The Pittsburgh Pirates got hit with some bad news this weekend, as former manager and infielder Danny Murtaugh was denied entry to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on the Golden Days Era ballot.
The Golden Days ballot featured 10 candidates who made contributions from 1950-1969, who were then voted on by 16 members of the Golden Days Committee. A candidate had to receive at least 12 votes to be enshrined, and Murtaugh was among a group of five candidates to receive three or less votes, while Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva were elected.
Murtaugh spent four seasons as an infielder for the Bucs from 1948-1951, and he hit .290 in 1948 and .294 in 1950, but his major contributions came as a manager.
He coached the Bucs from 1957-1196, 1967, 1970-1971, and 1973-1976, amassing a .540 win percentage during that time while also winning the World Series in 1960 and 1971. During those years as manager, Murtaugh’s teams only had a losing record three times, and his five postseason appearances are still tops in club history.
“Of the eight managers who have at least 1,000 victories, a career .540 winning percentage and two World Series titles as skipper in MLB history, six have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The two others are Terry Francona, who currently helms the Cleveland Guardians, and Murtaugh.”
Numerous former Pirates wrote letters to the committee touting Murtaugh — who passed in 1976 only two months after retiring — for enshrinement, but the committee obviously saw it differently. That’s a shame, because Murtaugh deserves it.