“The Crime Dog” finally had his day.
In Fred McGriff’s first second chance at the National Baseball Hall of Fame voting process, the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee did what the Baseball Writers’ Association did not. McGriff was the committee’s lone Hall of Fame selection among the eight candidates considered during a vote held Sunday at baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego.
McGriff received unanimous support, appearing on all 16 ballots cast. He will be inducted alongside any BBWAA selections on July 23 in Cooperstown, N.Y. The BBWAA results will be announced Jan. 24 on MLB Network.
“I’ve been totally blessed over the years,” McGriff said. “[This selection] is just icing on the cake. And for it to be unanimous, it’s a beautiful thing.”
Though McGriff went 16-for-16, none of the other men on the Contemporary Baseball Era ballot — a ballot comprised of players whose greatest contributions to the game came from 1980 to the present — received the 12 votes (or 75%) necessary for selection. The results revealed by the Hall were as follows:
McGriff: 16 votes, 100%
Don Mattingly, 8, 50%
Curt Schilling, 7, 43.8%
Dale Murphy, 6, 37.5%
Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro: Fewer than 4 votes
And so once again, three prominent players linked to performance-enhancing drug use — Bonds, Clemens and Palmeiro — were left on the outside looking in. The earliest they could be considered again is three years from now.
I’m happy for McGriff, who has a better traditional-stats case for the Hall than an advanced-stats case and whose candidacy is not as compelling as some players not on the ballot but who is by all accounts a good guy and as scandal-free as they come. Indeed, as Jay Jaffee has pointed out, the deck was kind of stacked for him. Which, fine, he’s a decent fit for the Hall even if he shouldn’t have been first in line. It’s just weird to see and a little too reminiscent of the days when Frankie Frisch got all his buddies elected via the Veterans Committee for my liking. None of which is McGriff’s responsibility, so congratulations to him. We’ll see who if anyone gets elected from the writers’ ballot in January.