Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fred McGriff

This Fred McGriff ATCRCS card comes courtesy of the same Lake Tahoe Golf Tournament as the Joe Carter from the other day. This is the first in this collection that has been signed in black instead of blue. When you're in a big group of people hustling to get an autograph, sometimes a players sticks with one pen/marker on everything. While it doesn't "match" the rest of my collection, I am happy to add the Crime Dog!

McGriff played for those powerhouse Braves teams in the early to mid 1990's and was a perennial MVP candidate even before that. I have no idea if he's ever been linked to steroids or PEDs and I don't recall the circumstances of his retirement, but he left the game just 7 home runs shy of 500. That probably would have given him a little more clout on the Hall of Fame ballot as he has hovered around 20% in his first four years of eligibility. When your Similarity Score on Baseball-Reference compares you to guys like Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams and Eddie Mathews, you might deserve a seat at the table...

He came to the Cubs in the middle of the 2001 season and was one of several stopgap first basemen between the departure of Mark Grace and the arrival of Derrek Lee. Although that's probably not fair to him. How many stopgaps have given a team 30 home runs and 100+ RBIs like McGriff did for the Cubs in 2002? As a kid, that was All-Star material and even MVP consideration, neither of which McGriff earned that season.

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