longtime first baseman Fred McGriff Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the only player selected from the eight candidates considered by the 16-man era committee. McGriff received a unanimous vote from all 16 members.
Twelve votes are required for selection, and of the seven other players on the ballot, don matingly Closest with eight votes. Curt Schilling got seven votes, Dale Murphy Six votes, the other candidates (albert baylor, Bond, roger clemens, Rafael Palmero) received less than four votes each.
McGriff hit .284/.377/.509 with 493 home runs in his career spanning 19 seasons (1986-2004) with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Rays, Cubs and dodgers. Crime Dog’s impressive résumé includes a World Series ring with the Warriors in 1995, as well as individual honors as a five-time All-Star, three Silver Slugger Awards and six top-10 MVP voting finishes. McGriff’s highest finish in the MVP race was fourth in the 1993 season between San Diego and Atlanta.
The Yankees actually drafted McGriff in the ninth round in 1981, but he was traded to the Blue Jays in 1982 as part of a deal that longtime Bronx fans still regrettably remember — with Ironically, Mattingly’s presence as a future first baseman for the Yankees was one of the reasons New York was willing to trade McGriff. A star in Toronto, McGriff found himself traded to the Padres almost exactly 32 years ago today in one of the most memorable blockbuster trades in baseball. The Jays moved McGriff and Tony Fernandez to the Padres for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter, a swap that set the stage for Toronto’s World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.
The Padres’ own hopes of competing for a championship were dashed, and McGriff was one of many notables traded during the 1993 fire sale. The first baseman became one of the backbones of the Braves’ success throughout the 1990s and won some titles in Atlanta in 1995. title. In his postseason career, McGriff continued to swing a powerful bat, hitting .303/.385/.532 with 10 home runs in the postseason with over 218 PA.
McGriff then joined the expanded Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1998, giving the Tampa native a chance to play in his hometown. During five seasons with the Devil Rays, then brief stints with the Cubs and Dodgers, McGriff remained at least an above-average hitter until his mid-30s, before finally starting to slow Los Angeles in 2003 and his final season. In Tampa Bay in 2004.
Although McGriff is a staple of any “pro hitter” discussion, he’s also underrated in his career, probably because he’s played for multiple teams in his career rather than being someone. An iconic figure for a particular team. The 1994-95 player strike is also often cited as a reason for McGriff’s lack of recognition in Cooperstown, as those lost games certainly cost McGriff over the 500-homer threshold chances, he had “only” 493 big flies.
These may be the reasons why McGriff never got close to the 75% vote threshold required for writers to get on board. It also doesn’t help that McGriff has had bad luck entering the election in an era of crowded candidates, including several players plagued by PED suspicions or other off-field issues — including Bonds, Clemens, Palme Ro and Schilling.
The “Veterans Committee” is the collective name for the annual rotating membership panel organized by the Hall of Fame each year to evaluate the status of players who were not selected or considered by the writers, or who did not participate in the game. Not part of the writers’ ballot. Candidates are considered from the “Contemporary Baseball” (1980-present) and “Classic Baseball” (1980 and earlier) time periods, broken down into three-year rotations…
- Contemporary Baseball, Players: 2022, 2025, 2028, etc.
- Contemporary Baseball, Managers/Executives/Officers: 2023, 2026, 2029, etc.
- Classic baseball, all candidates: 2024, 2027, 2030, etc.
So the seven players who weren’t selected on this year’s ballot will have to wait until December 2025 to see them again, and there’s no guarantee that any of those seven players will even make the 2025 shortlist. However, with several names on the Veterans Council changing each year, the HOF candidate who missed this time will likely be favored by future committees.
That being said, the severe lack of support for Bonds and Clemens in this vote could strongly suggest that it will take a while for the discontent over the two superstars’ alleged use of the PED to dissipate. While Bonds and Clemens were not nominated for screenwriting, their final year of voting saw them each receive at least 65 percent of the vote, fairly close to the 75 percent threshold. Likewise, Palmeiro (who was suspended in 2005 for using a PED) fell after only four years in the writers’ ballot, and may even be a surprise candidate for this year’s contemporary baseball shortlist. Schilling’s history of inflammatory and controversial public statements and tweets has also stymied writers’ support for him, and his debut on the Times Council kept him far from being selected.
The overwhelming support for McGriff also seems likely to be a repudiation of the PED era. McGriff, Mattingly and Murphy are considered the least contentious candidates in this particular eight-person ballot, unrelated to PED or other off-court issues. While McGriff’s power numbers are impressive in their own right, the overwhelming home run totals posted by some of McGriff’s peers in the late ’90s and early 2000s make his numbers pale in comparison, It could be that McGriff has never quite gotten his due, either in his career or on the writers’ vote.
McGriff will be drafted into Cooperstown on July 23. He will be joined by any players selected through writers’ votes, the results of which will be announced on January 24.
This year’s 16-member committee is comprised of Angels owner Arte Moreno, former Blue Jays president Paul Beeston, Twins president/CEO Dave St. Peter, Diamondbacks president/CEO Derek Hall, White Sox Team executive vice president Ken Williams, Marlins general manager Kim Woo, former Red Sox/Cubs front office owner Theo Epstein, San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s La Velle E. Neal III, longtime statistician and broadcaster Steve Hirdt, and Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryan Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell. Chipper Jones was supposed to be on the committee but was absent due to illness and was replaced by Hall.