The Baseball Hall of Fame will see two inductees earn their plaques in Cooperstown this summer, both of whom got their starts on Little League® fields growing up. Scott Rolen, a graduate of Jasper (Ind.) National Little League, will join Fred McGriff of Forest Heights Little League (Tampa, Fla.) and West Tampa (Fla.) Little League as the two players to earn the biggest honor in the game as the Class of 2023.
Including the two members of this year’s class, there have been a total of 34 Little League graduates to go on to become National Baseball Hall of Famers. Of those 34, seven graduates have also been enshrined into the Little League Hall of Excellence, the highest honor that Little League can bestow.
Fred McGriff – Forest Heights Little League & West Tampa Little League (Tampa, Fla.)
Unanimously elected by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee on Dec. 4, receiving all 16 possible votes, Fred McGriff enjoyed 19 major league seasons with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs, and Dodgers during his MLB career. After being drafted in the ninth round of the 1981 amateur draft by the New York Yankees, Mr. McGriff finished his MLB career just seven homers short of the 500-home run club, tied with Lou Gehrig for 26th all-time. He had a career .284 batting average, 2,490 hits, 441 doubles, and 1,550 RBI. He and fellow Little League graduate, Gary Sheffield, are the only players to hit 30 home runs for five different major league teams. In 10 postseason series, Mr. McGriff batted .303 with 10 home runs, 37 RBI and 100 total bases. He was named to five All-Star Games, finished in the top 10 in MVP voting six times, and ranks 47th all-time in RBI with 1,550.
Welcome to Cooperstown, Fred McGriff! https://t.co/SD7Qt6xei4 pic.twitter.com/KBrT6mVUJ4
— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) December 5, 2022
Scott Rolen – Jasper (Ind.) National Little League
After 17 seasons as a standout third baseman for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Reds, Scott Rolen has earned his iconic bronze plaque with a 76.3% vote in his sixth year on the ballot. A two-sport athlete playing baseball and basketball as a kid, Mr. Rolen committed to play basketball at the University of Georgia, but after the Philadelphia Phillies selected him in the second round of the 1993 MLB Draft, he elected to sign and play professional baseball instead. Notably known for the way in which he played the game, Mr. Rolen closed out his 17-year career with a .281 batting average, 316 home runs, 2,077 hits, and 1,287 RBI. He was an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner and seven-time All-Star and earned a NL Silver Slugger Award in 2002.
Welcome to Cooperstown, Scott Rolen! https://t.co/k7LAJV961a pic.twitter.com/9OiDUw0gFG
— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) January 24, 2023
Joining Mr. McGriff and Mr. Rolen on July 21-24 for Hall of Fame Weekend 2023 will be John Lowe and Pat Hughes, who will be honored with the BBWAA Career Excellence Award and the Ford C. Frick Award, respectively. To learn more, visit BaseballHall.org.
NOTE: If you know of a Little League graduate who is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, or notice any incorrect information, please e-mail the information, including name, notable achievements/recognitions, and the name of the city or town where they played Little League, to media@LittleLeague.org.