Fred McGriff elected to Baseball Hall of Fame; Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens come up short again

Fred McGriff, seen here with the Braves in 1997. (Stephen Dunn/Allsport/Getty Images)
Fred McGriff, seen here with the Braves in 1997. (Stephen Dunn/Allsport/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

A special committee unanimously elected Fred McGriff to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday while rejecting seven other nominees, some of whom are tied to baseball's steroids era.

McGriff was elected via the first vote of the contemporary baseball era committee, a group tasked with considering modern-day players (1980 to present) who weren't enshrined via the traditional vote taken by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. McGriff will join the rest of the class of 2023 that's voted on by the BBWAA. It will be announced Jan. 24.

The committee rejected seven other nominees, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro, who are all linked to baseball's steroids era. Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro and Albert Belle all received fewer than four votes from the 16-member committee. Like with the BBWAA, a player needs 75% of the votes to be enshrined.

Don Mattingly (8 votes), Curt Schilling (7) and Dale Murphy (6) likewise came up short of the 12-vote threshold. McGriff was voted in by all 16 members. He topped out during his final year of BBWAA eligibility with 39.8% of the vote in 2019.

McGriff, 59, played 19 MLB seasons from 1986-2004 with the Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers. He's best known for his stint with the Braves, where he made three of his five All-Star teams and won a World Series in 1995. He anchored first base for the Braves from 1993-97, a five-year span that saw them win four division titles and two NL pennants. The 1994 playoffs were canceled amid a player strike.

McGriff finished his career slashing .284/.377/.509 with 493 home runs, 1,550 RBI and 72 steals. He was a two-time home run champion where he led the AL in 1989 with the Blue Jays (36) and the NL in 1992 with the Padres (35). He won two Silver Slugger awards.

The committee is comprised of Hall of Fame players Greg Maddux, Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell alongside MLB executives and media members. It debuted this year and will reconvene every three years to consider players who don't make the Hall on the BBWAA ballot. A BBWAA committee nominates candidates for consideration.