One of baseball’s most underrated sluggers of the past 40 years is finally getting the ultimate recognition.
Fred McGriff was unanimously elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday by the Contemporary Era Committee.
The newest member of the Hall’s Class of 2023 will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, on July 23, 2023, along with any people elected in balloting from the Baseball Writers’ Association that will be announced on Jan. 24, 2023.
A player needed 12 of the panel’s 16 votes for election. Voters were allowed to select up to three candidates. The Contemporary Era Committee considers players who made their greatest contributions between 1980 to the present but failed to gain election to the Hall in balloting by the BBWAA in their 15 (or possible fewer) years on the ballot.
McGriff, 59, nicknamed “Crime Dog” in a nod toward the “McGruff the Crime Dog” character in 1980s ads with the National Crime Prevention Council, took a bite out of major league pitching during his 19-season career. He hit 493 career home runs, drove in 1,550 runs and had eight 100 or more RBI seasons. He led the major leagues in home runs in the 1989 and 1992 seasons, and had a career on-base percentage of .377.
McGriff also was the MVP of the 1994 All-Star Game and led the Atlanta Braves to a World Series title in 1995, their first World Series title in Atlanta.
Other candidates on the ballot included Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling