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McGriff leads Braves quartet on HOF ballot

'Crime Dog' looking to be elected in his final attempt
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Andruw Jones may spend most of the next decade hearing why his Hall of Fame credentials are not quite Cooperstown worthy. Fred McGriff will have to endure this frustrating process just one more time.

Jones, McGriff, Billy Wagner and Gary Sheffield stand as the most notable former Braves on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, which was released Monday. Each built a strong resume throughout his career, and balloting results will be announced Jan. 22, live on MLB Network.

ATLANTA -- Andruw Jones may spend most of the next decade hearing why his Hall of Fame credentials are not quite Cooperstown worthy. Fred McGriff will have to endure this frustrating process just one more time.

Jones, McGriff, Billy Wagner and Gary Sheffield stand as the most notable former Braves on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, which was released Monday. Each built a strong resume throughout his career, and balloting results will be announced Jan. 22, live on MLB Network.

This will be McGriff's 10th and final year on the ballot. He received a vote on 23.2 percent of the 422 ballots that were cast by qualified members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America last year. This stood as the second-highest percentage received by the former first baseman, who garnered his highest percentage (23.9) in 2012, well short of the 75 percent needed to be elected.

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McGriff finished his 19-season career with a .284 batting average, a .377 on-base percentage, a .509 slugging percentage and 493 home runs. The five-time All-Star would have likely reached the 500-homer plateau had portions of the 1994 and '95 seasons not been erased by a work stoppage.

While the homer total stands as a significant element in his evaluation, it's still noteworthy that McGriff stands as just one of 16 players to hit .280 with a .375 OBP, .500 SLG and at least 490 home runs. The 15 others on the list are Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Alex Rodriguez, Mel Ott, Sheffield, Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Mickey Mantle, Frank Thomas, Jimmie Foxx, Manny Ramirez, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig and Barry Bonds.

Video: 1996 NLCS Gm7: A. Jones homers for playoff milestone

Jones batted .254, tallied 434 home runs and constructed an .823 OPS over a 17-season career that included 10 Gold Glove Awards, five All-Star appearances and the National League Hank Aaron Award he captured in 2005 when he finished second to Pujols in balloting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award. The only other players to win at least 10 Gold Gloves are Ichiro Suzuki and four Hall of Famers -- Mays, Roberto Clemente, Al Kaline and Ken Griffey Jr.

The former Braves center fielder was the author of an uneven career that started with a bang and ended with a steep decline late in his career. He produced MLB's third-best Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs, from 1998-2007. The two men who ranked ahead of him within this span were Bonds and Rodriguez. The man ranked immediately behind him was Chipper Jones, his longtime Braves teammate who was a first-ballot Hall of Fame electee last year.

Once considered a likely Hall of Famer, Andruw Jones' candidacy nearly died last year when he received just 7.3 percent of the votes. A candidate needs to gain at least five percent of the votes to extend his candidacy.

Video: FLA@ATL: Wagner's 1,170th strikeout sets lefty record

Wagner shares the ballot with another storied closer: Mariano Rivera. From 1995 (the rookie season for Wagner and Rivera) through 2010 (Wagner's final season), Rivera led all relievers with 34.9 fWAR (Fangraphs' WAR Model). Wagner ranked second with 24.1 and Trevor Hoffman ranked third with 24.0. Rivera is baseball's all-time saves leader with 652, while Hoffman is second with 601. Wagner ranks sixth with 422.

Hoffman was elected to the Hall of Fame last year, and Rivera will likely be a near-unanimous selection as he is now on the ballot for the first time. Wagner has never received more than 11.1 percent of the votes during any of his first three years on the ballot.

Sheffield stands as one of 19 players to ever produce at least 500 homers and a .900 career OPS. The only other members of this group not yet elected to the Hall of Fame are Rodriguez, Pujols, Ramirez, Ortiz and Mark McGwire. Pujols is still active and Ortiz is not yet eligible to be placed on the ballot.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

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