In the end, despite a letter-writing campaign by his family, in his 15th and final year on the ballot, Dale Murphy once again failed to receive enough votes to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Murphy wasn’t alone. For the first time since 1996, the baseball writers failed to elect a new member to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
On Wednesday, with a ballot that included Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, it was former Houston Astro Craig Biggio who received the largest vote by the Baseball Writers Association of America at 68 percent. A player needs 75 percent for induction.
As for Murphy, the two-time Most Valuable Player and five-time Gold Glove winner received 18.6 percent, an increase from last year and his highest percentage since 2000.
“I was very encouraged by [the vote increase],” Murphy said from his home in Alpine. “Overall, after 15 years I thought I would have more support than I ended up with. I was grateful for the experience with my kids who campaigned by writing letters.”
Murphy still holds out for entrance into the hall via a committee who vote on individuals eligible for induction but ineligible for consideration by the writers.
“I think I have a good profile for that,” said Murphy, who believes his lack of a longer peak period is responsible for his lack of Hall support.
“The last three or four years were not very productive. I was also battling through injuries. It’s hard to look at my career and say then, ‘If I quit now, my Hall of Fame chances would be better.’ ”
Bonds, a winner of seven MVP awards and the MLB season and career leader in home runs, received 36.2 percent. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young winner, received 37 percent. Despite more than 600 career home runs, Sammy Sosa received only 12 percent.