The opportunity for two Braves legends — Dale Murphy and Fred McGriff — to be inducted into the Hall-of-Fame the traditional way has gone and past, but there’s still hope. The two are both part of an eight-player group on the 2023 Contemporary Baseball Era ballot. The other six players up for induction are Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Rafael Palmeiro, and Curt Schilling.
Chipper Jones and Greg Maddux are on a Hall of Fame-appointed 16-person panel that will vote on the Contemporary Era Players Committee ballot that features 8 candidates inc. former #Braves Dale Murphy & Fred McGriff. 12 votes required for HOF election. Results announced Dec. 4.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) November 28, 2022
Murphy was on the Hall-of-Fame ballot from 1999 to 2013 and never got close to the 75% of the vote necessary to enter — never receiving more than 23.2% of the vote. Most recently, Murphy was on the Modern Baseball Era ballot in 2019, which was decided by a 16-member committee. Once again, 75% of the vote was needed, and he fell well short of the number.
For his entire career, Murphy’s numbers on paper probably aren’t deserving of the Hall-of-Fame. He hit .265 with 398 homers, but over an eight-year period, he was arguably the best player in the game. From 1980-1987, Murphy went to seven All-Star games and won two NL MVP awards. He also finished inside of the top-12 of the NL MVP race four other times during that stretch.
McGriff also finished criminally shy of the 75% of the vote needed to be inducted into the Hall-of-Fame during the ten years he was on the ballot, which is incredibly puzzling to me. The Crime Dog finished seven home runs shy of 500 homers — a number that almost always results in a player being elected into the Hall-of-Fame. For his career, McGriff hit .284 with a .377 OBP and .509 slugging percentage. He also was a World Series champion as a member of the 1995 Atlanta Braves.
Any candidate who receives votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 23, 2023, along with any electees who emerge from the 2023 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 24, 2023.
The Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee is one of three groups eligible for consideration as part of the Era Committee process, which provides an avenue for Hall of Fame consideration to managers, umpires and executives, as well as players retired for more than 15 seasons. The Contemporary Baseball Era features two distinct ballots: One for players (considered this fall) and one for managers, executives and umpires (considered in the fall of 2023).
If you ask me, both players are deserving. Murphy was one of the best players in the National League for a decade, and McGriff accumulated an incredible number of accolades over the course of an illustrious 19-year career. However, if I had to select one or the other, it would be McGriff. The 500 home run mark is special, but those seven homers shouldn’t prevent him from being enshrined in baseball history forever. Hopefully, both receive better representation on this year’s ballot.
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