Hall of Fame Commits Another Crime Against “Crime Dog” Fred McGriff

Fred McGriff was once again not voted into the Hall of Fame. The “Crime Dog” only got 23.9 percent of vote, but the stats show that McGriff should already be in Cooperstown.

Jeff Bagwell was the 23rd first baseman voted into the Hall of Fame with 86.2 percent of the vote. “Bags” had a great career that justified his induction. However, another power-hitting first baseman has once again been overlooked by the national writers. This begs the question of whether or not Fred McGriff himself has been the victim of a Hall of Fame induction theft.

The “Crime Dog” posted a career stat line of .284/.377/.509 (134 OPS+). He added 493 home runs, 1,550 RBI, 1,349 runs scored and 2,490 hits over the course of his career. He was a five-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner, All-Star Game MVP and World Series champion.

McGriff may have been the biggest victim of the 1994 strike-shortened season in regards to the impact that it had on his career numbers. That season he had already collected 34 home runs and 94 RBI in 113 games played before the strike stopped work in August of that year. The strike likely cost McGriff two very noteworthy offensive milestones in 500 homers and 2,500 hits.

When comparing McGriff to some of the more recent first basemen inducted, it simply makes no logical or statistical sense for him to not be in Cooperstown.

Player Avg HR RBI Hits Runs SLG OBP OPS
Cepeada .297 379 1365 2351 1131 .499 .350 .849
Perez .279 379 1652 2732 1272 .463 .341 .804
Killabrew .256 573 1584 2086 1283 .509 .376 .884
McCovey .270 521 1555 2211 1229 .515 .374 .889
Bagwell .297 449 1529 2314 1517 .540 .408 .948
Murray ..287 504 1917 3255 1627 .476 .359 .836
McGriff .284 493 1550 2490 1349 .509 .377 .886

In addition, McGriff played in almost 600 fewer games than Eddie Murray but only trails him by 11 home runs. There are 252 members of the Hall of Fame who have had plate appearances. Of the 252, only 32 have more career RBI than McGriff. Players like Joe DiMaggio, Jeff Bagwell, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Robin Yount, Duke Snider, Paul Molitor and Roberto Clemente all trail the “Crime Dog” in that category. He also sported a higher career batting average than Mike Schmidt, Harmon Killebrew, Reggie Jackson, Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews. All of whom are members of the 500-HR club and Hall of Fame inductees.

A model of consistency, McGriff also performed when in counted for his teams in the postseason. McGriff raked during the playoffs with a .303/.385/.532 line and contributed 10 home runs, 37 RBI and a .917 OPS over the course of 50 games played.

In 2019 McGriff will likely appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the last time. He will have hit the 10-year maximum allowance for nomination. The biggest disappointment is the fact that this man has never gained more than 23.9 percent of the vote from writers. A man who played in the steroid era and was never associated with them at any point, McGriff appears to be running out of chances. The “Crime Dog” will go down as one of the greatest snubs in the history of Hall of Fame voting.

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