Updated: Jul 25
Like it or not. Agree with it or Not Fred McGriff and Scott Rolen are now and will forever be introduced as MLB Hall of Famers. And I for one couldn't be more pleased. In my hall of fame , consistency counts, defense counts. Much more so than the voters who kept these two great ballplayers from entry until yesterday to this most hallowed halls.
If Fred McGriff had played his entire 19 year career in Atlanta this would have happened long ago. But the “ Crime Dog “ was the epitome of a free agent. Playing for Six different ball clubs. The Braves - The Jay’s - the Padres - The Rays - The Cubs and The Dodgers, he is one of only two ball players along with Gary Sheffield to hit 30 or more home runs with five different teams. McGriff, part of the 1995 World Series Champion Braves, was a five time all star and three time silver slugger. And he did it right; he did it clean for nineteen years.
Scott Rolen was the only player elected this past January by the brain trust that is the BBWAA. It was his fifth year on the ballot and I'm shocked he got it. You see the BBWAA doesn't give a damn about defense. Not one dam. But rolen by hook or by crook made his case and made it well. In seventeen big league seasons Rolen hit just 316 home runs. Modern day Hall of Fame third basemen are supposed to be super sluggers. Rolen on the other hand won just one silver Slugger in his career, what he did do was win Eight gold gloves. Only Mike Schmidt, Nolan Arenado (10) and the immortal Brooks Robinson (16) have hoarded more gold at third base than Scotty Rolen. Who was also Rookie of the Year way back in 1997. He was also a seven time all star and owns a 2006 World Series ring he won with the Cardinals. Again a product of Free Agency, Rolen played 17 seasons for four different franchises, Philadelphia - St Louis - Cincinnati and Philly.
Like it or not. Agree with it or not. these two baseball greats took the podium in Cooperstown yesterday and with grace, humility and a bit of humor took the last steps in their baseball careers.