After 15 years of appearing on Hall of Fame ballots, longtime Atlanta Braves great Dale Murphy has for the final time failed to gain enough votes to get elected.
Murphy's candidacy for the Hall never really gained momentum at any point during his eligibility. Murphy received his highest percentage of votes in his second year of eligibility, but that support eroded for the next four years then leveled off for the remainder of his ballots.
I used this same chart in a story I wrote last year (now updated) to compare Murphy to other candidates, and their "momentum" for gaining admittance to the Hall. My head scratching came about mainly because Bert Blyleven began his long Hall candidacy getting fewer votes in the first couple of year than Murphy did, but the lobbying for Blyleven and how history viewed his stats changed over the years in Bert's favor. They did not change in Murphy's favor.
Murphy did get the highest percentage of votes this year (18.6%) than he's gotten since that highpoint of his candidacy in 2000 (23.2%). Much of that may have been helped by Murphy's reemergence on the baseball landscape as a part-time broadcaster.
The all-out Twitter campaign that Dale Murphy's sons waged on his behalf doesn't seem to have given him any sort of boost, as Murphy had been slowly gaining some votes each of the last four years -- a common occurrence as a player reaches the end of his Hall of Fame ballot eligibility.
One has to wonder if Murphy had decided to become a broadcaster a decade ago, would his candidacy have gained more momentum sooner. Being in front of writers all the time seems to help players' Hall chances (no evidence for that, just conjecture).
The Other Braves On The Ballot
Fred McGriff got 20.7%, a drop of 3.2% from last year. McGriff has stayed between 17.9% and 23.2% in his four years of eligibility.