On Monday, July 29, The Hall of Very Good™ opened its proverbial doors to two new members…two-time National League MVP, Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy and former Pittburgh Pirates World Series hero Steve Blass.
“Thank you for the honor of being selected to The Hall of Very Good!” Murphy said. “It’s great going into this the second class of inductees and also fun to go in with a great person like Steve Blass.”
“I am flattered to be mentioned in the same breath as Dale Murphy. I think he epitomizes everything a Major Leaguer should be,” Blass added. “I’m very flattered to be involved with something that has Dale Murphy’s name on it.”
Murphy is considered one of the nicest, most even tempered men ever to play Major League baseball.
Armed with both size and speed, the right-handed slugger was a five-tool outfielder who has the distinction of being one of the most productive and decorated players of the 1980s, having led the Majors in both home runs and RBI during the decade.
“The way I remember it, Dale Murphy’s opposite-field power was a big part of his MVP seasons of 1982 and 1983, when he hit 36 home runs both years. This was back before nearly every hitter crowded the plate and had muscled up and could easily hit one out the other way,” ESPN.com’s SweetSpot blogger Dave Schoenfield said. “Baseball in the ‘80s will be remembered in part for the drug scandals, but Murphy represents the best of the decade: A class act and a great player.”
At the time of his retirement, Murphy’s 398 home runs ranked 19th all-time. His back-to-back MVP awards in 1982 and 1983 made him one of only four outfielders to win in consecutive years and, at the time, the youngest.
Blass is one of the great mysteries in the history of Major League Baseball.
After his first eight seasons in the bigs, the right-hander put up an impressive 100-67 record with a 3.24 ERA and an amazing 56 complete games. During the 1971 World Series, he made history with a spectacular Game Seven performance. Now the Pittsburgh Pirates undisputed ace, he finished second to Steve Carlton for the 1972 Cy Young Award. By the time 1973 rolled around, Blass had, plain and simple, lost the ability to throw strikes. He was out of the league a year later.
“It may be said that (Steve Blass) was like the girl with the curl: when he was good, he was very, very good, and when he was bad he was horrid,” John Thorn, Official Baseball Historian for Major League Baseball said. “But Blass was a national hero for a moment, and how many ballplayers can say that?”
Today, he is an inspiration to many, has garnered the respect of many of his former peers on the diamond and one of the game’s best color commentators.
Murphy and Blass join the inaugural member of The Hall of Very Good™, 2012 inductee, former pitcher Tommy John.
“Murphy should be in Cooperstown,” John said. “Blass was a very good pitcher.”
You can read more about the induction of Dale Murphy and Steve Blass into The Hall of Very Good™ by visiting http://hallofverygood.com or by following The Hall on Facebook (http://facebook.com/
hallofverygood) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/hovg).
ABOUT DALE MURPHY
PLAYING CAREER: Atlanta Braves (1976–1990), Philadelphia Phillies (1990–1992) and Colorado Rockies (1993).
ACHIEVEMENTS: Career batting average of .265 with 2111 hits, 398 home runs and 1266 RBI. Back-to-back National League MVP in 1982 and 1983. Hit 20-plus home runs 12 times, 30-plus six times and 40 or more…once. Knocked in 100 runs five times and scored 100 runs four times. From 1982 to 1985…hit .293, averaging 36 home runs and 110 RBI. Shares Major League record for most seasons leading the league in games played by an outfielder with six. Five-time Gold Glove Award winner (1982-1986) and seven-time All-Star (1980 and 1982-1987). Had his number retired by the Atlanta Braves in 1994.
ABOUT STEVE BLASS
PLAYING CAREER: Pittsburgh Pirates (1964, 1966-1974).
ACHIEVEMENTS: Career win-loss record of 103-76 with 57 complete games, an ERA of 3.63 and 896 strikeouts. Went 18-6 in 1968 with a 2.12 ERA with seven shutouts. In 1969, won 16 with a career-high 147 strikeouts. From 1969 to 1972, he won 60 games. Notched a career-high 19 victories in 1972 and finished second in Cy Young Award voting. 1971 World Series Champion. Member of 1972 National League All-Star team.