Baseball Hall of Fame: Contemporary Era Committee elects Fred McGriff

The Crime Dog has made it to Cooperstown.

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Fred McGriff was unanimously elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday by the Contemporary Era Committee.

The newest member of the Hall’s Class of 2023 will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, on July 23, 2023, along with any people elected in balloting from the Baseball Writers’ Association that will be announced on Jan. 24, 2023.

McGriff, 59, nicknamed “Crime Dog” in a nod toward the “McGruff the Crime Dog” character in 1980s ads with the National Crime Prevention Council, took a bite out of major league pitching during his 19-season career.

McGriff, who played for six teams during his career, connected for 493 home runs, drove in 1,550 runs and had eight 100 or more RBI seasons, according to Baseball-Reference.com. He led the league in home runs in 1989 and 1992 and had a career on-base percentage of .377. McGriff also was the MVP of the 1994 All-Star Game and led the Atlanta Braves to a World Series title in 1995.

Former New York Yankees star Don Mattingly had eight votes from the panel, pitcher Curt Schilling had seven and two-time National League MVP Dale Murphy had six.

Barry Bonds, 58, major league baseball’s all-time home run leader with 762 round-trippers, and Roger Clemens, 60, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, were the biggest names -- and most controversial -- on the ballot. Neither player could muster up to four votes.

It was the first time the committee’s members considered players from what has been called the steroids era of MLB.

A player needed 12 of the panel’s 16 votes for election. Voters were allowed to select up to three candidates.

Other candidates included Albert Belle and Rafael Palmeiro.

The Contemporary Era Committee considers players who made their greatest contributions between 1980 to the present but failed to gain election to the Hall in balloting by the BBWAA. The committee, one of three created by the Hall, will meet once every three years. They will vote again on players in December 2025.

The voting panel was previously known as the Veterans Committee, USA Today reported.

According to CBS Sports, the voting panel included Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell; executives Paul Beeston, Theo Epstein, Derrick Hall, Arte Moreno, Kim Ng, Dave St. Peter and Kenny Williams; and media historian members Steve Hirdt, LaVelle Neal and Susan Slusser. Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, who originally was on the panel, did not vote because he was ill. He was replaced by Hall.

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