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  1. Business

Tampa home of Major League Baseball slugger Fred McGriff sells for $2.45 million

TAMPA — Former Major League Baseball star Fred McGriff, one of the original players for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, has sold his Tampa estate — finally!

Nearly five years after putting the 11,768-square foot house on the market, McGriff and wife Veronica closed Wednesday on the $2.45 million sale. The deed has not yet been recorded so the buyer's identity is not known.

The five-bedroom, six-bath house, custom-built for the McGiffs in the mid-1990s, sits on nearly two acres fronting the golf course in the gated Avila community. Amenities include a gym, game room and a four-car garage plus golf cart.

McGriff, a 55-year-old Tampa native, last played in the Majors for the Rays in 2004. He and his wife still live in the house and have a homestead exemption although McGriff spends considerable time in Atlanta, where he is a special assistant for baseball operations in the Braves' front office.

The McGriffs first listed the house in October 2014 for $6.9 million. Since then, it has been on and off the market as agents from three different real estate firms unsuccessfully tried to sell it despite numerous price reductions, most recently to $3.295 million last month.

Coldwell Banker agents Jennifer Zales and Michelle Fitz-Randolph represented the McGriffs in Wednesday's sale.

McGriff played first base for six Major league teams starting with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1987 and including the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. A five-time All Star, McGriff had seven consecutive seasons with more than 30 home runs; was a two-time home run leader; and hit two homers for the Braves in the 1995 World Series, which his team went on to win.

McGriff, who went to Tampa's Jefferson High School, returned to the region in 1998 to join the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays.(The name was shortened to "Rays'' for the 2008 season.)

Another famous bay area athlete is still trying to unload his house. After two years on the market with no takers, the Odessa estate of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Vinny Testaverde went to auction April 11 but still failed to sell. The lakefront house went back on the market April 13 for $5 million; the price has since been reduced to $4.5 million.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.