A special committee tasked with considering modern-day players (1980-present) who weren’t selected for a spot in Cooperstown by the traditional vote, taken by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, has elected to enshrine former Braves first baseman Fred McGriff into the Baseball Hall of Fame with the class of 2023.
McGriff, 59, retired in 2004 after playing 19 MLB seasons with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Rays, Cubs and Dodgers. He’s most known for his time in Atlanta, where he won a World Series in 1995 and was selected to three of his five All-Star appearances. He was a key component for the Braves squad from 1993-97, anchoring first base and helping the team to four division titles and two NL pennants. McGriff also is the only player in MLB history to hit 30-or-more home runs with five different franchises, reaching the 30-homer mark in 10 different seasons.
In addition to be named the MVP of the All-Star Game during the strike-shortened 1994 season, McGriff also finished in the top 10 of the league’s MVP voting six times during his stint in the Bigs. Leading his league in home runs twice over his nearly two-decade career, he totaled 493 homers, 1,550 RBI with eight 100-RBI seasons and a .377 career on-base percentage.
McGriff was the only player selected from the eight-person ballot this year, receiving all sixteen votes. Other players up for consideration were Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Don Mattingly, Curt Schilling, Dale Murphy and Albert Belle.
The Contemporary Baseball Era Committee, a 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate which includes Hall of Fame members Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas, Alan Trammell and several MLB executives and media members, debuted this year and will come together every three years to consider eligible players who don’t make the Hall on the customary BBWA ballot. A separate BBWA committee will be charged with nominating candidates for consideration.