Today Fred McGriff and Scott Rolen will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
McGriff was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee.
Fred played 19 seasons in the MLB, hitting .284/.377/.509 in 2460 games. He had 493 home runs. 7 more, and the Writers would have voted him into the Hall. The Writers are rather arbitrary in making their decisions. Fred topped out at 39.8% of the vote in his 10th time on the ballot.
McGriff was a 9th-round pick in the 1981 draft by the Yankees. But they had Don Mattingly blocking his way to the majors. The Jays picked up McGriff, Dave Collins, Mike Morgan, and cash for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd. That one must be high on the list of great trades in Blue Jays’ history.
He played with us for five seasons, hitting .278/.389/.530 in 578 games with 125 home runs. Then he was part of another huge trade, going to the Padres with Tony Fernandez for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter. I didn’t like the trade at the time, I thought McGriff was a future Hall of Famer. But it worked out in the end.
Scott Rolen was elected to the Hall, with 76.3% of the Writers putting him on their ballots. It was Rolen’s sixth time on the ballot. His first time on the ballot, he only got 10.2% of the Writers’ votes and built from there to 17.2%, 35.3%, 52.9%, and 63.2% before finally getting over the top.
Rolen played 17 seasons. Hit .281/.364/.490 with 316 home runs in 2038 games (203 of those with the Blue Jays). On the defensive side, he won eight Gold Gloves. Baseball Reference has him at a 70.1 WAR.
He played two seasons for the Blue Jays. We picked him up in a trade from the Cardinals for Troy Glaus. He hit .288/.358/.452 with 19 home runs in 203 games. We traded him to the Reds at the deadline in 2009 for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart. That trade worked out too.
Congratulations to both. They deserve the honour.
The Induction ceremony will be on MLB TV starting at noon Eastern (or soon after, with the way these things good). I hoped Sportsnet would show it, but I don’t see it on their schedule.