With the National Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2012 being announced on January 9, there are two former Atlanta Braves legends that are on the ballot – Dale Murphy and Fred McGriff.
Dale Murphy established himself as one of the best, if not the best, outfielder during the 1980s. He won back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards in 1982 and 1983 and won five straight Gold Gloves from 1982 to 1986. His overall career numbers are relatively modest compared to other sluggers in the Hall of Fame, as he ended his career with a .265 batting average, 398 homers, and 1266 RBI to go along with 161 steals.
Murphy's career took a harsh turn in 1988. From 1988 to the end of his career in 1993, Murphy hit just .238 and never topped 24 homers in a season. Murphy's final years marred what appeared to be a slam dunk Hall of Fame career in the 1980s, when he led all major league outfielders in homers (308) and RBIs (929).
This represents the 14th year that Murphy is on the Hall of Fame ballot. Players are removed from the ballot after 15 years.
As for McGriff, this marks the third time that his name appears on the Hall of Fame ballot. McGriff's career numbers are very strong, as he finished with a .284 average, 493 homers, and 1550 RBIs. Unfortunately, McGriff's candidacy is hurt by the fact that he played during the steroid era, during which power numbers were vastly inflated. He also never finished higher than fourth in MVP voting and only had five All-Star selections.
McGriff's consistency is what separates him from his peers. He hit at least 30 home runs in ten seasons, seven of which were consecutive. He also drove in over 100 runs eight times in his career, while driving in at least 80 runs for 15 straight seasons.
These two Braves legends will likely never make the Hall of Fame (though McGriff still has 13 attempts), but they certainly deserve to be in Cooperstown.
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