How Did World Series Champion Fred ‘The Crime Dog’ McGriff Get His Nickname?

Former MLB player Fred McGriff played in the league for 19 years and enjoyed a successful career. Throughout his career, he won multiple individual awards and made an impact on the teams he played for.

McGriff developed a nickname during his time in the league. His nickname was “The Crime Dog,” and that would stick with him for the rest of his career.

Fred McGriff’s MLB career

McGriff initially signed with the New York Yankees after the team selected him in the ninth round of the 1981 draft. The next year he was dealt with the Toronto Blue Jays, and fours year later, he would make his MLB debut with the Blue Jays. He spent his first five MLB seasons playing with the Blue Jays and hit .278 during those five years. During the 1989 season, McGriff won his first Silver Slugger award batting .269 hitting 36 home runs with 92 RBIs.

After his time in Toronto, he was traded to the San Diego Padres. In his second season with the Padres, he was named to his first all-star team and won his second Silver Slugger award. McGriff continued to take his game to the next level. During the middle of his career, he joined his third team, the Atlanta Braves. The first baseman joined a talented Braves roster, and that team would have a lot of success.

During the 1994 season, McGriff made his second all-star team, and he finished the season batting .318 while hitting 34 home runs. The next season the Braves won the 1995 MLB World Series. The Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-2. In six games, McGriff hit .261 with two home runs and three RBIs.

Fred McGriff was well-known across the league

McGriff was a player that many people knew across the league. During the 1990s and 2000s, McGriff appeared in multiple baseball instructional videos, which would get a lot of viewers. McGriff teamed up with Tom Emanski to make those instructional videos. Emanski was a baseball coach and did a lot of instructional lessons for baseball players.

McGriff knew Emanski before he got into the majors. Emanski helped McGriff with his swing as a prospect, and that would pay off a lot for McGriff. The instructional videos would feature fielding and hitting. During those years, McGriff had a lot of success during his career, he already was a World Series champion and made numerous all-star appearances. So, seeing McGriff in those videos attracted a lot of viewers.

How Fred McGriff got his nickname

So, where did McGriff’s nickname come from? ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman gave McGriff the nickname “The Crime Dog.” McGriff’s last name is similar to McGruff the Crime Dog’s name. McGruff, the Crime Dog, was an animated dog that helped increase crime awareness and personal safety. He appeared in different commercials and ads to help get the message out there.

It was fitting that Berman gave McGriff that nickname because of his last name, and the all-star stuck with that nickname for the rest of his career. He finished his career with a .284 batting average with 2,490 hits, 493 home runs, and 1,550 RBIs. McGriff had one of the best nicknames in the MLB at the time, and his nickname is still one of the top nicknames out there.