Clear45° WeatherClear45° Weather

Making Hall of Fame case for Fred McGriff

25

July

Few players in major-league history have been as consistent as Tampa native Fred McGriff. For 15 seasons, from 1988 to 2002, he averaged 31 home runs, 97 RBI and batted .288. Only 10 other players in  history have averaged those triple crown numbers over a 15-year period. Six of those who did it -- Hank Aaron, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth  -- are in the Hall of Fame; the other four -- Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez -- aren’t yet eligible.

During that period, McGriff hit 30 or more homers in 10 different seasons, including seven in a row (1988-1994). He became the first player to lead both leagues in home runs, achieving the feat in 1989 (American League) and 1992 (National League). He also had eight 100-RBI seasons.

Here's a look, with the help of Rays VP of communications Rick Vaughn, at McGriff's stellar career:


Where he ranks, 1988-2002 
Home runs                                    RBI
1    Barry Bonds               572      1    Barry Bonds              1545
2    Mark McGwire            531      2    Rafael Palmeiro       1533
3    Sammy Sosa             499      3    Fred McGriff              1460
4    Rafael Palmeiro        473      4    Ken Griffey Jr.            1358
5    Ken Griffey Jr.             468      5    Sammy Sosa            1347
6    Fred McGriff               458      6    Jeff Bagwell               1321
7    Juan Gonzalez           405      7    Juan Gonzalez          1317

Hits                                                 Extra base hits
1    Rafael Palmeiro     2555      1    Barry Bonds              1087
2    Roberto Alomar      2546      2    Rafael Palmeiro       1011
3    Mark Grace              2418      3    Fred McGriff                890
4    Fred McGriff            2329      4    Ken Griffey Jr.              873
5    Craig Biggio            2295      5    Sammy Sosa              839
6    Barry Bonds            2226      6    Jeff Bagwell                 835
7    Tony Gwynn             2153      7   Juan Gonzalez             795
8    Cal Ripken              2100             Larry Walker                795


 
Career highlights 
* 12 times, 90 RBI
* 8 times, 100 RBI, tied for 4th all time among first basemen
* 10 times, 30+ home runs, tied for 4th all time among first basemen
* 15 times, 20+ home runs, 14 times as a first baseman, most all time
* 4 times, .300 hitter
* First player to lead both American and National Leagues in home runs
* His 493 career home runs are the same number as Lour Gehrig. Of the 25 players with more homers than McGriff, 15 are in the Hall of Fame and nine aren’t yet eligible.
* McGriff and Gehrig also hit 10 postseason home runs
* Went to the postseason five times and batted .303 with 10 HRs and 37 RBI in 50 games

 

Durable, dependable
McGriff played in 2,239 games at first, third all time among first basemen. The two players in front of him, Eddie Murray and Jake Beckley, are in the Hall of Fame.

 

Majors' top home-run hitter, 1988-96
Over nine seasons between1988-96, McGriff led the majors in home runs with 297. During that span, he became the first player to lead the American League (1989, Toronto) and National League (1992, San Diego) in home runs.

 

Most dominant slugger, 1988-94
Over seven seasons, between 1988-94, he led the majors in home runs, was second in total bases and third in OPS (on base pct. + slugging) and fourth in RBI..

Major-league leaders, 1988-94
Home Runs                  Total Bases                      OPS (On-Base + Slugging)
Fred McGriff  242
        Kirby Puckett  2025          Frank Thomas 1.040
Barry Bonds  218         Fred McGriff   2006         Barry Bonds       .967
Joe Carter     213         Joe Carter      2002          Fred McGriff        .935

 

30-HR seasons by first basemen
McGriff is one of 18 players all time with 10 or more 30-homer seasons. Of  the 17 others who have done it, nine are in the Hall of Fame and seven aren’t yet eligible. The list included only four first basemen (must have played half the games that season at first).

Most 30-HR seasons by first basemen
Jimmie Foxx         12   1929-1940     
Carlos Delgado   11   1997-2008              
Mark McGwire       11   1987-2000                    
Fred McGriff          10   1988-2002                    
Lou Gehrig            10    1927-1937

 

100-RBI season by first basemen
McGriff is one of seven first baseman all time to record eight 100-RBI seasons (must have played half the games that season at first. His eight 100-RBI seasons are  more than twice the number of 100-RBI seasons enjoyed at first base by Hall of Famers Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell.

Most 100-RBI seasons, first basemen
Jimmie Foxx         13   1929-1941                    
Lou Gehrig           13   1926 1938
Carlos Delgado     9   1998-2008                    
Rafael Palmeiro    8   1993 2002                    
Fred McGriff           8   1991 2002                    
Jeff Bagwell            8   1994 2003                    
Johnny Mize            8   1937 1948

                   

McGriff vs. Hall first basemen

How McGriff compares with other Hall of Fame first basemen:

                                    HR       OBA     SLG      BA
Fred McGriff                  493      .377     .509     .284

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hall of Famers

Orlando Cepeda           379      .350     .499     .297
Harmon Killebrew         573      .376     .509     .256
Willie McCovey              521      .374     .515     .270
Eddie Murray                504      .359     .476     .287
Tony Perez                   379      .341     .463     .279



Triple crown numbers

Only 16 players all time have matched McGriff’s career numbers in the triple crown stat catergories. Nine of those players are enshrined in the Hall of Fame, while the others are either locks or can make a great case to be inducted when they are eligible:


                                               RBI      HR       AVG   

1    Hank Aaron                      2297    755     .305

2    Babe Ruth                        2210    714     .342  

3    Barry Bonds                     1996    762     .298  

4    Lou Gehrig                       1995    493     .340  

5    Jimmie Foxx                      1921    534     .325  

6    Eddie Murray                    1917    504     .287  

7    Willie Mays                       1903    660     .302  

8    Mel Ott                             1860    511     .304  

9    Ted Williams                     1839    521     .344  

10   Rafael Palmeiro                1835    569     .288  

11   Frank Robinson                1812    586     .294  

12   Ken Griffey Jr.                   1772    611     .288  

13   Manny Ramirez                 1725    527     .314  

14   Frank Thomas                   1704    521     .301  

15   Gary Sheffield                   1633    499     .292

16   Alex Rodriguez                  1606    553     .306

17   Fred McGriff                    1550   493     .284

 


McGriff vs. 1B peers of the '90s

How McGriff fares against his fellow first basemen of the 1990s:


RBI                                             Home Runs

1  Rafael Palmeiro   1068           1   Mark McGwire       405  

2   Fred McGriff        975          2   Rafael Palmeiro    328

3   Jeff Bagwell           961          3   Fred McGriff        300  

4   Mark McGwire        956          4   Cecil Fielder          288  

5   Cecil Fielder           924          T5  Jeff Bagwell          263

6   Mo Vaughn            860          T5  Mo Vaughn           263

7   Andres Galarraga  859           7  Andres Galarraga  255

8   Tino Martinez         798          8   Tino Martinez        213

9   Mark Grace             786          9   Eric Karros            211  

10  Will Clark               783         10  Jim Thome            196



Most seasons with 20 HR, 80 RBI

McGriff is one of 11 players with 14 seasons of 20 homers, 80 RBI. Of the 10 others, eight are in the Hall of Fame and the other two aren’t eligible:

Most Seasons 20 HR, 80 RBI
Hank Aaron         18 1955-1973                           
Barry Bonds        15  1990-2004                           
Ted Williams        15  1939-1958                           
Babe Ruth           15  1919-1934                           
Manny Ramirez    14  1995-2008 
Fred McGriff       14  1998-2002                         
Eddie Murray       14  1977-1995                           
Billy Williams        14  1961-1975                           
Frank Robinson    14  1956-1973                           
Willie Mays           14  1954-1970                           
Mel Ott                 14  1929-1944


Most 20 HR seasons all time, tops among 1B

McGriff is one of only 13 players all time with 15 or more 20-homer seasons. Of the 12 others on the list, 10 are in the Hall of Fame and the other two aren’t yet eligible. He had 14 20-homer seasons at first base, most all time (must have played half the games that season at first).

20-homer seasons, all time
 Hank Aaron         20   1955-1974                    
 Barry Bonds        19   1987-2007                    
 Frank Robinson   17   1956-1974                     
 Willie Mays          17   1951-1970                    
 Eddie Murray       16   1977-1996                    
 Reggie Jackson   16   1968-1985                    
 Ted Williams        16   1939-1960                    
 Babe Ruth           16   1919-1934                    
 Ken Griffey          15   1990-2007  
 Fred McGriff       15  1987-2002                 
 Dave Winfield      15   1974-1993                    
 Willie Stargell      15   1964-1979
 Mel Ott                15   1929-1945

   

Postseason: Rare company

In 50 postseason games, McGriff batted .303 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI. Only three other players have a .300 career batting average in the postseason with 10+ home runs and 35+ RBI: Lou Gehrig, Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols.


Best season cut short

In 1994, McGriff was working on what would have been one of the greatest offensive seasons in major-league history; unfortunately it was cut short by the work stoppage. He played in 113 of the Braves' 114 games that year and batted .318 with 34 home runs and 94 RBI. In a full season, that would have translated to 48 home runs, 134 RBI and 85 extra base hits. Only 11 players in major-league history have hit for that high an average with those power numbers in one season.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:49am]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...