Atlanta Braves: Power Ranking the Retired Numbers

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1976-90. Dale Murphy. 3. player. 17. . OF/1B/C

In the 1980’s, OF Dale Murphy was the face of the Atlanta Braves. Murph won consecutive National League MVP Awards (1981-82), made 7 NL All-Star Teams (1980, 1982-87), won 5 straight Gold Gloves (1982-86) and 4 straight Silver Sluggers (1982-85).

Dale Murphy was the best player in an era of the Atlanta Braves that was anything but outstanding.  The 1982 Season was the only year Murphy was able to play in the postseason as NL West Champions, falling to eventual World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

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The lack of winning didn’t stop Dale Murphy from playing incredible baseball for our Atlanta Braves.  In 15 years with the Braves, Murphy slugged 371 of his 398 career home runs, drove in 1,143 of his 1,266 career RBI’s, and collected 1,901 of his 2,111 career hits.

Looking back on it, it’s a shame that Dale Murphy didn’t get the chance to play on the 1991 Worst to First Atlanta Braves, as he was then a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.  After 3 years with the Phillies, he finished his outstanding big league career with the Colorado Rockies.  Fate would have it that both times Dale Murphy left his club, the next season his former employer would win the National League Pennant (1991 Atlanta, 1993 Philadelphia).

Dale Murphy and former New York Yankee great 1B Don Mattingly suffered from similar issues with regards to their Hall of Fame candidacy.  Both Murph and Donnie Baseball were just as important as Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. were to their respective organizations.  The lack of winning hurt Murphy’s candidacy to the point of him falling off the ballot after 15 tries.

His numbers are good but not outstanding for Hall of Fame induction now.  Perhaps Dale Murphy gets in with the help of the Veterans Committee like Ron Santo and Bill Mazeroski had to for their long-deserved enshrinement.  Still, we’re darn proud to consider Dale Murphy one of the greatest players to play for the Atlanta Braves.  #3 is a sacred number down south because of Murph.

Next: 9. A Knuckleball Hall of Famer