SALT LAKE CITY — At least Dale Murphy has company.
The Alpine, Utah, resident missed on his 15th and final chance to be in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, collecting only 106 votes. That was 18.6 percent, well below the needed 75 percent.
No one was elected this year from a list that included Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and former BYU pitcher Jack Morris.
"I'm on the outside looking in … but I'm not the only one saying maybe this isn't the best way to decide it. In this situation, nobody got in," Murphy told the Deseret News. "I think that's not the best way to celebrate the greatest players of the game."
Murphy said balloting by the Baseball Writers could be expanded to include former players, which would make the process more flexible.
"If I were real close, knocking on the door, you might hear different things from me, but maybe we should tweak (the process)," he said.
He noted that some newspapers don't allow their beat writers to vote, due to conflict of interest considerations. Yet those writers watch the games every day and might be the best qualified voters. Another consideration: the preponderance of voters in one area of the country.
"I get high marks from writers in the Southeast who saw me play, but a high percentage of the writers are in the Northeast," Murphy said.
This year, Craig Biggio was the top vote-getter (388) in his first year on the ballot. Clemens (214) and Bonds (206) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, with McGwire 15th (96) and Sosa 17th (71).
Murphy, a former LDS mission president, was 14th.
Morris' 385 votes gave him 67.7 percent, second most on the ballot. Next year will be his final chance to make the Hall in the regular vote, though he and Murphy could be inducted by the Veterans Committee.
Murphy's chances were hurt by a drop-off in stats near the end of his career, yet the two-time MVP was among the game's best players in the 1980s. In the cases of Clemens, McGwire, Bonds and Sosa, suspicion has lingered over allegations of steroid use.3 comments on this story
Murphy has repeatedly voiced opposition to steroids but stopped short on Wednesday of saying whether having no inductees was better than allowing suspected drug cheats in the Hall.
"I don't think having no one going in is very good for baseball," he said.
As for the possibility of being voted in by the Veterans Committee, Murphy said, "It would be a tremendous honor to go in anyway. It would be a little different, but if it happens, I'll show up."