Kids fight for former Braves legend to enter Hall of Fame

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ALPINE — Jake Murphy is too young to have ever seen his father play baseball in person.

When he looks at his dad's career statistics, though, he wonders why his dad hasn't been voted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

"Even during his career, he never really showboated or went on television and got his name out there," Jake Murphy said. "So we feel like we have to do some of this stuff."

Jake's father is Dale Murphy, one of the best hitters of the 1980s. He played for the Atlanta Braves.

This is the last year Murphy is eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

So using social media and writing letters, his children started a campaign to remind voters how good their dad was.

"I know voters feel like his prime was only for the 80's," said Jake Murphy, "but that's also another way you have to look at it. If you're the most dominating player in the 80's, then you figure you should be in the Hall of Fame."

For Dale, who lives in Alpine, it's been heart-warming to see how much his children care.

"It's been a real tender moment," Dale Murphy said, "and very emotional to see them go to bat for me, so to speak."

It takes 75 percent of the vote to get in. Murphy's highest total was 23 percent in 2002.

"I would need to get a significant jump, probably an unprecedented jump," Murphy said. "It's a great thing to be considered. I thought I'd get more support. That's okay. I understand that."

That is classic Dale Murphy. Humble as always.

"They know me, and I've always been a little uncomfortable tooting my own horn about the Hall of Fame and things like that," Murphy said.

His numbers speak for themselves.

Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards in 1982 and 83. He is a seven-time All-star, five-time Gold Glove winner, and hit 398 career home runs.

He looks like he could still hit two more home runs for 400.

"My numbers are comparable to some people in the hall of fame, but I realize I'm not there with Hank Aaron or anything like that," Murphy said. "But I believe there's a place for me there somewhere."

His family sure does.

They also know, if he doesn't get in, it won't change who he is and what he represented.

"We all know that he's already had a level of career and life success that very, very few people are fortunate enough to experience," said Chad Murphy, one of Dale's sons who lives in Pennsylvania. "He's lived the dream, so to speak. Being denied the Hall of Fame, while of course somewhat disappointing, really wouldn't change any of that."

Results of the 2013 class are expected in the 2nd week of January.

"I'm very thankful to be on the ballot for the past 15 years," Dale Murphy said. "That doesn't always happen."

Murphy played in the major leagues for 18 years, mostly with the Atlanta Braves.

He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies.


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