X

Fred McGriff Elected to Hall of Fame by Era Committee; Bonds, Clemens Fall Short

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVDecember 5, 2022

21 OCT 1995:  FRED MCGRIFF OF THE ATLANTA BRAVES BELTS A HOME RUN IN THE SECOND INNING OF GAME ONE OF THE WORLD SERIES AGAINST THE CLEVELAND INDIANS AT FULTON COUNTY STADIUM IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA.  THE BARVES WON the GAME, 3-2.  Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewa
Rick Stewart

Legendary first baseman Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

McGriff was one of eight former players listed on the Contemporary Baseball Era ballot, with a panel of 16 voters weighing in. The panel voted unanimously in his favor.

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum āš¾ @baseballhall

Welcome to Cooperstown, Fred McGriff! <a href="https://t.co/SD7Qt6xei4">https://t.co/SD7Qt6xei4</a> <a href="https://t.co/KBrT6mVUJ4">pic.twitter.com/KBrT6mVUJ4</a>

Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling all failed to meet the 75 percent threshold.

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Results of the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Fred McGriff (16 votes, 100.0%); Don Mattingly (8 votes, 50%); Curt Schilling (7 votes, 43.8%); Dale Murphy (6 votes, 37.5%); Belle, Bonds, Clemens and Palmeiro each received fewer than 4

McGriff was a five-time All-Star and a three-time Silver Slugger during his 19-year MLB career. He finished with a .284/.377/.509 slash line and hit 493 home runs.

The homer total doesn't necessarily look impressive given McGriff played in the steroid era, but he led the National League in home runs twice (1989 and 1992).

Consistency was a hallmark of his game, too. Between 1987 and 2002, he never had an OPS+ below 106, per Baseball Reference. At 38 years old in 2002, he had 30 homers, 103 RBI and a .505 slugging percentage.

McGriff also delivered in the postseason, posting a .303/.385/.532 slash line in 50 playoff games.

As notable as McGriff's achievement is, some fans might focus instead on who didn't get elected by the committee.

Even when they're being judged by some of their peers, the specter of the Steroid Era was too much for Bonds, Clemens and Palmeiro to overcome.

Dan Szymborski @DSzymborski

If the Hall isn't going to have a voting process that could possibly induct Bonds or Clemens or McGwire or Palmeiro or any of that group, then why waste everyone's time?<br><br>Just focus on the older mistakes, like no Whitaker, Grich, etc.

Bill Shaikin @BillShaikin

For 10 years, the BBWAA heard "let someone other than the writers vote."<br><br>Opinions on Bonds and Clemens are split, no matter who you ask: writers, fans, or a veterans committee that includes Hall of Famers. <a href="https://t.co/LYE5lqUkyn">https://t.co/LYE5lqUkyn</a>

Jose de Jesus Ortiz @OrtizKicks

In 2017, the late Joe Morgan wrote all of us <a href="https://twitter.com/baseballhall?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@baseballhall</a> of Fame voters a letter on behalf of the Hall of Famers urging us not to vote for steroids cheaters. <br>He was adamant that the Hall of Famers didn't want Bonds and Clemens in. <br>Today's results seem to back Morgan's stance.

Bonds is one of the greatest players in baseball history, and few pitchers can match what Clemens did on the mound. However, neither seems to have a path to Cooperstown, New York.

Mattingly didn't have any clear hurdle to a potential induction, and McGriff's nod might make his omission more difficult to square.

Ryan Reynolds @RyanReynolds

Mattingly, a 6-time all-star, 9-time Gold Glove winner and .307 career hitter whose debilitating back pain cut short a career that still saw him compile more than 2,100 hits over 13 seasons, one of them an MVP campaign. <br><br>I get McGriff being in. He deserves it. So does Mattingly.

The New York Yankees legend was a six-time All-Star, a nine-time Gold Glove winner and the American League MVP in 1985. He doesn't have counting stats because lingering back problems sapped his power into his 30s. But he retired with a .471 slugging percentage and a 127 OPS+.

The MVP was a testament to how good Mattingly was in his prime.

After failing to get elected in his 15 years on the traditional ballot, the Hall of Fame remains a bridge too far.