Jim Rice vs. Dale Murphy

I realize that most people out in the baseball internet world are probably tired of hearing Braves fans moan about Dale Murphy not being in the Baseball Hall of Fame. On this Hall of Fame induction day I bring it up once again, without regrets. Here is a comparison of the career stats of Jim Rice, who will be inducted today, and Dale Murphy, who continues to be overlooked:

Player/Stat G PA R H 2B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
Jim Rice 2089 9058 1249 2453 373 382 1451 58 670 1423 .298 .352 .502
Dale Murphy 2180 9040 1197 2111 350 398 1266 161 986 1748 .265 .346 .469

 

While Rice does have an edge in many categories, Murphy is pretty damn close, and close enough that his numbers should be good enough. Think of the other aspects of HOF credentials. Murphy has 5 gold gloves, Rice zero -- Murphy playing a premium defensive position of center and right field, while Rice was primarily a left fielder (and he DH'ed a lot). Murphy won 2 MVPs, Rice 1.

Rice probably has the better career offensive numbers, but that's not all that should be considered -- defense matters, too, and Murphy clearly has a major advantage in that department. Murphy was also a more valuable baserunner. Take all three of those aspects of offensive baseball together -- hitting, defense, and baserunning -- and Murphy is just as valuable as Jim Rice.

Maybe now that Rice is in, the writers who vote will realize that Dale Murphy is deserving too. There is no doubt in my mind that if Murphy played most of his career for the Red Sox or Yankees that he would already be in the Hall.

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