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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Hall of Fame Case for Dale Murphy

Cutting to the chase:

Would I vote for him?

Back when he was on the BBWAA ballot I was a much smaller-Hall kind of guy than I am these days, so if you search around the Internet you’d probably find a lot of things I wrote at the time saying I’d not vote for Murphy. And, to be sure, if he were on a BBWAA ballot today — and the BBWAA actually let me vote — he’d be someone whom, if there were a lot of other good candidates, I’d have to look at closely when it came time to bump people to make room. Whatever we think about Murphy’s swift decline and injury-shortened career, he did decline and did have the productive part of his career cut short. It’s not his fault, but a Hall of Fame resume is a Hall of Fame resume. Or it isn’t. Players don’t get credit for what we imagine they might’ve done had they stayed healthy.

I’ve softened quite a bit over the years on this stuff, though, and I’m inclined to say Murphy is a Hall of Famer. Or at least I’d like to thine he is if, of all people, Harold Freakin’ Baines is. Yes, part of this is bias as I became a Braves fan when he was their biggest star at the time, but per the previous paragraph, I think you can be confident that I’m not overly-influenced by Murphy nostalgia.

Still, we have the problem of ballot space. The Modern Baseball Era Committee voters each get four votes. As we’ll see as we go through the candidates over the next two weeks, there are probably four candidates whom I’d pencil in before Murphy. Even if I hope that, somehow, he gets in and even if I’d be thrilled if he did.

 

QLE Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:21 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dale murphy, hall of fame

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   1. PreservedFish Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:26 PM (#5904140)
In 1985-1987, would you have called Dale Murphy a "future HOFer?"
   2. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:42 PM (#5904142)
1 - hell yeah. I was a teenager then but Murphy was a superstar player, two time MVP, 5 time gold glover (looked that one up) and extremely famous in the “Superstation” era. I understand the reasons he doesn’t get support but he’s a guy that honestly seemed like a no brainer hall of Famer at the time.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:50 PM (#5904143)
Right. I don't like revoking that designation. I realize that "future HOFer" often carries an implicit "as long as he can play another 1,000+ games and not be too terrible," but it just seems wrong to me when a guy accomplishes the tough part (playing like an actual HOFer) but can't accomplish the comparatively easy part (adding non-HOF-quality bulk to the career).

I'm not saying I'm a definite Murphy voter, but ... I dunno, I'm just not comfortable with it. To me it's kind of like saying that James Joyce or JD Salinger or whoever would've been a Hall of Fame writer if only he could have also published a few extra so-so novels.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 26, 2019 at 10:58 PM (#5904144)
Murphy had a Hall of Fame start, or perhaps even a borderline Hall of Fame peak if being charitable, but not a Hall of Fame career. He cratered after his age-31 season - surprising at the time, but stuff happens.
   5. RJ in TO Posted: November 26, 2019 at 11:07 PM (#5904145)
Right. I don't like revoking that designation. I realize that "future HOFer" often carries an implicit "as long as he can play another 1,000+ games and not be too terrible," but it just seems wrong to me when a guy accomplishes the tough part (playing like an actual HOFer) but can't accomplish the comparatively easy part (adding non-HOF-quality bulk to the career).
Over the 8 year stretch from 1980 to 1987 which encompasses almost his entire case for the Hall, Dale Murphy put up 42.4 WAR. Jose Bautista, over the 8 year stretch from 2009 to 2016 which encompasses almost his entire case for the Hall, put up 38.9 WAR. There is no one out there who is talking about Bautista as a future HoFer, so either the dividing peak line between HoFer/non-HoFer is < 0.5 WAR/season, or you need to add some bulk to the peak when the peak isn't historic.

I realize the above is at least a bit unfair, as Murphy lost a tiny bit due to the 1981 strike, and you could add his 1988 season to his prime (3.1 WAR) if you really wanted.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: November 26, 2019 at 11:08 PM (#5904146)
Anyway, while I would personally not vote for Murphy for the Hall, I would also not complain were anyone else to vote for Murphy, or were he to be elected. He seems like a very reasonable choice for the VC.
   7. caspian88 Posted: November 26, 2019 at 11:10 PM (#5904147)
I don't believe you can play your way out of the Hall of Fame (though you can do things that disqualify you, either formally or informally).

But I'm not sure Dale Murphy actually played his way into the Hall of Fame. Strike credit for 1981 helps, and maybe not hitting him for -4 WAR for playing center field in 1985-1986 (he should have been playing right field, not center, but is it his fault that he was played in center and not right - this is a tough question that applies to a lot of people) - that could give him an eight-year prime of around 48 WAR, which might just be enough, but it's close and he has little else to offer.
   8. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: November 26, 2019 at 11:24 PM (#5904150)
Agree with #2 - but also agree with #5. It's not black/white. He was on a HOF trajectory, but didn't have a gentle back end of his career.

But man, watching him on TBS back then, he was amazing. He was every bit the superstar of current stars. He was fast, good glove, great bat, good teams...

I wouldn't vote for him, but wouldn't begrudge others who do. I can see it.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: November 27, 2019 at 06:50 AM (#5904159)
From 1980-88, Murphy had 45.5 WAR which is outstanding but hardly spectacular. Outside of that, he had 1 WAR in 3150 PA ... that's not good.

Using WAR7 for convenience ... he's 19th among CF (most/all of whom were CF in their prime so it's a fair enough comparison). He sits between Pinson and Cedeno who have 8 and 6 more career WAR respectively. Jimmy Wynn had a WAR7 of 43 and career WAR of 56. Doby (VC) is at 40/50, Lynn at 38/50. He's only a bit behind Dawson's 43 but Dawson added 18 more WAR in about 1800 more PA. On both measures, he's behind Edmonds, Lofton, Ashburn (VC). He really doesn't stand out and, if you're a peak-only candidate, it better be a big peak.

And that's just among CFs. His numbers aren't particularly different than Nomar's or Fregosi's. By WAR, Pedroia, Kinsler and Zobrist are close enough. Longoria, Wright and Josh Donaldson.

I suppose Murphy has an argument that he was better than WAR suggests given his 2 MVPs and 5 GGs. If he was under-rated by a win per year in his prime, he'd at least be a top 10 WAR7 among CF, just behind Snider, but the career WAR would still only match Jimmy Wynn's.

His black ink, gray ink, HoF Monitor look HoFish but all are around the "average" HoFer ... but the average HoFer is a borderline BBWAA/VC guy. And that's all he's got on his resume.

So he didn't really play like an HoFer -- his peak isn't particularly distinguished, it's a pretty common peak. Among non-C position players, I counted 65 with a WAR7 between 39 and 43 (rounded, Murphy at 41.2) of which 29 are in the HoF (plus Mookie with an excellent shot and Arenado with a pretty good one). I didn't check but I'd guess that almost all of those guys beat Murphy pretty handily on career WAR. (In case it wasn't clear, there have been 86 who topped a WAR7 of 43.)

Obviously somewhere around the 125-150th best position player peak over 150 or so years is pretty darn good. But he added nothing outside of that while the other guys almost all did, including a lot of the guys with peaks below 39 WAR.
   10. salvomania Posted: November 27, 2019 at 06:59 AM (#5904160)
Five times in six seasons Murphy had an OPS+ of 140 or higher. Unfortunately, he only had three other seasons where it was above 106, and that's what torpedoes his HoF case.

There have been 113 players since 1900 with an OPS+ of 140+, and 63 are in the Hall, 50 are not.

Nine of those 50 not in the Hall have a decent or better chance of getting in: four are active (Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Trout, and Joey Votto), one isn't eligible yet (Ortiz), two are PED cases (Bonds, ARod), and two others are on the current ballot (Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield).

That leaves 41 guys with 5 or more 140 OPS+ seasons who aren't and will never be in the HoF. A number of them are, in my opinion, clearly more deserving than Murphy, e.g., Jim Edmonds, whose offensive and defensive peaks are better than Murphy's.
   11. McCoy Posted: November 27, 2019 at 07:44 AM (#5904162)
Dale has a sports bar next to where i work and supposedly he comes in every now and then. That is all.
   12. Accent Shallow could make you weep more cheaply Posted: November 27, 2019 at 08:11 AM (#5904163)
Over the 8 year stretch from 1980 to 1987 which encompasses almost his entire case for the Hall, Dale Murphy put up 42.4 WAR. Jose Bautista, over the 8 year stretch from 2009 to 2016 which encompasses almost his entire case for the Hall, put up 38.9 WAR. There is no one out there who is talking about Bautista as a future HoFer, so either the dividing peak line between HoFer/non-HoFer is < 0.5 WAR/season, or you need to add some bulk to the peak when the peak isn't historic.


Doesn't this just show how much narrative shapes the "future HoF," perception? If Bautista had come up with the Blue Jays (or the Orioles, or the Devil Rays, etc), and gone on that tear (rather than bouncing around the league for 5 years before turning into JOSE BAUTISTA!), I bet we would have been talking about him as a future Hall of Famer. Of course, if Bautista goes on that tear at a younger age, he probably actually is a Hall of Famer, since those five extra years of counting stats really would put him in the conversation, both WAR-wise and traditional counting stat-wise.
   13. salvomania Posted: November 27, 2019 at 08:41 AM (#5904168)
That leaves 41 guys with 5 or more 140 OPS+ seasons who aren't and will never be in the HoF.

Five seasons with an OPS+ above 140 is still pretty special, even if it doesn't necessarily get a guy into the HoF.

Many HoFers did NOT have five such seasons, including Johnny Bench, Orlando Cepeda, Paul Molitor, Tony Gwynn, Jim Rice, Joe Torre, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripken, and Robin Yount, among many others.
   14. Rally Posted: November 27, 2019 at 08:50 AM (#5904169)
Murphy sure felt like a HOFer in 85-87, but it was more of a "he's on his way" than "he's there". If Murphy meets with a tragic, Puckett-type fate after the 1987 seasons, is he in?

Through 1987 he has 42 WAR, not far off his final total. Counting stats are 1555 hits, 310 homers, 928 runs, 927 RBI. Slugging an even .500, and a 132 OPS+. Maybe he gets credit for things that people at the time assumed he was going to do. Maybe not.

Puckett's OPS+ was worse, 124, but he had 2300 hits and made it to 4 digits in runs and RBI. My guess is Murphy still falls short.
   15. The Duke Posted: November 27, 2019 at 09:04 AM (#5904171)
Murphy isn’t a hall of famer in any way. Objectively he falls short, the writers didn’t think so, and he has and will continue to get little or no support on the vets committee. The modern era ballot is stacked with guys that have a stronger case like Simmons, Whitaker, Munson and John. He was great while it lasted and it just goes to show you how long and well you must play to get to the HOF
   16. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: November 27, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5904173)
Yeah I wasn't advocating for his induction in #2, just responding to the question.

One thing I find interesting about Murphy is that in a world where so many voters are determined to leave out the PED guys or guys like Schilling or Dick Allen for transgressions (real or imagined) why Murphy doesn't get credit going the other way. By all accounts he is one of the nicest guys ever to play and this was a regular thing that was discussed in his playing days that he was the "nice superstar." Again, not arguing yes or no on him, just noting what I see as a bit of an inconsistency from the voting bloc.
   17. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: November 27, 2019 at 09:40 AM (#5904177)
Dale has a sports bar next to where i work and supposedly he comes in every now and then. That is all.


Sort of surprised that a guy I perceive (perhaps incorrectly, or perhaps he's changed) as a rather devout Mormon would be involved in a business based on alcohol sales.

Also surprised, upon double-checking his Wikipedia entry just now to make sure I wasn't imagining things, to find that he was introduced to that faith early in his career by teammate Barry Bonnell. I just assumed he was a lifelong LDS member, a la Harmon Killebrew.
   18. Rally Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5904180)
One thing I find interesting about Murphy is that in a world where so many voters are determined to leave out the PED guys or guys like Schilling or Dick Allen for transgressions (real or imagined) why Murphy doesn't get credit going the other way. By all accounts he is one of the nicest guys ever to play and this was a regular thing that was discussed in his playing days that he was the "nice superstar."


I blame Leo Durocher
   19. bobm Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:19 AM (#5904183)
LDS article about Murphy, 1985

In 1976, about a year after his baptism, Dale wanted to go on a mission. But several local Church leaders felt he could do a greater missionary work in baseball and encouraged him to remain. “If I’m called, I’ll go,” said Dale. “If I’m not called, I’ll stay and hopefully get a chance for a formal mission later.”

About this time, Dale’s father received a telephone call from Ted Turner, owner of the Atlanta Braves.

“What’s the matter with that kid of yours?” Turner wanted to know.

“What are you referring to?” asked Dale’s father.

“He hasn’t signed his contract. What’s he got? Girl problems?”

“No, he’s got a religious problem. He wants to go on a mission for his church. And he wants to play ball. He’ll do the right thing. But don’t push him; his religion means a great deal to him.”

“I’m going to call him,” said Turner, “and I’m going to tell him, if he’ll sign this contract—and he knows it is a good one—I’ll give him a chance to convert me, my wife and children, and my aunt to the Mormon church.” He paused. “Then I’m going to tell him, if he doesn’t sign, all these people, plus my mother, are going to commit suicide.”
   20. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5904185)
That's an incredibly Ted Turner thing to say.
   21. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5904186)
I think that if the Braves had 1.) moved Murphy off of CF earlier and 2.) rested him a lot more (or, like, ever) he might've had two functional knees for a few more years on the end of his career. He was a classic RF (decent range, big arm) and didn't resist the move when the team finally made it. And Fulton County at that time had a horrible field and was the hottest environment in the NL, and just generally a very difficult place to play. Murphy visibly wore down every season. (Though his career second half OPS is only 33 points lower than for his first half, which surprises me. I thought it would have been more.) A smarter and stronger organization would've done things differently.

Anyway, give Murphy a happier decline phase and maybe he gets to 450 home runs, which likely gets him in the Hall.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5904190)
And Fulton County at that time had a horrible field and was the hottest environment in the NL, and just generally a very difficult place to play.

but a very easy place to hit-- Murphy lifetime

home 281/368/499

road 250/324/440
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:54 AM (#5904191)
Right. I don't like revoking that designation. I realize that "future HOFer" often carries an implicit "as long as he can play another 1,000+ games and not be too terrible," but it just seems wrong to me when a guy accomplishes the tough part (playing like an actual HOFer) but can't accomplish the comparatively easy part (adding non-HOF-quality bulk to the career).


Are you willing to put Charlie Keller in the HoF? He did the hard part: 4600 PA, 152 OPS+, 43 WAR, 29 WAA, but that's his entire career.

Murphy's peak is 5200 PA, 140 OPS+, 42 WAR, 25 WAA.
   24. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5904193)
Those numbers sent me over to check out the career totals for one of my all-time favorite what-could've-been players, Pete Reiser, & wow, injuries held him back even more than I suspected. Only 2,662 PAs, 21.8 WAR, 10.4 WAA.
   25. Booey Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5904194)
As has been pointed out, Murphy's peak was very good but not nearly historic enough to warrant enshrinement by itself. That level of production for a half dozen years or so isn't as uncommon as some think. HOFers are the guys who keep it up for a few years longer or add additional value outside of it during their decline phase.

Murphy was a "future HOFer" in the late 80's in the same sense that Jose Altuve is a future HOFer now, or that Albert Belle and Juan Gonzalez were in the 90's, or Nomar and Johan Santana in the 2000's. The term doesn't mean they've already done enough; it just means that they are/were on pace for it with a normal decline phase. Murphy's situation isn't unique or extraordinary.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:26 AM (#5904195)
Are you willing to put Charlie Keller in the HoF? He did the hard part: 4600 PA, 152 OPS+, 43 WAR, 29 WAA, but that's his entire career.


I don't know. This isn't a fully developed thought. Perhaps upon further reflection and study I would realize that, as Booey asserts, Murphy's (and Keller's) peak is not in fact impressive enough.

Part of it is also that I'm letting Murphy's reputation at the time do some of the work. 42 WAR is one thing - but Murphy was also widely considered among the handful of best players in baseball. I'm softer on Hall criteria than most of you guys and for me that counts for something.

Santana is a similar case for me.
   27. RJ in TO Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:28 AM (#5904196)
A good equivalent would be Ralph Kiner, who packed pretty much all of his career valve into 9 seasons, while also leading the league in homers for 7 years in a row to give him a narrative hook similar to Murphy's back-to-back MVPs. From 1946 to 1954, he had 49.2 WAR (26.8 WAA) over 5866 PA. In comparison, from 1980 to 1988, Murphy had 45.5 WAR (25.5 WAA) over 5894 PA. Kiner had to wait the full 15 years on the ballot, and then was only barely elected with 75.4%, although I'm confident the VC would have quickly elected him, given the opportunity.
   28. Zonk Has Two Faces, Both Laughing Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5904197)
There are definitely more deserving outsiders looking in - but as someone whose formative baseball years were in the 80s, Murphy sure seemed like a Hall of Famer at the time.

Back-to-back MVPs are pretty special.... select company like Roger Maris :-)
   29. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:39 AM (#5904198)
What happens if he doesn't get moved off of catcher? Does he crater even earlier? Presumably he doesn't play 162 games a year, but if he's a C/1B playing a Posey-like 145 games, does he have a better case? His offense likely suffers, but good hitting from a C is impressive in a way that it's not from a RF. For those who care about WAR, he'd get 7-10 Rpos per year as opposed to 2 to -6 that he actually had. That's supposed to come out in the wash by moving him to a tougher position, but given the unique skills required for C, I'm not sure that it would.
   30. Sweatpants Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5904200)
Murphy was a disaster as a catcher. His numbers were awful, doubtlessly in part because he was trying to catch a knuckleballer, but he also developed a throwing tic that made him almost unplayable there.
   31. bbmck Posted: November 27, 2019 at 11:58 AM (#5904201)
40+ WAR7 OF not in the Hall of Fame:

72.7 - Barry Bonds
65.4 - Mike Trout
52.5 - Shoeless Joe Jackson
46.5 - Andruw Jones
44.9 - Pete Rose

44.7 - Larry Walker
44.4 - Carlos Beltran
43.8 - Sammy Sosa
43.7 - Ichiro Suzuki
43.4 - Kenny Lofton

43.4 - Jim Wynn
42.6 - Jim Edmonds
42.0 - Mookie Betts
41.6 - Bobby Abreu
41.4 - Cesar Cedeno

41.2 - Dale Murphy
41.1 - Bobby Bonds
40.0 - Manny Ramirez
40.0 - Vada Pinson

40+ WAR7 and under 60 WAR OF in the Hall of Fame:

43.7 - Ralph Kiner
41.3 - Elmer Flick
41.2 - Vladimir Guerrero
   32. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: November 27, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5904204)
Dale has a sports bar next to where i work and supposedly he comes in every now and then. That is all.

Make sure you get the cheese curds. And they paintbrush your burger's top bun with molten sweet butter. Not only that...they'll validate your parking so you can leave your car there, bop across the pedestrian bridge to SunTrust Park, and save twenty or so bucks for parking. But...yeah, man...he cratered. He's a sad wistful no for me. Not gonna be upset if he's eventually inducted, though.
   33. McCoy Posted: November 27, 2019 at 01:23 PM (#5904213)
read that as molten sweat butter and was thinking I don't like baseball players that much.
   34. John Northey Posted: November 27, 2019 at 08:59 PM (#5904288)
Murphy is a borderline case, but as the writer points out, if you think Harold Baines is a HOF'er then Murphy is a no brainer HOF'er. Geez, that Baines vote looked idiotic at the time and every year it will just look worse.

Murphy: 6 years of 5+ WAR, peak of 7.7
Baines: Peak of 4.3, his only year over 3.5. Ugh.

OK, enough of that stupidity, howsabout his peers?

Jim Rice: 5 years of 5+ WAR, peak of 7.6 - voted into the HOF by older writers
Dave Parker: 4 years of 5+ WAR, peak of 7.4 - also on vets vote.
Dwight Evans: 4 years of 5+ WAR, peak of 6.7 - also on vets vote, but career of 67.1 WAR, far higher than Rice, Parker, Baines, or Murphy.

Looking at the very basic stuff there I think Evans should be in, then look at Parker, Rice, Baines, Murphy. Sadly drunk voters put Baines & Rice in already so all of them should be in based on that (low) standard.

What is sad is that some will still vote for Steve Garvey - peak of 5.1 WAR, lifetime 38.1 - who isn't remotely close to being a HOFer. Nor would I be shocked if they put in Don Mattingly (4 years of 5+, peak of 7.2, lifetime 42.4) who really doesn't belong either. Meanwhile poor Sweet Lou Whitaker might be on the outside yet again with his 4 years of 5+ WAR, peak of 6.8, 75.1 lifetime. Sometimes life just isn't fair.
   35. Sunday silence Posted: November 27, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5904292)
[quote
What is sad is that some will still vote for Steve Garvey - peak of 5.1 WAR, lifetime 38.1 - who isn't remotely close to being a HOFer.

Its not sad to vote for Steve Garvey unless you are somehow obsessed with the idea that WAR and ONLY WAR can possibly tell us who is a HoFer.

Garvey was considered one of the main players on what was it? Three LAD pennant winning teams? They didnt seem to have one superstar position player just a bunch of pretty good guys like Ron Cey etc. On a team like that, a consistently pretty good like Garvey might be seen as the key guy on a pennant winning team.

There's a lot of baseball narrative right there. Of course he didnt have the power of a Stargell or McCovey or whomever and strictly by the numbers he doesnt seem to rank up there w/ most HoFers. But there's some guys, not many whose narrative contributes so much to baseball that you cant leave them out. Lou Brock for one, he was the key man on 3 STL pennant winners. Koufax or Dizzy Dean? Maybe?

Im not a big Garvey fan, far from it. But it's not hard to see how you could make that case.
   36. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 28, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5904342)
But it's not hard to see how you could make that case.


Unless you care about a player actually helping your team win games. No obsession with WAR is necessary.
   37. Mefisto Posted: November 28, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5904350)
I think there are some gaps in 35. First, those Dodgers teams were not great teams. They did win 3 pennants in 5 years, but no WS. They won because the teams were very balanced overall -- no great players but no real weaknesses either. Second, and related to the balance, the pitching was very strong. Mentioning Garvey as "one of the main players" seemingly refers to position players. Pitchers should count too. Third, in each of the 3 pennant winning seasons, Garvey was 3d on the team among position players in WAR, and in 2 of the 3 seasons he finished behind both Lopes and Cey. I wouldn't call him "key" in any sense.

Plus, he's evil.
   38. Booey Posted: November 28, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5904368)
Garvey isn't a HOFer, of course, but his All Star and MVP support shows that he was (wrongly) considered a fairly big star for a while, so for voters who don't base their opinion entirely around WAR/WAA, he's not the complete WTF?! candidate that some here make him out to be. Most players with a similar list of accomplishments do get elected. He's a 10 time All Star, an MVP, plus he also had a 2nd place finish and three 6th's (62nd all time in MVP shares). He won 4 gold gloves, hit .300 seven times with a .294 lifetime average, topped 200 hits 6 times (2599 career), 100 rbi 5 times, broke the NL record for consecutive games played. Also the aforementioned postseason experience, where he hit .338 (.319 in 5 WS) and won NLCS MVP twice.

Again, not a HOFer. But if you squint, you can see at least see the outlines of a case. I'd put him about on par with Baines and Vizquel (not a ringing endorsement to be sure), but for those who take his MVP support at face value, he was a much bigger star than they were.
   39. bookbook Posted: November 28, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5904370)
To me, Felix Hernandez is shaping up to be the pitching equivalent to Murphy. Seemed future HOFerish for many years, while putting together a solid lower-tier HOF peak, but not a peak that would compel induction. Outsized stars in their hometowns, well loved and worthy of that affection. Then, both players fell off the table, painfully, and far too young.

2 MVPs for Murphy. One Cy Young and one very strong case for another for Felix.

Neither should go in the HOF, but a team led by those two could certainly beat several teams of HOFers.
   40. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5904378)
The [Dodgers] did win 3 pennants in 5 years, but no WS.


Actually, Steve Garvey's Dodgers won 3 pennants in 5 years twice, and they did win a World Series with the latter of these. Garvey was perceived as the best position player on 5 NL pennant winners (1974, 1977, 1978, 1981 (Dodgers won the World Series), 1984 - the last w/ the Padres). The problem with Garvey's Hall-of-Fame case is basically the same as the problem with Jack Morris's Hall-of-Fame case. Being the best position player on 5 pennant winners is a solid HOF argument much like being the best pitcher in baseball for a decade (e.g., the 1980s) is a solid HOF argument. The problem is that Jack Morris wasn't really the best pitcher in the 1980s and Steve Garvey wasn't really the best position player on most of those five pennant winners.
   41. Mefisto Posted: November 28, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5904383)
I completely forgot about those pennants in the 80s. Thanks for the correction.
   42. Bug Selig Posted: November 28, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5904395)
Most players with a similar list of accomplishments do get elected. He's a 10 time All Star, an MVP, plus he also had a 2nd place finish and three 6th's (62nd all time in MVP shares). He won 4 gold gloves, hit .300 seven times with a .294 lifetime average, topped 200 hits 6 times (2599 career), 100 rbi 5 times, broke the NL record for consecutive games played. Also the aforementioned postseason experience, where he hit .338 (.319 in 5 WS) and won NLCS MVP twice.
A lot of those things aren't accomplishments.
   43. Booey Posted: November 28, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5904398)
#42 - K, but they're the type of things that get notice from voters. For a 38 WAR, 7 WAA caliber player, thinking of things to put on Garvey's HOF plaque if you had to write it (God forbid) would be remarkably easy. Much easier than the comparably valued Harold Baines.
   44. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 28, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5904399)
What does Baines’ plaque say? “Ummm.......”?
   45. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 28, 2019 at 05:34 PM (#5904404)
What does Baines’ plaque say? “Ummm.......”?

"I would like to thank Frankie Frisch Tony La Russa"
   46. Kiko Sakata Posted: November 28, 2019 at 05:51 PM (#5904406)
#42 - K, but they're the type of things that get notice from voters. For a 38 WAR, 7 WAA caliber player, thinking of things to put on Garvey's HOF plaque if you had to write it (God forbid) would be remarkably easy. Much easier than the comparably valued Harold Baines.


Honestly, it'd be easier to write a Hall-of-Fame plaque for Garvey than the much more qualified Lou Whitaker. I wrote articles about the candidates on this year's VC ballot and essentially wrote about this very thing in my article about Lou Whitaker. Garvey had just a ton of interesting things you can say about him. Whitaker, much less so. For example, did you know that Lou Whitaker only received MVP votes once in his career? He finished 8th in 1983; Garvey finished higher than that five times, including one win.

Dale Murphy falls somewhere in between - there's certainly a lot more to say about him than about Whitaker, but less than Garvey. But he's a much better candidate than Garvey, although not nearly as strong as Whitaker.
   47. Sunday silence Posted: November 28, 2019 at 06:35 PM (#5904412)
I couldnt remember if Garvey was on the 74 team or not, that's why I left a question mark out there. I couldnt remember who was playing OF for them. Dusty Baker I guess? RIck Monday?

*****

Im not trying to make a case for Garvey. Some of you might want to review your reading comprehension skills. Perhaps a simple standardized format quiz might help to clarify matters:

A good title for this post would be:


a. My friend Steve Garvey.
b. Where does WAR come from?
c. Steve Garvey America's hero.
d. Playing baseball the right way,
   48. RJ in TO Posted: November 28, 2019 at 07:24 PM (#5904418)
What does Baines’ plaque say? “Ummm.......”?
Here's the actual plaque. If they felt like it, they could have also talked about total bases (4600+ for his career, 43rd all time, and something like 27th all time when he retired), the number of times he hit .300 in a season, and how he remained effective as a hitter until his 40s. It's not like he didn't do a ton in his career, and there's no need to be dismissive about what he did achieve. He didn't vote himself in, and he also apparently didn't campaign for himself either.

   49. bobm Posted: November 28, 2019 at 07:26 PM (#5904419)
What does Baines’ plaque say? “Ummm.......”?

Just about.

"Respected and clutch left-handed hitter whose professional approach and humble demeanor made him one of the most consistent and reliable players of the 1980s and 1990s. Right-fielder and heart of lineup for the 1983 AL West champion White Sox. Persevered through knee injuries to earn Outstanding Designated Hitter of the Year award in his first two seasons at the position, 1987 and 1988. Six-time All-Star and first overall selection in 1977 MLB Draft. Totaled 2,866 hits and drove in 1,628 runs, retiring 21st on the all-time RBI list."
   50. Sunday silence Posted: November 28, 2019 at 07:43 PM (#5904420)
Speaking of teams w/ above average talent at every position (the 1975 Reds are one of these gems), the 1974 Dodgers have above average talent at every position, PLUS bonus super sub Joe Ferguson at 3.5 WAR. Wow, always thought they were kind of a poor match up for the Oakland As but I guess they were pretty good. That series kind of sucked though..
   51. "RMc", the superbatsman Posted: December 02, 2019 at 06:29 PM (#5905035)
Are you willing to put Charlie Keller in the HoF?

Keller, like Murphy, is one of those guys who got one foot in the Hall but never quite the other one in. Vada Pinson is another good example (46 WAR by age 28, eight largely indifferent seasons after that).

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