2013 Topps Archives Fred McGriff Autograph
I have been wanted to add an autograph of the "Crime Dog" for quite a number of years, but he's not a huge signer and the price of his autographs seem a little bit high. I saw this card on the Archives checklist last month and really loved the design and look of this card. The 1989 Topps set was a favorite from my childhood and even love the picture of McGriff wearing the old Toronto Blue Jays uniform. Seeing a McGriff autograph under $20 helped me make the decision to jump on the chance to add this card to my collection.
McGriff collectors are some of the most loyal in the hobby and have pushed the price of his cards over the years. The values of his cards are also helped by the fact that he has a limited number of autographs out on the market, but most Crime Dog fans insist that he is a Hall of Famer and reflect this opinion in buying, selling, and trading cards.
Personally, I am of the opinion that McGriff is not a Hall of Famer, but he is a very good player whom I enjoyed watching. He was one of the offensive stars on the great mid 90s Atlanta Braves teams, made numerous All-Star teams, won the home run crown twice, and has some pretty impressive overall career numbers.
McGriff fans will often point at the fact that some of McGriff's career statistic comparable players include Hall of Famers such as Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, and Eddie Matthews as well as players fans consider to be future Hall of Famers like Jeff Bagwell. However, I like to look at McGriff's season by season comparable players for a little bit more depth and perspectives on his numbers.
While McGriff's career numbers compare favorably to a handful of Hall of Famers his individual seasons merely suggest he was an above average player. There is not on member of the Hall of Fame in his list of season comparable players on Baseball Reference outside of Willie McCovey's age 40 season. In fact, looking at his OPS+ he had a handful of season where his performance was outstanding.
Again, just my two cents on the Crime Dog and still a very welcome addition to the card collection even if I can only say that he was a really good player.