Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa native, former Tampa Bay Ray Fred McGriff falls far short in first year on Hall of Fame ballot

Fred McGriff's case for the Hall of Fame is based on voters rewarding his consistency and recognizing his reputation for producing big numbers without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

But after falling far short of election in results announced Wednesday — only Andre Dawson was voted in; Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar just missed — McGriff was left to wonder if that will be enough.

"It seems like people are thinking less about the steroids issue now," McGriff, 46, said. "It's like they came to the conclusion that the Steroids Era was all good, and it's over with now."

McGriff was named on only 21.5 percent (116) of the 539 ballots returned, far from the 75 percent (405) needed for election. Perhaps more telling, he received 12 fewer votes than Mark McGwire, whose is widely considered to have benefited from chemical enhancement. (McGwire's total went up 10 from last year.)

McGriff's case may improve with time, and with other Steroids Era products such as Rafael Palmeiro and Barry Bonds joining the ballot in future years, it will remain an interesting study. McGriff will remain on the ballot for 14 more years as long as he gets at least 5 percent of the vote each time.

The Tampa native and former Ray, who hit 493 homers in a 19-year career, was realistic about his chances for election his first year on the ballot. "I knew it would be tough," he said.

Seeing Alomar, whom many expected to sail in, finish eight votes shy reinforced that.

Overall, McGriff said he was surprised that Blyleven, who missed by five votes, didn't make it.

And knowing it took Dawson until his ninth year on the ballot (he started with 45 percent in his first year), and Jim Rice (29.8 percent) until his 15th and final year before that, provided some solace.

"Those guys were great players and they put up some great numbers," McGriff said. "It's out of your control. I've been blessed to play 19 years, and I had a great time. All you can do is keep going. And keep campaigning."

Only two players have been elected by the writers (under the current system adopted in 1967) after getting a lower percentage than McGriff in their first year of eligibility: Duke Snider, who started with 17 percent in 1970 and was elected in 1980, and Don Drysdale, who got 21 percent in 1975 and was elected in 1984.

Dawson, an all-around star who played 21 seasons with the Expos, Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins, said he learned to temper his optimism each year. "If you're a Hall of Famer, eventually you're going to get in no matter how long it takes," Dawson, 55, said.

It was the first time in the voting by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America that two candidates missed by fewer than 10 votes. (There were five ballots returned blank.)

With his vote total increasing from 338 to 400 this year, Blyleven, 58, who had a 287-250 record and 3,701 strikeouts, would appear likely to be elected next year.

Baseball Hall voting

Name Votes Pct.

Andre Dawson* 420 77.9

Bert Blyleven 400 74.2

Roberto Alomar 397 73.7

Jack Morris 282 52.3

Barry Larkin 278 51.6

Lee Smith 255 47.3

Edgar Martinez 195 36.2

Tim Raines 164 30.4

Mark McGwire 128 23.7

Alan Trammell 121 22.4

Fred McGriff 116 21.5

Don Mattingly 87 16.1

Dave Parker 82 15.2

Dale Murphy 63 11.7

Harold Baines 33 6.1

Dropping off the ballot for receiving less than 5 percent of the vote were Andres Galarraga, Robin Ventura, Ellis Burks, Eric Karros, Kevin Appier, Pat Hentgen, David Segui,

Mike Jackson, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds and Todd Zeile.

* elected

Tampa native, former Tampa Bay Ray Fred McGriff falls far short in first year on Hall of Fame ballot 01/06/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 11:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Four Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations

    Blogs

    At least four Florida Gators face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud, according to Alachua County court records.

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.
  2. Luke Del Rio to start against Vanderbilt for Florida Gators

    Blogs

    GAINESVILLE - The Florida Gators have made another quarterback change.

  3. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    1. Armwood (2-0)

    Up next: at Blake (Thursday)

    Armwood High School quarterback Devin Black (7) hands the ball off to running back Larry Anderson (13) during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  4. Key decisions for Lightning remain in final week of camp

    Blogs

    The Lightning made its biggest round of cuts Monday, with some of the big-named prospects heading out.

    Second-round pick Alex Volkov, front, is a darkhorse to crack the Lightning roster.
  5. Don't expect to see protests in college football any time soon

    College

    The whispers have segued to chatter. In time, it may evolve into rumblings, or even a groundswell.

    Following the national anthem, helicopters fly over Ohio Stadium in a missing-man formation in tribute to John Glenn before a game between Army and Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)