Mr. Puckett in the Hall With a Baseball Bat

During the long dark days of winter, this date stands out as a beacon of light. I can always look to this day as a sign that warmer weather and spring training is just around the corner. For today marks the day that Major League Baseball announces the inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I sat close to the computer today to keep close tabs on who was voted in and who was passed over.

Each year, I try to stump for Dale Murphy and each year I am left disappointed after the votes are announced. We are told that character and longevity are important aspects of the voting. We are also told that the writers look for a player who was dominant during their playing time. Murph exhibits all of these characteristics. In an era of mediocre outfielders, Dale was dominant. He won consecutive Most Valuable Player awards and single-handedly kept the Atlanta Braves in the game. Off the field, he volunteered for many charitable organizations and to this day is volunteering for his church group. To say he does not fit the mold of a Hall of Fame player is preposterous. But today as the votes were announced, Dale was again found somewhere in the bottom half of the vote getters. He was able to muster only 93 votes.

The writers instead determined that Kirby Puckett of the Minnesota Twins and Dave Winfield of the Padres/Yankees/Blue Jays/Twins/Indians were elected. There was more talk devoted to which hat Dave Winfield would wear when he entered the Hall of Fame than about his career. I congratulate each of these players for their outstanding careers and for the joy that they brought baseball fans everywhere during their playing time. It is always exciting to hear from each inductee (except Carlton Fisk who talked until the World Series was over). To hear what this honor means to them is great. I only hope that one day we will hear Dale Murphy speak so that everyone will know what the wait has meant to him.

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