A big congrats to Fred McGriff AKA the “Crime Dog” 🐶 who was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame this past weekend!
Mr. McGriff was a model of consistency as a terrific power hitting first baseman over a very long career for baseball teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves.
While Mr. McGriff hit almost 500 homeruns, had nearly 2,500 hits, drove in 1,500+ runs and helped lead the Braves to their world championship in 1995, he was often overlooked and unappreciated both during and after his stellar career. In fact, his career almost never started as he was actually cut from his high school baseball team in Tampa, Florida during his sophomore year.
There’s a lot that we can learn from Mr. McGriff’s Hall of Fame career and he was part of a highly significant baseball trade as a young player which is instructive for us.
In 1982, my beloved New York Yankees made one of its worst trades in its storied history when they traded Mr. McGriff to the Blue Jays and received two players who provided zero value to the Yankees.
So, here’s two lessons that we can learn for the workplace from the Yankees trading a future Hall of Famer in the form of Mr. McGriff for practically nothing:
⚾️ Don’t Give Up on Early in Career Talent: I’ve seen instances where managers in essence “gave up” on talented employees who did not perform at a high level very early in their careers. Let’s make sure that we help nurture our talented teammates and we provide them with the needed time, space and coaching to thrive in the workplace.
⚾️ Be Strategic in Your Deals: This point is very important as we face an increasingly uncertain economic climate. Be sure to take a long-term view in the deals and contracts that you establish with your customers and partners. Think about the impact of your deals and contracts over a long horizon and not just to simply close a key deal for a specific business quarter end. Also, make sure that you can operationally fulfill and deliver upon those deals and contracts over the long term.
Congrats again to the Crime Dog!