Crime does pay
McGriff reaches 400 despite not having 40-homer season
Posted: Sunday June 04, 2000 05:43 PM
By Ryan Hunt, CNNSI.com
Fred McGriff's run to 400 homers was a relatively quiet one.
With a home run June 2 against the New York Mets, the Devil Rays first baseman became only the fifth player in major league history to reach the 400 milestone without having a 40-homer season.
Of the 31 players who have hit 400 in a career, only Eddie Murray, Stan Musial, Dave Winfield and Cal Ripken Jr. are the only others who did not hit 40 in a season.
The common thread among all of these players is consistency, especially Murray.
Murray, a longtime Orioles first baseman, hit 504 career homers. But Murray had only five 30-homer seasons. He never hit more than 33 in a season, which he did in 1983 for the Orioles. Murray, however, hit 20 or more in 16 of his 21 big league seasons.
The 36-year-old McGriff has posted similar numbers in his career.
The "Crime Dog" has had eight 30-homer seasons, but has never hit more than 37 in a year. He's also hit fewer than 20 only once his 13 previous full seasons.
McGriff's 400th homer was his 1,997th hit. He picked up his 2,000th hit on June 4.
Only four players who have hit 400 or more homers have fewer than 2,000 hits -- Dave Kingman, Ken Griffey Jr., Mark McGwire and Tampa Bay teammate Jose Canseco.
McGriff, however, is also one of a select few players who have had home run success in both leagues
He is 14 shy -- as of June 4 -- of becoming only the second man in baseball history to hit 200 home runs in both leagues, hitting 214 in the National League and 186 in the American League as of June 1.
McGriff already is one of only four players in baseball history to hit 150 or more homers in both leagues, joining Frank Robinson (343 NL, 243 AL), Winfield (311 AL, 154 NL) and McGwire (363 AL, 180 NL).