The first week of 2016 figures to be an exciting one in the baseball world, since Wednesday will be the day in which the election results for the 2016 Hall of Fame class will be publicly revealed (at 6:00 pm EST on MLB Network and MLB.com) and we'll figure out who will be getting the honor of being immortalized in Cooperstown.
The past couple of years brought plenty of excitement for Braves fans, since the legendary pitching trio of Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine all received induction into the Hall of Fame, and Bobby Cox also entered the hall as a manager. Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones will be eligible to enter the ballot in 2018, which means that we may not be done seeing Braves legends from the '90s Divisional Dynasty receiving Hall of Fame honors. Meanwhile, there are other Braves players from that incredibly fun era who are still on the ballot but probably won't make it into the Hall.
One of those players is Fred McGriff, who served as the linchpin for the Braves' dramatic run to the NL West title in 1993 and was part of the 1995 team that finally brought the city of Atlanta its one and -- to date -- only championship title. The Sporting News recently polled its readers to vote on the best 25 players who aren't currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Names like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Pete Rose were among the leading vote-getters here, and players such as Ken Griffey Jr., Tim Raines, and Mike Mussina were also among the 25. McGriff managed to make it in as #20 on this list, as he received 173 votes out of a possible 467.
McGriff was one of the most feared power hitters of his time, and there was a point where he actually was the premier power hitter in baseball. Matt Snyder of CBS Sports noted that from 1988-1994, McGriff hit 242 homers, which was the top number in baseball from that period in time. To put that in perspective, Barry Bonds came in second with 218 homers during that time. With that being said, when compared to the gaudy numbers that other players of his time put up, McGriff is probably going to fall into the category of players that would make it into a Hall of Very Good (or Nearly Great), but not into the Hall of Fame.
For McGriff, that's a bit of a shame because there are definitely "worse" players who are currently enshrined, and if he had played in a different era (or maybe even just picked up seven more homers to make it to an even 500 because milestones!!!), he'd probably be considered as a more serious candidate to get inducted into the Hall of Fame. But for now, he probably seems destined to stay on the list of the best to not make it in. That's not to say that McGriff's career was a disappointment -- he had an excellent career, and anytime you're one of the key figures on a World Series team, that's something to be proud of. It should be Hall of Fame-worthy, but it doesn't appear to be in the cards for the Crime Dog.
If anything, he (and his hilariously crooked hat) should at least go into the Hall of Awesome '90s Baseball Instructional Video Commercials.