Skip to content

Fred McGriff elected to HOF by Contemporary Era Committee

Focus On Sport / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Crime Dog is on his way to Cooperstown.

First baseman Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, receiving votes from all 16 members of the Hall's Contemporary Era Committee on Sunday.

McGriff was a five-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger over 19 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

"What an honor. I finally did it and got in there," McGriff said on Zoom after the announcement, according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun. "I have felt blessed my whole life."

While he fell short of the iconic 500-home run milestone in part due to the 1994 players' strike, he went deep 493 times during his career and was the first player in the live-ball era (since 1920) to lead both the AL and NL in homers. A model of consistency, McGriff hit 30 home runs 10 times and is one of only two players in history to have at least one 30-homer season with five different teams.

The left-handed slugger was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1981 before being traded to Toronto the following year. McGriff made his big-league debut in 1986 and was the Blue Jays' starting first baseman two years later, winning his first home run title at age 25 in 1989.

The Blue Jays dealt him to San Diego before the 1991 season in a blockbuster trade for Joe Carter and fellow Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar. There, he won his second home run crown. Less than three years later, McGriff was again moved, this time to the Braves, and he became a key cog in their mid-90s dynasty and helped lead them to the 1995 World Series title.

The Tampa native returned home in 1998, serving as one of the first stars for the expansion Devil Rays. His final 30-homer campaign came with the Cubs in 2002. He'd return to the Devil Rays in 2004 but hit just two homers in 27 games en route to retirement.

All told, McGriff slashed .284/.377/.509 over his career with 2,490 hits, 441 doubles, and 1,550 RBIs.

He never gained much traction on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, topping out at 39.8% in 2019, his final year in front of the writers. This was his first appearance in front of a committee.

McGriff was the only one of the eight players on the Contemporary Era ballot - which evaluates players whose careers came after 1980 - to receive more than 10 votes. Of the others, Don Mattingly (eight votes) came closest to election. Curt Schilling received seven votes, while Dale Murphy earned six.

Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Rafael Palmeiro each received fewer than four votes.

McGriff will be joined in the Hall of Fame's class of 2023 by whoever is elected on the BBWAA ballot. Results of the writers' vote will be announced Jan. 24.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox