Hall of Fame Candidate No. 18: Danny Murtaugh
As promised, for the next couple months, I’ll be writing up the Baseball Hall of Fame from top to bottom—every candidate, every argument, lots of fun. We continue this week with the veterans committee candidates — the players in the Early Baseball Era Committee and candidates from the Golden Days Era Committee.
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Danny Murtaugh (Golden Era Ballot)
Pittsburgh Pirates beloved manager on and off from 1957 to 1976. … His Pirates won two World Series, one in 1960 that was clinched by Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run and another in 1971 when the Pirates knocked off the Baltimore Orioles. … His teams also lost three time in the NLCS … A solid player in the 1940s, Murtaugh led the league in stolen bases in 1941 (with 18), and he finished ninth in the MVP balloting in 1948, when he hit .290 for a surprising Pirates team.*
*That year, 1948, was the only time between 1946 and 1958 that the Pirates finished with a winning record.
Key numbers: Had a 1,115-950 record over 15 years as Pirates manager and won those two World Series.
Hall of Fame history: Murtaugh has appeared on two veterans ballots but has not been considered since 2010.
2008: He was on the Managers/Umpires ballot, and he received six votes — six shy of election.
2010: He was back on the Managers/Umpires ballot, and this time he got eight votes — four shy of election.
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For some reason, I had it in my mind that Danny Murtaugh was the only manager with multiple World Series wins who is not in the Hall of Fame. I don’t know why I thought that, but it’s something that continuously has played in my head — when Bruce Bochy won his second World Series for the Giants, I thought, “Well, that pretty much punches his Hall of Fame ticket unless he’s the next Danny Murtaugh.”
Bochy has since won a third World Series and is definitely going to be elected to the Hall.
Anyway, I was wrong. Counting Bochy, there are actually six other managers with two World Series victories who are not in the Hall.
In alphabetical order:
— Bill Carrigan was the manager of the Boston Red Sox, who won back-to-back World Series in 1915 and 1916.
— Terry Francona was the manager of the 2004 Red Sox who broke the curse and also manager of the 2007 Red Sox, who beat the Rockies in that World Series that nobody except Red Sox fans remember.
— Cito Gaston won back-to-back World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
— Ralph Houk was manager of the 1961 and 1962 Yankees, who won two World Series and are among the most famous teams of all time.
— Tom Kelly won World Series with the Minnesota Twins in 1987 and 1991.
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