For the 11 seasons from 1988-98, Fred McGriff was as durable as any player not named Cal Ripken Jr. He averaged 154 games from 1988-93 and again from 1996-98.
In 1994-95, the Braves played 258 games, and McGriff participated in 257 of them. But it was just 258 rather than the standard 324. Labor-related stoppages canceled the final two months and the postseason of 1994 and limited 1995 to 144 games.
There were 66 potential games lost for McGriff in his prime — he was in the midst of arguably his best season in 1994. It is not a stretch to believe the steely McGriff would have played in all of those games and, had he stayed on his trajectory of averaging 4.28 plate appearances per game and a homer every 17.7 plate appearances, would have hit 16 more homers.
That would have given McGriff 509 homers, tied for 26th all-time with Gary Sheffield. McGriff was going to hit at least seven more homers if those games were not lost. Instead, he finished with 493. Every eligible player not tied to illegal performance enhancers who has reached 500 homers is in the Hall of Fame.
McGriff is recognized generally as a player who performed clean. His 493 ties him with Lou Gehrig for the…