Dale Murphy explains how collusion may have kept Braves from signing two Hall of Famers

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During their 2021 World Series run, the Atlanta Braves got major contributions from their outfield. Someone who knows a thing or two about roaming the outfield for the Braves—Dale Murphy—joined 92.9 The Game and shared the background story behind a rumor that could’ve changed the course of Braves history in the late 1980s.

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Prior to the 1987 season, two future Hall of Famers were set to hit the free agency market. Had collusion not been so prevalent at the time, they could’ve landed in Atlanta.

“He wanted to win, he was very active in early free-agency signings,” Murphy said speaking on then-Braves owner Ted Turner. “That would’ve continued into the mid to late 80s, but that’s when collusion came and Ted kind of fell in line there unfortunately for the Braves organization and for Atlanta Braves fans.

"The rumor back then was Andre Dawson and Tim Raines, who lived in Florida, wanted to play for the closest team to Florida and that would’ve been the Atlanta Braves.”

While Murphy continuously provided that caveat that it was a rumor, he lamented the fact that the Braves could’ve assembled one of the greatest outfields in baseball history if not for collusion.

“It was a total rumor, but just think about what we could’ve done,” he said.

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Dawson ended up signing with the Chicago Cubs and won the NL MVP award in 1987 while Raines re-signed with the Expos where he continued to carve out a Hall of Fame career. As for the Braves, they finished the 1987 season with a 69-92 record. Thankfully, the turnaround eventually occurred in the 1990s, but if this rumor is to be believed, it could’ve happened a lot sooner.

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