The “eras” committee that reviews players whose greatest contributions are from 1988 on met today. The 16 person committee considered eight players’ candidacies and picked on to be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2023: Fred McGriff.
The former Devil Ray also played for the Blue Jays, Braves, Padres, Cubs, and Dodger over 19 seasons (1986-2004). He had a career 134 OPS+ and hit 493 home runs (503 if you include the postseason). He was a key part of the Braves’ 1995 World Series championship. Following his retirement, he was on the BBWAA ballot for 10 years (2010-2019), but never came close to selection by the voting writers, topping out at 39.8% of the vote in 2019.
However, he was reputed to be universally respected within baseball circles, and today’s unanimous vote by the contemporary era committee bears that out. I was a fan, so I’m happy he’s being so rewarded.
As for the other 7 players considered, none got more than 8 votes (12 is needed). Don Mattingly got 8. Curt Schilling got 7. (Remember in 2020 that he asked to not be on the 2021 BBWAA ballot after getting over 70% of the vote but not quite the 75% needed? He expressed disdain for the writers and said he’d wait for the word of today’s committee. Turns out, at least for now, he got more respect from those writers than the players and execs on the committee.) Dale Murphy got 6. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, and Albert Belle all got fewer than 4 votes. While I think eventually Bonds and Clemens will get into the HoF, it will require a future generation to select them. They will not as long as the committee includes personages such as Frank Thomas (whose outrage against the PED users I find a tad hypocritical when he shows up in TV commercials for a company that openly extols the supposed, and unproven, virtues of HGH…a PED).
However, today is not about any of them. It’s about Fred McGriff. Congratulations to the Crime Dog!
Click the link below for an article with pics of McGriff in his Devil Rays finery: https://www.draysbay.com/2018/12/11/18136046/fred-mcgriff-hall-of-fame-harold-baines