The Baseball Hall of Fame's class of 2012 is a small one. It's a class of one but it is certainly a stellar class. Congratulations Mr. Barry Larkin!
I always loved watching Barry play. He was a lifer who played the game right and he has done the Cincinnati Reds proud. I'm glad that he's in the broadcast booth now and I always enjoy his coverage and insight on the game. Barry received 86.4% of the vote. It was his second year on the ballot. No one else came close. I thought Jack Morris would do better. He wasn't always one of my favorite players as he was the architect of many nightmares in 1991 and 1992. Hopefully he'll do better on next year's ballot.
Of the six Atlanta Braves on the ballot, only two garnered enough votes to remain on next year's ballot. Fred McGriff received 23.9% of the votes needed and Dale Murphy received 14.5%. Next year will be Murph's last chance. After that he'll only be able to enter the hall through the votes of the Veterans Committee.
Before the ballots went out, Braves President John Schuerholz sent a letter of support to the Hall of Fame voters, reminding them of the kind of player and kind of man that Dale Murphy was, and still is today.
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.
755 Hank Aaron Drive
Atlanta, GA 30315
Dale Murphy was the National League's MVP in 1982 and 1983. That is quite a feat when you consider the Braves teams of that era. He was voted to the National League's All Star team 7 times and he was awarded 5 Gold Gloves. His career stats include a .265 batting average, .346 on-base percentage, 398 home runs and 1,266 RBIs in 18 seasons, 15 of which were spent with the Braves.
For those of us who grew up with the Braves and watched Murph play, we remember more than numbers. We remember an exciting player who we loved to cheer for during a time that there wasn't always a whole lot to cheer about. We remember a smiling guy who played hard and set a great example on and off the field. Dale Murphy wasn't glamorous and all of his flashiness was saved for the for the field. He was the kind of player that baseball cherishes and immortalizes. He is the kind of player and man that the Hall of Fame would be lucky to call a member. Chances are that Braves fans will be disappointed again next year. That's so ironic as Murph never, ever disappointed us.
The 2012 Hall of Fame Nominees
Jeff Bagwell, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Juan Gonzalez, Brian Jordan, Barry Larkin, Javy Lopez, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Dale Murphy, Phil Nevin, Rafael Palmeiro, Brad Radke, Tim Raines, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Bernie Williams, Tony Womack, Eric Young.