"A Cooperstown Bash"

By Ed Tyree, 1-14-02

Thank goodness the annual Hall of Fame popularity contest has concluded and the elitist organization of Baseball Writers of America have spoken through their poison pens and pencils. If the event were held any more often, my Maalox bill would increase dramatically. To begin with, few baseball enthusiasts would complain about Ozzie Smith being voted in the Hall on the 1st ballot, but he was strictly a defensive type of player, incredibly great with the glove.

My complaint is centered on why the writers cast only 70 votes for Dale Murphy, a 15th place finish. Do the writers realize or care that Murphy owned the decade of the 1980's? During that era, he was the leader in total bases, finished second to only Mike Schmidt in home runs and second only to Eddie Murray in runs batted in. He also picked up back-to-back MVP awards, which has occurred only 9 times in the history of baseball (7 of the 9 players are in the Hall).

This writer felt there was a voting problem for Murphy as early as 1987. During that year, Andre Dawson received the National League MVP award after compiling a batting record of .287 with 49 home runs, 178 hits, and 137 runs batted in, a most deserving candidate. In 1987, Dale Murphy hit .295, with 44 home runs, 167 hits, and 105 runs batted in. He finished 11th in voting for MVP, an unbelievable difference when comparing the records of the 2 players. Apparently the voting group failed to see the closeness of statistics or were just biased in their mental viewpoints.

In my opinion, the baseball writers should be embarrassed and ashamed for their treatment of one of the truly "good guys" of the game. His endeavors on and off the field have been well documented and no one in the history of baseball has been a better ambassador. Apparently character and statistics mean nothing to the Writers Association. A real pity!

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