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For Murphy, the wait continues
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01/06/2003  7:30 PM ET 
For Murphy, the wait continues
Braves great receives fewer Hall votes in 2003
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From 1982-87, Dale Murphy was one of baseball's top all-around players, winning two MVP awards, two home run titles, two RBI titles and five Gold Gloves. (Allsport)
ATLANTA -- Dale Murphy would have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer if voting for baseball's most cherished honor were conducted solely by longtime Braves fans.

But the highly likable former Brave will once again have to wait at least another year before finding out if the Baseball Writers' Association of America will ever bestow him with the honor.

In 2003 voting results announced Tuesday afternoon, Murphy, who played with the Braves from 1976-90, was mentioned on just 12 percent of the ballots. A candidate must be listed on 75 percent of the ballots for enshrinement. Eddie Murray and Gary Carter were the only candidates to receive that total this year.

"It's flattering just to know that you have gotten some votes," Murphy said. "I'm really happy to be mentioned along with some of those guys. This is always an exciting time of year. But I realize how tough it is to get in. So, I'm not exactly sitting on pins and needles when it's time for them to announce."

Hall of Fame 2003

Induction Ceremony
Sunday, July 27
Cooperstown, New York

The inductees
Gary Carter | Eddie Murray

Schedule of weekend events
Complete coverage

This year's results, however, may come as an even greater disappointment for Murphy and his fans. The outfielder was present on 19 percent of the ballots in 1999, 23 percent in 2000 and 18 percent in 2001. A candidate must be on 5 percent of the ballots to retain eligibility for the following year.

"I've always said it's a tough group to join and it is for good reason," Murphy said. "There are some special guys in there. Like I said, it's just flattering to be mentioned."

During his 18-season career, which also included short stints at the end with the Phillies and Rockies, Murphy amassed 398 home runs, 1,266 RBIs and 2,111 hits. The converted catcher also captured five Gold Gloves as an outfielder.

Murphy was the most recognizable Braves player during the 1980s. He won the National League MVP Award in 1982 and '83. Among former players, Roger Maris is the only other back-to-back MVP winner not in the Hall of Fame.

Along with Murray and Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, Murphy, who didn't miss a game from 1982-86, was one of the most productive performers during the '80s. He compiled more total bases in the decade than anyone and finished second to Schmidt in homers and second to Murray in RBIs.

Murphy, who led the National League in homers in 1984 and '85, was a seven-time All-Star. His accomplishments are even more impressive when you take into account that the Braves had just three winning seasons during the 1980s and finished last or second to last in the NL West in each of the decade's final five years.

Final results
 Player Votes   %
 Murray  423  85.3
 Carter  387  78
 Sutter  266  53.6
 Rice  259  52.2
 Dawson  248  50
 Sandberg  244  49.2
 Smith  210  42.3
 Gossage  209  42.1
 Blyleven  145  29.2
 Garvey  138  27.8
 *Kaat  130  26.2
 John  116  23.4
 Morris  113  22.8
 Trammell  70  14.1
 Mattingly  68  13.7
 Murphy  58  11.7
 Concepcion  55  11.1
 Parker  51  10.3
 Valenzuela  31  6.3
 Hernandez  30  6
 Kile  7  1.4
 Coleman  3  0.6
 Butler  2  0.4
 Fernandez  2  0.4
 Honeycutt  2  0.4
 Pena  2  0.4
 Daulton  1  0.2
 Davis  1  0.2
 Tartabull  1  0.2
 Jackson  0  0
 Tettleton  0  0
 Williams  0  0
 Worrell  0  0
*Jim Kaat final year on ballot
"That's why they don't vote in the middle of your career," Murphy said. "They wait until after your career is complete. I did some things well in my career and there are other things I would have liked to have done better. In some people's eyes the numbers might not quite be there. But I'm not planning a comeback."

Murphy experienced a production decline in the final years of his career. He hit just .226 with 24 homers in 1988 and followed that with a .228 average and 20 homers in 1989. He was traded to the Phillies midway through the 1990 season, during which he hit 24 homers. It would mark the ninth consecutive season in which he hit at least 20 homers, but it would also be the last in which he would reach that homer total.

After two more full seasons in Philadelphia, he joined the expansion Rockies in 1993 and played just 26 games before retiring at 37. He currently resides in Utah with his wife and eight children.

Throughout his career, Murphy endeared himself to fans not only by his actions on the field, but also for his generosity in the community. He still is regarded as one of the most friendly individuals to ever step on the field and receives a warm ovation every time he returns to Atlanta with his trademark smile.

"I'm very thankful for the support people gave me throughout my career and are still giving me today," Murphy said.

Long before Joe Torre became a highly successful manager with the Yankees, he served as Murphy's skipper in Atlanta from 1982-84. In Murphy, he saw a player who could be endeared by anyone who ever knew him.

"If you're a coach, you want him as a player," Torre once said. "If you're a father, you want him as a son. If you're a woman, you want him as a husband. If you're a child, you want him as a father. What else can you say about the guy?"

Other former Braves to receive votes during this year's Hall of Fame balloting included Bruce Sutter and Brett Butler. Sutter, who closed out his career with Atlanta in 1985-86 and '88, was present on 54 percent of the ballots, third highest among the 33 players eligible. Butler received just two votes and will not be present on next year's ballot.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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