Dan's Dugout: Vets Should Put Dale Murphy in Hall • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Vets Should Put Dale Murphy in Hall


Candidates for Cooperstown must garner 75 per cent of the vote.

That applies to both those under consideration by the Baseball Writers Association of America and those who may be chosen by the various veterans committees.

Needless to say, election is difficult – especially since anyone chosen by the 16-member veterans committee needs a minimum of 12 votes.

This year’s ballot is especially difficult, since good cases can be made for all 10 men on the ballot.

Results will be announced at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando on Sunday, December 10, with new electees available to meet the media the next morning.

The Modern Baseball Era group is one of four veterans committees who vote on a rotating basis.
All of those under consideration have been rejected previously but merit another look.

Here’s how they rate from this perspective:

Dale Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards with the Braves

Dale Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards with the Braves

1. Dale Murphy – The National League’s version of Cal Ripken, Jr. was known for his durability, his dynamic bat, and his clean lifestyle. Though he never reached the World Series, Murphy won consecutive MVP awards in 1982-83 and posted more total bases during the ‘80s than any other player. He also won five Gold Gloves after converting from catcher to center field and even had a 30/30 season. He hit just one less home run than Al Kaline, who was a first-ballot selection, and more than previous inductees Jim Rice and Orlando Cepeda.

2. Jack Morris – Like Murphy, he was dominant over a decade, winning more games during the ‘90s than any other pitcher. A World Series standout for three teams, Morris won 254 games in 18 seasons, made 14 Opening Day starts, and won four World Series rings. ‘Nuff said.

3. Luis Tiant – This Cuban righthander had four 20-win seasons en route to 229 wins – more than Don Drysdale – and a neat 3.30 career earned average (Morris finished at 3.90). A three-time All-Star, Tiant twice led the American League in ERA, once with a 1.60 mark.

Steve Garvey was a Sports Illustrated cover boy credit: Heinz Kluetmeier - staff

Steve Garvey was a Sports Illustrated cover boy in Los Angeles
Credit: Heinz Kluetmeier

4. Tommy John – A lefthander who lasted 26 seasons, John won more games than anyone not already in Cooperstown with the notable exception of Roger Clemens. John won 288 times and surely would have cracked the 300 Club if his balky elbow ligament had not cost him a season. “I’d rather have 300 wins than have a surgery named after me,” he once told this reporter.

5. Steve Garvey – A clutch performer, he won two playoff MVP awards and one for the regular season. He also batted .294 in a 19-year career that included four Gold Glove awards at first base. He was even more durable than Murphy, playing an NL-record 1,297 consecutive games.

6. Don Mattingly – Though his relatively short tenure (14 seasons) works against him, Donny Baseball was a batting champion and MVP and won nine Gold Gloves and twice topped the American League in total bases. Mattingly made six All-Star teams while spending his entire career with the Yankees and is helped by his visibility as an active manager.

7. Dave Parker – The Cobra collected 339 home runs while hitting .290 over 19 seasons. The seven-time All-Star won an MVP award, two batting crowns, and three Gold Gloves.

8. Ted Simmons – A switch-hitting catcher with clout, he hit .285 with 248 home runs over 21 years with three teams. He also made the All-Star team eight times.

Ted Simmons was a team leader who swung a big bat

Ted Simmons was a team leader who swung a big bat

9. Alan Trammell – The 1984 World Series MVP was a steady shortstop who spent his entire 20-year career in Detroit. The six-time All-Star won four Gold Gloves while hitting .285 lifetime.

10. Marvin Miller – If the players were voting, he’d be shoo-in; salaries jumped 10 times from the time he took over the Players Association until he retired (1966-82). But he was not a team executive and therefore is a controversial choice for this ballot. Moreover, his confrontational style caused numerous work stoppages. Would much rather have seen maverick owner Charlie Finley, who served as his own front office while guiding the Oakland A’s to consecutive world championships from 1972-74 and five straight division crowns.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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