Former Padres 1B Fred McGriff Shouldn’t Make Hall of Fame


The National Baseball Hall of Fame has a lot of tough questions to answer over the next few years, with everything from proven PED Users to suspected PED users on the ballot. One player that is close to the magical 500 home run plateau but has never been suspected of PED use is former Padres 1B Fred McGriff – but I do not believe he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

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In its purest form, baseball players would be evaluated strictly on numbers alone. With the steroid users during the era that McGriff starred – mid 1990s – it can be difficult to measure someone like McGriff who did not cheat.

In an article for, Jay Jaffe lays this out:

"“McGriff stands apart from all that as a player who was never accused of any PED-related wrongdoing. Indeed, he was notorious for his aversion to weight-lifting early in his career;”"

He makes the point that you can not just compare McGriff to his contemporaries like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, but to really look at his career against first basemen throughout baseball history. While it would be a nice story to see McGriff get in while “the cheaters” don’t – that would be unfair to others throughout history. After all, those same 1990’s produced Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr, and other surefire Hall of Famers who did not cheat like Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones. While 493 home runs is close – it is not 500 – and even that doesn’t mean what it used to anymore.

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McGriff came to the Padres in 1992 from the Blue Jays and unfortunately missed their World Series championship runs in ’92 and ’93. He was traded to the Braves though in 1993 as part of the Padres fire sale under Tom Werner and hit 37 home runs that year. He would win the 1995 World Series with the Braves and the 1994 All-Star Game MVP Award. All together in the post-season he would hit .303 with 10 HR in 50 post-season games.

All around great guy, great spokesman, and a beautiful pure swing. Not a Hall of Famer though.