2022 – Former Blue Jay Fred McGriff elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

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SAN DIEGO — After a stellar big league career that started in Toronto and moved on to five other Major League Baseball teams, Fred McGriff is making one more stop.

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It would be in Cooperstown, NY, at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

McGriff was given the nod on Sunday, a unanimous selection by the hall’s Contemporary Era committee. The Florida native was denied entry into his 10-year Baseball Writers Association of America ballot eligibility, but that snub was overturned on Sunday.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling weren’t so lucky, as all three were again passed over.

“What an honor. I finally did it and got in there,” McGriff said on a Zoom conference call Sunday night from his Tampa home. “I have felt blessed all my life. It is simply magnificent.

“It’s a special moment to call myself Fred McGriff, Hall of Famer. »

McGriff, who made his league debut with the Jays in 1986 and hit 36 ​​homers in 1989, was traded to the Padres in a blockbuster deal on Dec. 5, 1990 that also sent Tony Fernandez to the Padres and brought Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar to Toronto. During his career, the excellent first baseman nicknamed Crime Dog was a five-time All Star and won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 1995.

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In a consistent and productive career, McGriff hit .284 with 493 home runs in his 19 seasons with six major league teams. The 59-year-old was selected in the ninth round of the 1981 draft by the New York Yankees. He will be inducted into the hall with the rest of the Class of 2022 in a ceremony at the Cooperstown Shrine on July 23.

McGriff was a unanimous pick of the 16-member panel that includes former Jays president Paul Beeston, who was on the front office when the future star made his league debut in 1986.

Clemens and Bonds’ snub, meanwhile, is in line with the mentality of the traditional voting committee, which was clearly swayed by allegations that the pair used performance-enhancing substances to achieve their respective hits.

McGriff boasted of being a professional throughout his long career.

“I went out and played the game the way it was meant to be played,” McGriff said. “I went out and played hard every day and tried to be consistent. »

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