 more RBI, hit .313 in his career and won seven Gold Gloves.

But he's not a Hall of Famer. Most Atlanta fans would agree with that.

So why is it a player with numbers less than these two is more worthy of the Hall of Fame?

Does the fact that he played for Atlanta play a role in that thinking for Atlanta fans?

McGriff, on the other hand, surpasses all three in most categories. However, he doesn't have a hometown base to cry foul because he was traded five times over the course of his career.

The Fan in Me

As a life-long fan of the Braves, I used to side with those who believed Murphy deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. I was blind to the facts because of my passion for a team I grew up loving.

However, once I became a writer, I had to force myself to look at things from an unbiased perspective in anything I wrote. My love for a team could never show through in my writings.

Sitting back, I looked at this issue again and just looked at the numbers. After all, the Hall of Fame is based on numbers for the most part.

Looking at everything from an unbiased point of view, I would be more inclined to think McGriff should get the call before Murphy ever does.

There may be no league MVPs or Gold Gloves to his credit, but McGriff performed better over the course of his career.

If you're going to be furious about a former Braves player not getting elected to the Hall of Fame, it shouldn't be over Murphy. It should be over McGriff.

Murphy wasn't overshadowed by steroid users; McGriff was.

Now tell me which is a bigger shame?


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