A few weeks ago, I wrote that it was way past time for former Atlanta Braves star Dale Murphy to be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Murphy is one of a handful of former big-league players who should have been inducted long ago. But once again Murphy, Don Mattingly and Andruw Jones are on the outside looking in. Larry Walker has fewer home runs, fewer RBI than both Murphy and Jones accumulated in their careers but Walker has been inducted along with former Yankee Captain Derek Jeter. By the way, Jeter was one vote short of being a unanimous selection and that one guy needs to be removed from the Baseball Writers Association.
An even bigger injustice is the fact that Fred McGriff is also not in the Hall of Fame despite hitting 493 career home runs. "Crime Dog's" numbers are much better than Murphy and Jones and that includes his .284 career batting average. Hitting 400 home runs used to be one of the determining factors for Hall of Fame inclusion. That is obviously no longer the case.
What I'm getting at here is the fact that the guys I previously mentioned continue to draw the short straw when it comes to the Hall of Fame. I bet the voting members never considered the nine Gold Glove awards won by Andruw Jones to go along with his 434 homers. Those are Hall of Fame numbers, yet Jones is still not in.
A few years ago a veteran's committee was formed to consider the careers of players who had been eligible for a long time but had never been enshrined. When that happened I felt better about these guys eventually being inducted. So far that hasn't panned out. I realize that too many members in any Hall of Fame waters down the field and takes away from other members' recognition. By serving on the board for the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame for the past decade I find that we as board members face this sort of scrutiny quite often. Most of the potential members have numbers good enough to be enshrined but we are limited as to how many people we can include in any one year.
Maybe Dale Murphy, Don Mattingly, Andruw Jones and Fred McGriff just haven't waited long enough.
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Randy Smith can be reached at email@example.com