Why Dale Murphy Shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame — A Short Post
January 14, 2006 1 Comment
I’ll write up a longer piece on the Hall of Fame induction this year (late, as always), but I wanted to provide my take on Murphy now, due to discussion on Baseball Musings. The consensus there seems to be that due to a great eight-year peak Murphy should get in — he was after all one of the best players in the 80s. Sandy Koufax is brought up as a similar player (high peak, short career), and I’ve actually seen the Murphy/Koufax argument made quite a few times online by bloggers with (presumably — I can’t actually see them) a straight face.
That argument is not there. Koufax, at his peak, was dominant. Batters literally feared him. His career was shortened by terrible over-use: The Dodgers pitched him until his arm fell off. Yet despite, that, he didn’t show any signs of deterioration, unlike some pitchers who have trouble going past the 7th inning in ONE game, rather than 30+, as Koufax did every year at his peak. Sandy Koufax was dominant, and that’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame.
Murphy was very good — even great — at his peak, but he never put the fear of God into pitchers. He was not Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols. Murphy could be a Hall of Famer if he had a long career. But his peak alone simply isn’t enough to get him in.