SAN DIEGO — Fred McGriff, one of the most consistent sluggers of the 1990s, was elected to the Hall of Fame on Sunday, receiving all 16 votes from members of the Hall’s Contemporary Baseball Era committee.
Perhaps as notable was who did not get in. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens received four or fewer votes, according to the Hall. Curt Schilling had seven votes, one fewer than Don Mattingly. Dale Murphy had six. Albert Belle and Rafael Palmeiro also received fewer than four votes.
McGriff will join any players elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for induction on July 23 in Cooperstown. The BBWAA election concludes Dec. 31 with the announcement coming on Jan. 24.
“I finally did it, I got in there,” McGriff said. “It’s an honor to be elected unanimously.”
For the 59-year-old McGriff, it was the end of a long wait.
“The Crime Dog” retired after the 2004 season following a 19-year career in the majors. He was on the BBWAA ballot from 2010-19 but never received more than 39.8 percent of the vote.
McGriff was a five-time All-Star but had only one top-five finish in the Most Valuable Player voting during his time with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Rays, Cubs, and Dodgers.
His .284 career batting average and .886 OPS did not necessarily stand out during what was an era of inflated offensive production.
McGriff finished his career with 493 home runs. Every player with more is in the Hall of Fame with the exception of Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols, who were active last season, and seven players who either failed PED tests (Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, and Alex Rodriguez) or are believed to have benefited from PED use (Bonds, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Gary Sheffield).
Bonds was the best hitter of his generation, belting a record 762 home runs. Clemens was his counterpart on the mound, winning seven Cy Young Awards and striking out 4,672, third all-time.
But both had prominent roles in the PED scandals that plagued baseball. Bonds and Clemens denied use under oath and were later found not guilty of perjury. But they could not escape the widespread belief that their success was tainted.
Schilling was 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA for five teams between 1988-2007 and a dominant postseason pitcher, leading the 2001 Diamondbacks and 2004 Red Sox to World Series championships.
Schilling then landed a position with ESPN as a color commentator in 2014 and was fired in 2016 after a series of controversial social media posts that included mocking transgender people and comparing Muslims to Nazis.
In 2016, Schilling wrote “OK, so much awesome here” in response to a photo on Twitter of a man wearing a T-shirt advocating the lynching of journalists.
In 2021, after being named to 71.1 percent of the ballots in voting by members of the BBWAA, Schilling called reporters “morally decrepit” and asked to be taken off the ballot. The Hall of Fame refused.
Schilling received 58.6 percent in his final season of eligibility with the BBWAA. He believed his best path to the Hall of Fame would be via a committee but he received only 43.7 percent of the vote on Sunday.
Bonds, Clemens, and Schilling will next be eligible for the Class of 2026 and the next Contemporary Player Era ballot. But their low vote totals on Sunday suggests the Hall could move on to other candidates.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.