Former Syracuse Chiefs (now Syracuse Mets) player Fred McGriff was voted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in December. The “Crime Dog” played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
McGriff played for the Syracuse Chiefs before being called up to the parent club, the Toronto Blue Jays, in 1986. The first baseman was a member of the Syracuse Chiefs roster from 1984 to 1986. In 1986, before being called up to the Blue Jays, McGriff hit 19 home runs and knocked in 74 runs. He helped the Chiefs win the International League pennant in 1985. Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame enshrined McGriff in 2007.
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The first baseman was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in 1981. McGriff was taken in the ninth round of the amateur draft, but just one year later, he was traded to the Blue Jays along with Mike Morgan and Dave Collins for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray. The trade is seen as one of Major League Baseball’s most lopsided thanks to the career McGriff went on to have in the professional ranks.
McGriff had a career batting average of .284 and hit 493 homers. He also collected 1,550 RBIs during his 19 seasons in the big leagues. McGriff appeared in five Major League Baseball All-Star Games and was a member of the Atlanta Braves team that won the 1995 World Series.
The contemporary baseball era committee, which is made up of Hall of Fame members, baseball team executives, and sports writers, gave McGriff unanimous support. One of the members of the group was Greg Maddux, who was a teammate of Griff with the Atlanta Braves. Paul Beeston was also on the committee
The group included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, an executive with the Blue Jays when the “Crime Dog” was called up to the big leagues, was also a part of the committee.
The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place in Cooperstown, New York on July 23, 2023. McGriff was joined on the ballot by Albert Belle, Rafael Palmeiro, Don Mattingly, and Dale Murphy.
While McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, contemporaries Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens were denied entry into the exclusive club once more. The three big leaguers’ sorted past with performance-enhancing drugs once again prevented the committee from electing them into the hall.
Bonds was National League Most Valuable Player seven times. He hit 762 home runs and holds the record for the most round-trippers in a season with 73. Clemens posted a career win-loss record of 354-184, along with an ERA of 3.12. He is third in all-time strikeouts with 4,672.