The Athletic

Fred McGriff elected at Baseball HOF

By: David O’Brien, Keith Law and Andrew Baggarly

Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame via the Contemporary Era Committee on Sunday night. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Contemporary Era Committee consists of 16 members, including members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, executives and media veterans.
  • McGriff was no longer eligible for election to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
  • Among those who did not receive the necessary 12 votes from the 16-person committee: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Don Mattingly.

Assessing McGriff’s career

McGriff played 19 seasons from 1986 to 2004 and hit .284 with 493 home runs, 1,550 RBIs and .886 OPS in 2,460 games. He finished in the league’s top 10 MVP voting six times, including a fourth-place finish in 1993, the year he was traded from San Diego to Atlanta in July and helped guide the Braves’ 104 wins ahead. San Francisco in one of the great playoff races of the modern era.

The first baseman was a five-time All-Star and a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and McGriff thrived in the playoffs, especially with the Braves. He hit .303 with 37 RBI and a .917 OPS in 50 career postseason games, and with Atlanta he hit 10 homers, a .411 OBP, .581 hitting percentage and .992 OPS in 45 career games. post-season.

During the Braves’ 1995 playoff run toward the city’s first professional sports title, McGriff hit .333 (19 for 57) with six doubles, four home runs, nine RBIs and 1.065 OPS, including two home runs and a .955 OPS in the World Series victory against Cleveland.

He hit a career-best 37 homers in 1993 with San Diego and Atlanta, the sixth of McGriff’s seven straight seasons with 30+ homers. Although he never had more than 37, he had 10 seasons with at least 30 home runs and was the home run leader once in each league.

McGriff had eight seasons with over 100 RBIs, six with a .300 or higher batting average, 11 seasons with at least .923 OPS, five with over 90 walks, and only three seasons with over 120 strikeouts. stick. In 1989 with Toronto, he led the AL in homers (36), OPS (.924) and OPS+ (165).

Another often overlooked stat: McGriff played over 150 games in 10 of his 19 seasons, not counting 1995, when he led the National League in playing all 144 games for Atlanta in a season that started late due to work stoppage. which had begun the previous fall.

If not for the games lost due to the work stoppage – the Braves only played 114 games in 1994; McGriff hit 113 – no doubt he would have finished with over 500 career homers, which some say was one of the reasons he was left out of the ballot by many voters years ago years when statistical milestones such as 3000 hits, 500 homers or 300 wins virtually assured HOF induction.

He was on course for a career-high home run in 1994 before the season was halted, finishing with 34 in 113 games. McGriff homered 61 in 257 games during those 1994–95 seasons with Atlanta, playing in all but one team game during that span. His 61 homers in 258 team games over those two years projects to 76 homers if the full seasons had been played, and the 15 extra home runs – or even if he had collapsed and only hit the half – would have given McGriff minus 500. — O’Brien

Significance of McGriff’s Hall of Fame entry

McGriff is the most innocuous candidate the committee could have put in the Hall of Fame. He finished his career with 52.6 rWAR and 56.9 fWAR, which makes him neither a definitive Hall of Famer nor a player who doesn’t belong at all. His 493 homers – which in a pre-2000 era would have made him a slam dunk – puts him 8th among inactive players not in the Hall, with six of the guys ahead of him tainted by at least rumors of use of the PED. . One of the arguments in his favor has long been that he is one of the few sluggers of his era who has never been affected by these allegations, and given what else happened during the committee vote, it may actually have boosted McGriff’s results. — Right

Assess Bonds, Clemens Hall of Fame Chances

Last year, Bonds received 66% of the BBWAA vote in his 10th and final ballot with the writers. He got far less support when a panel of Hall of Fame players, executives and media members first considered his candidacy on Sunday. Bonds received “fewer than four votes,” according to Hall. It is possible that he received no votes. But percentages don’t really matter here. It’s game spirit.

Committee members could only vote for three of the eight candidates. If it had become clear in committee discussions that Bonds did not have 12 votes in the room, it would have been a waste to check his name. In other words, getting less than four votes should be considered a disappointment for Bonds, but it doesn’t crater his candidacy. Look at Don Mattingly, who received little to no support in previous committee votes but received eight votes on Sunday. Perhaps if the composition of the committee changes enough by the time the Contemporary Era panel votes again in December 2025, bonds might have a better chance. Or maybe Bonds is ruled out again as Jeff Kent enters a committee ballot for the first time. Which would be hilarious. — baggarly

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Bonds and Clemens received less than four votes each and I can only conclude that means neither of them will ever enter the Hall of Fame without a ticket. It was the last real hope for either player, and it couldn’t have been worse for them, as they would need to triple that vote total to earn consecration. So the all-time homeruns leader won’t be in the Hall, even though Bonds is also the all-time WAR on Baseball Reference leader by 0.1 over Babe Ruth. He is seventh all-time in OBP, eighth in slugging, sixth in RBI, first in walks and third in runs scored. New stats, old stats, awards, however you measure him, he’s one of the greatest players in MLB history.

Clemens is third all-time in WAR, the best pitcher since onboarding by a huge margin, the owner of the most Cy Young Awards, third all-time in strikeouts, and ninth in strikeouts. pitcher wins. Regardless of your personal view on performance-enhancing drugs, the Contemporary Era Committee has been extremely clear on their point of view, and that means Bonds and Clemens are out – and that’s a terrible sign too. -runner for Alex Rodríguez. — Right

Compulsory reading

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(Photo: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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