There was once a time when 300 or 400 home runs automatically landed a player in the Hall of Fame. Such has not been the case for Dale Murphy, who only has two years of ballot eligibility left for his standout years with the Atlanta Braves. In order to help Murphy get into the hall, Braves president John Schuerholz wrote an open letter to Hall of Fame voters to consider voting for him.
Murphy, a converted catcher who ended up being an outstanding outfielder, won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in 1982-83, won five Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, was named to seven All-Star teams and was one of only six players in the 1980s to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a single season.
Murphy also led all Major League outfielders during the 1980s in home runs (308) and RBIs (929). He ranked second among outfielders during this span in hits (1,553) and extra-base hits (596).
Though Murphy hit .289 from 1982-1987, his career batting average stands at an mediocre .265 due to sub-par years at the end of his career. Regardless, he still belted 398 home runs and drove in 1,266 RBIs over his 18 seasons.
Murphy was also awarded for his work off the field with the 1985 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the 1988 Roberto Clemente Award.
Murphy was included on 12.6 percent of the ballots cast this year, which was .9 percent higher than in 2010. Players must receive at least five percent of the votes to remain on the ballot the following year.
If Murphy is not elected to the Hall of Fame in the next two years, his enshrinement fate will be decided by a vote by the Veterans Committee.
Schuerholz's letter is below:
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.
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