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29. Fred McGriff

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Fred McGriff

As Fred McGriff made an attempt to hit 500 career home runs, a debate began as to whether 500 was still a magic number for Hall of Fame entry.  Sadly the message was a clear one; if Fred McGriff can get there maybe the number just doesn’t hold the same meaning.

Fred McGriff did not reach 500 homers as he fell seven short, thus ending the aforementioned debate.   The man dubbed the “Crime Dog” may have been a two time Home Run champion but he was not always considered among the upper echelon of power hitters.  Perhaps it was because he played first base in a time of powerful first basemen (hence only five All Star appearances), or in the midst of the steroid era where he posted traditional Home Run figures at a time when freakish power numbers occurred.  Regardless, McGriff was a very capable power hitter who was an asset to any lineup he played on.

Would his chances improve had he reached 500?  It probably would.  Likely what holds his chances back even further is that he was perceived as being too one dimensional.  His fielding was average at best, and he was not going to win games with his speed.  Despite a long career, he never played longer than five seasons with any team and thus lacked the set identity with any franchise.   Statistically speaking, he does rank with other first basemen in the Hall, but he also does with a few left out.  If McGriff had just one more intangible voters wouldn’t be on the fence with him like they are now.





The Bullet Points:


Country of Origin:

Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.


Eligible Since:






Played for:

Toronto Blue Jays

San Diego Padres

Atlanta Braves

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Chicago Cubs

Los Angeles Dodgers


Major Accolades and Awards:

1994 All Star Game MVP

5 Time All Star (1992, 1994, 1995, 1996 & 2000)

Silver Slugger (3) (AL) (1) (1989) (NL (2) (1992 & 1993)

Most Home Runs (2) (AL) (1) (1989) (NL) (1) (1992)

Highest OPS (1) (AL) (1989)

World Series Rings (1) (Atlanta Braves, 1995)


Other Points of Note:

Top Ten MVP Finishes:

(AL: 1989, 6th), (NL: 1992 6th), (NL: 1993, 4th) & (NL: 1994, 8th)

1 Top Ten Finish (Batting Average)

4 Top Ten Finishes (On Base Percentage)

7 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage)

5 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Scored)

1 Top Ten Finish (Most Hits)

7 Top Ten Finishes (Home Runs)

5 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Batted In)

5 Top Ten Finishes (Walks)

3 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players)

7 Top Ten Finishes (OPS)


Notable All Time Rankings:

26.   Home Runs: 493

40.   Walks: 1,305

41.   Runs Batted In: 1,550

45.   Total Bases: 4,458

60.   Games Played: 2,460

67.   Plate Appearances: 10,174

80.   At Bats: 8,757

81.   Slugging Percentage: .509

81.   OPS: .886

94.   Hits: 2,490

100. Doubles: 441


Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame:

2010: 21.5

2011: 17.9

Should Be Inducted As A:

Atlanta Brave

Should Fred McGriff be in the Hall of Fame?

(You must be registered and logged in to vote!)
Definitely put him in! - 20%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 33.3%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 26.7%
No opinion. - 0%
No way! - 20%


+1 #1 Burt Oldirty 2012-11-28 22:55
McGriff was robbed on 500 home runs by the baseball strike. Missing the end of 1994 season and the start of 1995s season most definitely had an impact on him not reaching the milestone. He played in all 144 games of the 1995 season and without August and September of 1994 during the prime of his career he was unable to obtain the mere 7 he needed for this distinction.
+1 #2 David l 2013-03-13 21:55
Change the picture! Maybe braves uniform or Toronto, etc but LAD? He was there like 1 year!
-1 #3 Bigmike 2013-04-21 22:13
Without a doubt Mcgriff belongs in the hall. Everyone talks about Bagwell but he was clearly a roid gobbler while the crime dog is penalized for just being very consistent. He has a world series . Besides they let Perez and Rice in so Mcgriff should be a shoe-in. :lol:
-1 #4 Bigmike 2013-04-21 22:22
He should definitely be in. Bagwell was definitely a cheater on steroids and everyone sings his praises while Mcgriff was the picture of consistency who also won a world series. How many did that steroid muncher Bagwell win?
0 #5 Darryl Tahirali 2015-02-05 22:28
@Burt Oldirty: The 1994 strike undoubtedly cost McGriff the opportunity to reach the 500-HR plateau, but so what? We like our nice round numbers in baseball, but he's still the same hitter at 493 homers as at 500.

It's the Al Kaline Syndrome: 399 HR, .297 BA, 498 doubles. Just shy of nice, even plateaus. Even if he'd not played his final season and not have reached 3000 hits, his Hall of Fame legacy was already written.
0 #6 Committee Chairman 2015-02-08 20:25
Agreed Darryl. 500 HR still places him well under a 30 percent vote.
0 #7 John Smith 2015-04-29 22:56
Good point Mike with the comparison to Pérez. If McGriff had players like Rose. Morgan and Griffey getting on base for him who knows how many RBI's he would have had?

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