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Saturday, December 08, 2012
And, like lambs to the slaughter, the Dale Murphy fans take the HOF petition.
His career statistics are comparable to (if not better than) many players already in the Hall, not to mention that everything he accomplished was done with utmost respect for the game and without performance-enhancing substances of any kind. His legacy continues to draw unmatched respect and admiration from players, coaches, and fans alike. Despite being overshadowed by the artificially-inflated numbers of the steroid era, Dale’s statistics alone have helped him receive enough votes to stay on the HoF ballot for 15 years. Moreover, his off-the-field achievements are just as impressive as those he accomplished on-the-field, creating immeasurable goodwill for the game during the 1980s and inspiring young people everywhere.
This year presents a critical turning point for Hall of Fame voting. Players who used (or who were suspected of using) steroids will likely fall short of induction due primarily to the “character clause” (i.e., failing to show good character, integrity, and/or sportsmanship). If character flaws can hurt a player’s case by diluting the potency of their on-field numbers, then by that same token, high integrity should help a player’s case. We believe that if such a holistic judgment of every eligible player’s career cannot or will not be made by the voters, then the “character clause” should either be modified or removed. Even if the clause hasn’t historically been given much attention in HoF voting (except in certain cases), this doesn’t negate the fact that the clause still exists and can and should be used to give select players like Dale Murphy the boost they need for induction. Importantly, Murphy’s induction would not in any way lead to the oft-cited “slippery slope” of inducting “very good” but not “great” players: as yet there are very few (if any) eligible players with both inordinately high levels of integrity *and* strong career statistics that would alone put them above the threshold for serious HoF consideration.
Dale Murphy is a special case, and he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Posted: December 08, 2012 at 12:35 AM | 23 comment(s)
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