|McGRIFF COULD SWING THE LUMBER.|
|ONE OF TAMPA'S FINEST PLAYERS.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- It's a shame Fred McGriff is known as much for starring in those long-running Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills Video commercials as for hitting 493 home runs. Wearing a blue trucker hat, McGriff reads off a cue card as a youth team jacked to the gills on fountain soda goes through the paces with robot-like efficiency. McGriff was a stunningly efficient power hitter for six teams over 19 seasons, never playing in one city more than five years and constantly in demand as four teams traded for him. A five-time All-Star, the Tampa native became the first player in the live-ball era to lead both leagues in homers. He has a career .284/.377/.509 slash line and 1,550 RBI and hit 30-plus homers 10 times. He's never received more than 23.9 percent of the Hall of Fame vote since going on the ballot in 2010.
- On July 20, 1993, two days after the Braves traded for the Crime Dog after falling nine games behind the Giants in the NL West, they got hot. After a pregame fire in the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium press box was extinguished, McGriff ignited the charge back into the race. In his first game as a Brave, he hit a two-run sixth-inning homer to help rally the Braves from a 5-0 deficit. Atlanta would go on to win 8-5 and pass San Francisco on the season's final day.
- McGriff led the AL in homers (36), OPS (.924) and OPS+ (165) in '89, finishing sixth in the MVP race. He also won the first of three Silver Slugger awards.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- McGriff's first trade was as a minor-leaguer from the Yankees, who drafted him. They sent him, along with Dave Collins and Mike Morgan, to the Blue Jays for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray in December '82.
- Almost exactly eight years later, McGriff was a star and part of a mega-deal, heading to the Padres, along with #36 Tony Fernandez, for #88 Roberto Alomar and #94 Joe Carter.
- Led the NL in homers with 35 in '92 and made his first All-Star team.
- Homered twice in the NLDS against the Rockies and twice more in the World Series against the Indians during the Braves' '95 championship season.
- Ended his career with the hometown Devil Rays, playing a total of five seasons and averaging 20 home runs.