Each summer, baseball enthusiasts from around the globe flock to Cooperstown to witness the enshrinement of the sport's finest players.

This year, the dangerous, yet often overlooked slugger Fred McGriff, along with one of the premiere third basemen of the 2000s, Scott Rolen, took their rightful place in the tiny Central New York village with the rest of baseball's elites.


Nicknamed "Crime Dog" as a reference to the McGruff the Crime Dog cartoon, Fred McGriff played 19 seasons at first base for a variety of Major League clubs, including the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Cubs and Tampa Bay. McGriff was known for his consistent power hitting and smooth fielding, earning five All-Star selections and three Silver Slugger Awards. By the time he retired in 2004, he had amassed an impressive 493 career home runs and 2,490 hits.

2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Getty Images

Donning a blue pinstriped suit, McGriff expressed gratitude to the numerous individuals who supported him during his speech. He also made poignant connections to several Hall of Famers seated behind him.

My goal was simply to make it to the big leagues, and I exceeded every expectation I could have ever imagined and then some. It is a great feeling getting recognized for your hard work... When your career is validated by former players and executives that saw you play, that’s as good as it gets.

McGriff's induction was made possible by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee, which elects players from specific time periods who may have been overlooked in the traditional voting process.


An 8-time Gold Glove Award winner, Rolen was as surehanded at the hot corner as he was feared at the plate. Playing from 1996 to 2012 for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Reds, Rolen tallied over 2,000 hits to go along with 316 home runs. Rolen was selected for enshrinement via the traditional voting process on his sixth year of eligibility.

2023 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Getty Images

Emotion overtook him during the first few seconds of his induction speech.

I dreamed of being a Major League baseball player, but I was not raised to be a Major League Baseball player. I was raised to be honest, to work hard, to be accountable for my words and actions, and to treat people with kindness and respect. I was not taught in today's terminology: exit velocity, launch angle or spin rate. Rather, I was taught 'Please. Thank you. Excuse me. And I'm sorry.'

In addition to McGriff and Rolen, other 2023 inductees included Carl Erskine, John Lowe and Pat Hughes, who were honored with the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, BBWAA Career Excellence Award, and the Ford C. Frick Award, respectively.

The crowd in attendance was estimated to be around 10,000, which was rather modest by Hall of Fame weekend standards. Keep reading below to see the 12 largest crowds in history:

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