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Mormon, former MVP misses on Hall of Fame in final vote

By Sarah Sanders Petersen

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 10 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

They knew it was a long shot, but they went for it anyway. Dale Murphy's family put together a campaign to get their father into the Baseball Hall of Fame to no avail.

The Baseball Writers Association of America announced Wednesday that there will not be any new inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time since 1996.

Murphy, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, played with the Braves, Phillies and Rockies from 1976-1993, and has been on the ballot for the past 14 years, making this year his final chance to be inducted.

Although Murphy had a sucessful career — with a total of 389 home runs, two MVP awards along with All-Star appearances and other honors — he knew his chances for the Hall of Fame were small, according to Mark Bowen with MLB.com.

This year's voting resulted in 18 percent for Murphy.

But if it were up to the Murphy family, his induction would be a no-brainer. In preparation for the Hall of Fame nominations, several of Murphy's children created tributes to their father, which have spread throughout the Internet. But in an interview with Bowen, Murphy said that the support of his family is what means the most.

"It's been like Christmas and Father's Day times 100," Murphy said. "It's just an emotional and tender feeling of what the kids have put together in their efforts. They've just gone the extra mile for me. 'Thanks' does not sound like the adequate word."

Prior to the announcment, Steve Gardner with USA Today broke down some of the reasons why Murphy should be inducted, especially considering some of the other candidates' association with performance-enhancing drugs.

"The Hall of Fame's "character clause" may carry a little extra weight with the specter of performance-enhancing drugs hanging over the voting process," Gardner said. "Murphy was admired by teammates and almost universally respected by opponents. He was the 1988 recipient of the Roberto Clemente award for his on-field excellence, sportsmanship and community involvement."

Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for the Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She graduated with a BA in communications and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University.

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