Baseball Hall of Fame Results: Fred McGriff, Voted by Committee; Barry Bonds, Roger Clemons stayed away

The National Baseball Hall of Fame will induct at least one new member in 2023. On Sunday night, the Hall of Fame’s Modern Era Committee announced it had voted Fred McGriff in Cooperstown. He received a full 16 votes from the 16-member committee. McGriff was the only one of the eight players on the Contemporary Era ballot to make the cut Sunday. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling failed to receive the twelve votes required for induction.

Here are the full voting results provided by the floor:

  • 16 votes: McGriff
  • 8 votes: Don Mattingly
  • 7 votes: Curt Schilling
  • 6 votes: Dale Murphy
  • Less than four votes: Albert Bell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro

McGriff spent a maximum of 10 years on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot from 2010-19 and peaked with 39.8 percent of the vote in 2019. Seventy-five percent is required for induction. It was his first appearance on one of the ballots for the Hall of Fame committees, which are meant to review personnel not voted into Cooperstown by the BBWAA.

A career .284/.377/.509 hitter, McGriff played for six teams (Braves, Blue Jays, Cubs, Devil Rays, Dodgers, Padres) in parts of 19 MLB seasons from 1986-2004. Yankees in 1981, McGriff was traded to Toronto as a minor leaguer in the Mike Morgan/Dale Murray trade in December 1982. He was a five-time All-Star and received MVP votes in nine different seasons.

McGriff retired with 493 career home runs, tied with Lou Gehrig for the most in history among players outside the 500 home run club. He was extremely durable throughout his career — McGriff averaged 149 games per year from 1988-2002 — and the 1994-95 players’ strike likely cost him a shot at 500 homers. The strike cut a total of 66 games off Atlanta’s schedule over those two years, McGriff’s age 30-31 season. He was in his prime and hit 61 homers in 257 games over those two seasons.

Only nine of the 28 players ahead of McGriff on the all-time home run list are not in the Hall of Fame. Two are active (Miguel Cabrera and Albert Puhols) and will be Hall of Famers as soon as they are eligible. The other seven were not included due to drug links or suspected performance enhancements: Bonds, Mark McGuire, Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield and Sammy Sosa.

McGriff won a World Series championship ring with the Braves in 1995 and was a dominant postseason hitter: .303/.385/.532 with 10 home runs in 50 career postseason games. He is the fifth member of the 1995 Braves team to be voted into the Hall of Fame, joining Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz.

Here’s the 16-man panel that voted for McGriff (note: Chipper Jones was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks executive Derrick Hall after he was unable to participate due to illness):

  • Hall of Fame: Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas, Alan Trammell
  • Executives: Paul Beeston, Theo Epstein, Derrick Hall, Arte Moreno, Kim Ng, Dave St. Peter, Kenny Williams
  • Media: Steve Hird, LaVell Neal, Susan Slusser

The committee included two of McGriff’s former teammates (Jones and Maddux), an executive who had McGriff on his staff (Beaston), and several Hall of Famers who were similarly adamant against performance-enhancing drugs and/or not made it into Cooperstown on the BBWAA Vote (Morris, Smith, Thomas, Trammell).

The Modern Era Committee is separate from BBWAA Hall of Fame voting and is the current iteration of the Veterans Committee. It considers players who have made the greatest contribution to the game since 1980. The Modern Era Committee will meet in December 2023 to consider non-players, after which the Classic Era Committee (pre-1980 ) will meet in December 2024.

There are 28 players on this year’s BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot. Voting is expected by the end of the year, and the rest of the 2023 Hall of Fame class will be announced on Jan. 24. Induction Weekend is July 21-24 in Cooperstown.

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