He was one of those players that played for eighteen years in a state called ‘Overlooked’. In a world that favors big market players, baseball’s Hall of Fame is filled with players who played for teams in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and Washington. He was a local legend and for the majority of his career, played in Atlanta. That in itself is a bit difficult to gain entrance into Cooperstown.
Although his career statistics aren’t mind boggling (.265 batting average; 398 home runs; 1,266 rbi), his selection to the All-Star team seven times, five Gold Glove Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards, back-to-back MVP Awards in the National League, the 1988 Roberto Clemente Award and the 1985 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, #3 in your program and #1 in your Atlanta Braves hearts should provide entry into the Hall of Fame for one Dale Murphy.
He is one of three players who have won multiple MVP awards not in the Hall.
He absolutely dominated the National League in the 1980s.
He was also incredibly kind, generous and giving. According to a CNN report on July 4, 1983, titled “Murphy’s Law Is Nice Guys Finish First” brought to America his humanity. Before a home game against San Francisco on June 12, 1983, Murphy visited in the stands with Elizabeth Smith, a six-year-old girl who had lost both hands and a leg when she stepped on a live power line. After Murphy gave her a cap and a T-shirt, her nurse innocently asked if he could hit a home run for Elizabeth. “I didn’t know what to say, so I just sort of mumbled ‘Well, O.K.,'” said Murphy. That day he hit two homers and drove in all the Braves’ runs in a 3-2 victory. This was as close to a Ruthian event as any in the history of baseball.
He played ball before EC, the Era of Cheating, that ran rampant in the 90s and early 00s. His home runs and tremendous play was before everyone was Bond-ing. Murphy did hit playing without using performance-enhancing drugs. Thus his amazing career efforts could be diminished by his coming before the inflated era of EC.
Perhaps it is the stance he took by forming iWontCheat Foundation to promote ethical behavior and deter steroid use and cheating in youth athletics in 2005. Since 2008, every team member in the Little League World Series wears the “I WON’T CHEAT!” embroidered patch above the Little League Baseball logo on the left sleeve of their jerseys. Whatever the reason, the sport needs examples of what ‘hero’ in baseball means. For those members who vote on such issues, it is spelled M U R P H Y, D A L E, Atlanta Braves outfielder.