Fred McGriff Snubs Braves With Hall of Fame Cap Choice
It took him nearly 20 years, but Fred McGriff finally earned a plaque in the Hall of Fame after getting voted in from the 2023 Contemporary Ballot. After racking up 493 home runs and 2.490 hits in his 19-year career, McGriff is certainly worthy of baseball's highest honor.
While there wasn't much controversy surrounding his selection, there may be some around his curious and unique decision regarding his Hall of Fame plaque, especially among Atlanta Braves fans.
Fred McGriff Hall of Fame Hat
Players typically wear the caps of one of the teams they played for on their bronze plaques, but McGriff has opted not to represent any of the six teams he played for. Instead, his plaque will feature a blank hat, which may come as a shock to Braves fans.
After beginning his career with the Toronto Blue Jays and flourishing with the San Diego Padres, McGriff played a key part in Atlanta's dynasty during the 1990s. While he was only with the Braves from 1993-1997, he helped them make the playoffs every year (excluding 1994, when the postseason was canceled) and win their lone championship of the decade in 1995.
While the 1994-95 strike robbed him of some numbers, McGriff earned three of his five All-Star selections with Atlanta and had the best statistical year of his career there in 1994.
If McGriff has remained with the Braves and finished out his career there, he likely would have been elected to the Hall of Fame much sooner. Instead, the team allowed the lowly Tampa Bay Rays to purchase his contract in their first season as an expansion franchise, ensuring that he would never appear in the postseason again.
McGriff hung on through 2004 and switched teams several more times, but ultimately fell just short of 500 career home runs. Many thought his Cooperstown case struggled to gain traction because he moved around so much, making it difficult to identify him with any one team. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that his Hall of Fame plaque won't have one.