Hall Of Fame Debate: Dale Murphy VS Jim Rice
Last week’s ‘HOF Debate’ was a lot of fun. We compared and debated the careers of Mike Piazza and Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez. The debate was entertaining, animated, and educational – just what the ‘HOF Debate’ is seeking.
This week, we’ll continue with the 1-on-1 format as we compare the major league careers and accomplishments of two outfielders that competed in the same era, just in different leagues – Hall of Famer Jim Rice and fan-favorite Dale Murphy.
First, let’s look at the numbers:
|Dale Murphy||Jim Rice|
|150-199 Hit Seasons||7||6|
|200+ Hit Seasons||0||4|
|30-39 HR Seasons||5||3|
|40+ HR Seasons||1||1|
|30 HR / 100 RBI Seasons||5||4|
Now, I will be the first person to admit that I saw a heck of a lot more baseball games during my youth that featured Dale Murphy due to the cable channel WTBS. So, while my exposure to Murphy was much greater than that of Jim Rice, I think that I can pull the emotion out of it and let the credentials do the talking…
So, it is now time for: Dale Murphy VS Jim Rice
And after reviewing the numbers of both players, here are the takeaways that stand out the most to me:
* Murphy was the more accomplished base runner stealing 100 more bases in 100 more games
* Rice was the more fine-tuned hitter with (7) .300+ seasons to Murphy’s three
* Rice had 341 more hits in 91 fewer games
* Rice had 185 more RBI in 91 fewer games
* Murphy was the more accomplished defender due to his range and ability to track down balls and make plays in the outfield
Both of these players achieved great baseball success. And while neither of them scored the ultimate win in the World Series, they both were very popular with the teams that they played for. Both men were key parts to their team’s offense, and played huge parts in the success that their teams achieved during their careers.
As for the better player? That is interesting.
For me, I think that both players deserve more credit for what they did on the field. Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer, and he deserves to be. Dale Murphy is not a Hall of Famer and he absolutely deserves to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
Overall, Murphy was a more well-rounded player due to his ability to be a threat on the base paths and change the game from playing defense.
But, it is Rice that amassed the true Hall of Fame numbers from an offensive position. His ability to crush home runs, drive in runners, and maintain a high batting average from the clean-up position makes him stand out as a truly elite talent. And when you look at the rosters that Rice played on, his role was obviuos – drive in runs. So, not only did he fill that role extremely well, but his ability to maintain a very high batting average while doing do makes him stand out in my book.
Amazingly, and shockingly, I would take Jim Rice over Dale Murphy. Albeit by a very slim margin…
And now it is your turn. Who do you take: Dale Murphy OR Jim Rice?????