Although he will be entering the Hall of Fame without a logo on his hat on Sunday, Fred McGriff will always be an Atlanta Braves legend. From 1986-1993 he spent time with both the Toronto Blue Jays and the San Diego Padres. He then spent five seasons (1993-1997) with the Braves and made a lot of fond memories.
On July 18th of 1993, McGriff was acquired by Atlanta in exchange for Vince Moore, Donnie Elliott, and Melvin Nieves. He was set to make his Braves debut on July 20th. Less than two hours before the first pitch, flames broke out in the press box and spread through the club level of the stadium. On cue, the Braves caught fire themselves, thanks to Fred McGriff.
He played 68 games with the Braves in '93, hitting .310 with 19 HRs, 55 RBIs, and an OPS over 1.000. Atlanta went on to win the division (NL West) by one game that season despite having a ridiculous record of 104-58. Without the contributions of McGriff that season, the Braves do not win the division.
In his time with the Braves alone, McGriff was a 3X all-star (4X if you count the 1993 season) and finished top 20 in MVP voting 3 times to go along with a World Series Championship in 1995.
Here is a look of three of Fred McGriff's most memorable moments from his time in Atlanta.
1. Game-tying homer in Braves debut
The Braves were down 5-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals in the bottom of the 6th inning. McGriff came to the plate and belted an opposite-field home run to tie the game in his debut. This is perhaps the loudest reaction you will find from a fan base during a regular season game.
2. 5 RBI Game in 1995 NLDS Game 4
In Game 4 of the 1995 NLDS, the Braves tallied 10 runs. Fred McGriff drove in half of those behind a two-run home run, solo homerun, and a 2-run single. This performance sent Atlanta to the NLCS with momentum on their side.
3. 1995 World Series: Game tying homerun
Hitting a home run of this magnitude in Game 1 of the World Series can set the tone early (just ask Jorge Soler). McGriff did just that by tying a game with this monster blast to right center field.