The Braves today sent a letter from team president John Schuerholz to Hall of Fame-voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America and others in the media, supporting former Atlanta standout Dale Murphy’s election to the HOF on the upcoming ballot.
Time is running out for HOF consideration for “Murph,” a Braves icon who is on the ballot for the 14th year and hasn’t come close to election. The maximum eligibility is 15 years on the ballot.
Murphy was a two-time National League MVP (1982, 1983), seven-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner. He finished his career with a .265 average, .346 on-base percentage, 398 home runs and 1,266 RBIs in 18 seasons, 15 of which were spent with the Braves. He finished 12th or higher in the league MVP balloting six times.
His career average and OBP declined significantly during his final six injury-plagued seasons, after his last great season in 1987 when he hit .295 with a career-high 44 homers, 105 RBIs and a career-best .997 OPS for the Braves.
After hitting .279 with 310 homers, a .362 OBP and .500 slugging percentage in his first 12 seasons through 1987, Murphy hit .234 with 88 homers, a .307 OBP and .396 slugging percentage in his final six seasons.
He had four consecutive seasons with 36-37 homers and 100 or more RBIs from 1982-1985, hitting above .280 with an OBP above .370 while playing all 162 games in each of those seasons. In 1983, he led the NL in RBIs (121), slugging percentage (.540) and OPS (.933), and led the league in homers in 1984 (36) and 1985 (37).
Murphy has not been named on as many as 25 percent of the ballots in any of his first 13 years of eligibility, and last year he was named on fewer than 13 percent of the ballots cast. Election requires 75 percent.
After a maximum of 15 years on the ballot, a player can only be elected to the HOF by the Veterans Committee, and far fewer are selected that way than by the conventional election.
Below is the letter from Schuerholz, which was accompanied by two pages filled with Murphy’s statistics and accomplishments.
November 15, 2011
Dear Hall of Fame Voter:
As you prepare to vote for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012, please accept this letter in support of Dale Murphy.
The Atlanta Braves organization is extremely proud of Dale’s outstanding accomplishments during an extraordinary 18-year Major League career, 15 of which were spent with the Braves.
Not only on the field, but off the field as well, Dale represented himself and the city of Atlanta with the class and professionalism consistent with the ideals of Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Even today, he continues to be one of our game’s greatest ambassadors.
On the following two pages, please review Dale’s remarkable accomplishments produced over what the Braves family feels is a Hall of Fame career. On behalf of our organization and Dale individually, I thank you for your consideration.
755 Hank Aaron Drive
Atlanta, GA 30315