Fred McGriff was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame via unanimous selection from the 16 members of the Contemporary Baseball Era committee.
Players considered eligible by the committee were those deemed with making “primary contributions to the game after 1980” and must receive 75% of the vote to be elected.
McGriff, known for his powerful bat and sure glove at first base, spent his MLB career with six different clubs and collected 2,490 hits to go along with 1,550 RBI. Nicknamed “Crime Dog,” the Tampa, Florida, native was a key member of the 1995 Atlanta Braves World Series team, collecting two home runs in the series against the then-Cleveland Indians.
Originally selected by the New York Yankees in the ninth round of the 1981 MLB draft, McGriff was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1982 and made his big league debut with the club on May 17, 1986. After beginning to play full-time at the Major League level in 1987, McGriff hit over 30 home runs in three of his first four seasons with the Blue Jays, including an American League-leading 36 long balls in 1989.
Putting his power on display, McGriff hit at least 30 homers across 10 different seasons, including 30 or more in a single season with five different franchises: Blue Jays, Braves, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs.
The five-time All-Star completed his career with 493 home runs, tying fellow Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig and just shy of the 500 mark.
McGriff played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003, batting .249/.322/.428 with 14 doubles, 13 home runs and 40 RBI, but he only appeared in 86 games. He presumably will wear a Braves cap for his Hall of Fame plaque.
McGriff, who now enters Cooperstown as the first to be elected by the Contemporary Baseball Committee, saw his final chance through the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) ballot end in 2019 when he received just 69 votes (39.8%.)
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Shilling denied by Hall of Fame
After not receiving enough votes in their final chance of being on the BBWAA ballot in 2022, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Shilling found themselves with a chance of election via the contemporary ballot. However, after not reaching 75% of the vote, the controversial figures continued to be denied entry.
For Bonds and Clemens, whose Hall of Fame cases are held back by apparent performance-enhancing drug (PED) use, and Schilling for indecent tweets, their career legacy’s final chapter continues to remain in limbo regarding if they will ever receive an entry into Cooperstown.
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