The Braves clean-up hitter who most belongs in the HOF
Sorry, it ain’t Murph. He was a special player, and an all-time Brave, but not a baseball immortal.
There’s a better case to be made for Fred McGriff, a first-time candidate on this year’s ballot:
HR: McGriff, 493; Murph, 398
RBI: McGriff, 1550; Murph, 1266
BA: McGriff, .284; Murph, .265
Murphy was better defensively and has two MVP awards. But McGriff finished in the Top 10 in MVP balloting six times, twice more than Murphy. And in 50 postseason games, the Crime Dog batted .303, with 10 homers and 37 RBI.
Jayson Stark says McGriff belongs in Cooperstown..
“Fred McGriff’s greatest years came BEFORE the numbers exploded on us in 1993. This man was a difference-maker before the world went haywire on us. So how come so many people are lumping him in there with the rest of the PED generation? I understand that those 12 seasons from 1993-2004 comprise two-thirds of McGriff’s career. But let’s look at the numbers he put up early in his career, when 30-homer seasons were a feat for real, live middle-of-the-order mashers, not No. 6 hitters: From 1988-92, McGriff had four seasons with an adjusted OPS-plus of 153 or better, more than anyone else in either league. Both of his two home run titles came in that span (1989 and ‘92). He finished in the top four in his league in home runs, OPS and home run ratio in all five of those years. And how many other players could say that? How about zero.”