Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 5/22/13
Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff hit 493 home runs, amassed 2,490 hits and was a five-time All-Star during his 19-year Major League Baseball career for six teams. Despite his standout numbers -- seven straight 30-home run seasons from 1988 to 1994 -- the lanky first baseman might have been better known among baseball fans for his appearance in the long-running late-night commercial for Tom Emanski’s Defensive Drills video. McGriff, 49 and now living in his hometown of Tampa as he enjoys retirement, looks as long and lean as he did in his playing days. I caught up with the Crime Dog in Rochester, N.Y. where he was getting ready to take the field in the Pepsi MAX Field of Dreams legends game. Amanda Rykoff: What young players do you most enjoy watching today? Fred McGriff: I still like Justin Upton with the Braves, Jason Heyward. Josh Hamilton and those guys, Mike Trout, the good young players, Bryce Harper. Amanda Rykoff: Who does Justin Upton most remind you of when he crushes those bombs? Fred McGriff: A little bit of Gary Sheffield because I’m from Tampa and Sheffield played there. Sheffield was a big right-handed hitter and Justin swings just like him. Amanda Rykoff: How often do people come up to you and want to talk to you about the Tom Emanski videos? Fred McGriff: All the time. I’m pretty sure tonight you’re going to hear, “Hey Crime Dog. what about Tom Emanski? Where’s the blue hat?” I will hear it. Everywhere I go, out to a restaurant or a club or whatever there’s always that one guy... Photos by Bill Wippert/Invision for Pepsi MAX/AP Images. [follow]
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