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Braves' Murphy misses on final Hall of Fame ballot

Dale Murphy's vote total rose in his 15th and final year on the ballot, but the former Atlanta Braves standout was still a long way from being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Murphy, who won back-to-back National League MVP awards in the early 1980s, received votes on 18.6 percent of the ballots cast by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America -- up from 14.5 percent.

A player must receive at least 75 percent, however.

Murphy's children had waged a vote campaign on their father's behalf and it was thought that he might receive extra support because of the backlash against those on the ballot -- like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens -- linked to steroid use.

But Murphy, who as a Mormon doesn't even partake of caffeine, wasn't judged worthy of the hall by most voters because of a sharp decline at the end of his career.

"Maybe I should have retired three years earlier," he said.

Murphy, though, remained positive and said that he doesn't feel that his candidacy was hurt by the inflated numbers put up by PED users.

"None of them got in," he said.

In fact, no one did when the vote was announced Wednesday.

Craig Biggio, in his first year on the ballot, was the closest at 68.2 percent. Jack Morris, in his 14th year, was next at 67.7 percent.

Bonds received 36.2 percent and Clemens got 37.6 percent. Sammy Sosa, also in his first year on the ballot, received just 12.5 percent.

Murphy was hurt by a .268 career average and falling just short of 400 career homers. But he averaged 31 homers and 93 RBIs during the 1980s and won the MVP in 1982 and 1983.

"I feel honored to have been on the ballot 15 years," Murphy said. "That doesn't happen very often."

A player must receive at least 5 percent each year to stay on the ballot. Kenny Lofton missed that cutoff this year.

The hall voters haven't been kind to former Braves players in recent years, but that should change in 2014. Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are considered locks to be elected next year in their first time on the ballot.