Eight-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen became a Baseball Hall of Famer

Eight-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen became a Baseball Hall of Famer

Eight-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen became a Baseball Hall of Famer

Scott Rolen was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for the second time in three years that he was eliminated from the BBWAA’s voting.

None of the other 27 players listed on the 2023 Hall ballot passed the 75% threshold, though there were several omissions. Voting results were revealed Tuesday during a live stream on MLB.com.

Rolen, the longtime third baseman, was named in his sixth year with 76.3% of the voting rights. Previously missing Rocky first baseman Todd Helton received 72.2% of the ballots in his fifth attempt at election.

Players can be on the ballot if they are named on at least 5% of the ballot during the June 10 voting cycle after a five-year waiting period after retirement.

“You don’t think about it,” Rolen said on MLB Network. “You think about doing your best, playing for your team and playing the game as hard as you can, so there’s a long way to go. “I never thought the Hall of Fame would answer.”

Rolen was named an All-Star seven times during his 17-year career Philly, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Reds. His eight Gold Gloves are the fourth most for a third baseman. The 1997 NL Rookie of the Year was a member of the Cardinals when they won the 2006 World Series.

Rolen, who ranks fifth among career third basemen in WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com, was named on just 10.2% of the ballots in his first year of eligibility in 2018, but quickly gained support in each past voting cycle.

The same growth trajectory was the case for Helton, which started 2019 at 16.5%. .316 career hitter in 17 seasons, all with the Colorado Rockies, Helton was a four-time Silver Slugger winner and three-time Gold Glover. his first job.

Other players named on at least half of the ballots included Billy Wagner (68.1%), Andrew Jones (58.1%) and Gary Sheffield (55%).

Wagner, one of the most dominant relievers of his era, was consistently supported. He won 51% of the ballots last year. Next year will be his ninth season of eligibility.

Rolen’s narrow election marks the ninth time in the BBWAA’s voting history that it has yet to elect new members. The writers didn’t elect anyone in 2021 either. Last year, the writers selected only Red Sox great David Ortiz.

The three-year stretch in which the BBWAA selected only two players is a historic low. Since the annual vote became permanent in 1966, writers have not selected at least two players in any three-year period. They also selected two players during a three-year stretch ending in 1968 and each season from 1996 to 1998.

Interestingly, the small number of electors come years after a certain period of prolific voting writers. In the three-year period ending in 2019, the BBWAA elected 11 new Hall of Famers, and in the five-year period from 2015 to 2019, the writers selected 17 new Hall of Famers.

Unlike 2021, when no new Hall of Famers were elected by the writers or era committee — the first time since 1960 — there will be at least two new inductees who will speak in Cooperstown during the July 23 induction ceremony. The soft-spoken Fred McGriff joins Rolen in the hall after being selected by the era committee at the winter meetings in December in San Diego.

Progress has been slow for several controversial inductees whose careers meet traditional Hall of Fame standards but whose connections to PEDs have hurt their cases.

Alex Rodriguez amassed a career-high 3,115 hits, 696 homers and 2,086 RBIs while being named on 35.7% of the ballots in his second year, up from 34.3%. Rodriguez missed the 2014 season after being suspended for violating MLB’s PED policy.

Similarly, Manny Ramirez, who hit 555 homers while posting a .312 career batting average but was suspended twice for PED violations, made little progress when voted seventh on the ballot. After landing at 28.9% last year, Ramirez is up 33.2% this time around.

In contrast, the horribly lazy Sheffield United got a bit of a boost in their ninth year. It was 40.6 percent last year. Sheffield, who hit 509 homers but was named in the 2007 Mitchell Report, was never disciplined for PED use. Next season will be his 10th and final chance to be voted off by the writers.

Of the 14 first-time balloters, only two had the 5% support needed to be considered the next time.

One of the first-timers was Carlos Beltran, who received 46.5% of the ballots. Beltran’s Hall story highlights the importance of a career that saw 435 homers, 312 steals, 2,725 hits and one of baseball’s most glittering postseason records.

Beltran was the centerpiece of the controversial tag-stealing scandal that marred the 2017 World Series title. Houston Astros, who Beltran played for. His association with the controversy later led to his resignation as manager New York Mets ahead of his first season in that role.

While it’s unclear what role the controversy played in Beltran not being on the first ballot, his level of support bodes well for the future and perhaps other notable candidates on this Astros team.

Another man who will remain on the ballot is reliever Francisco Rodriguez, whose 437 saves were enough to get him 10.8% of the ballots.

While voters have been stingy in recent years, next year could see an active Inaugural Week featuring some interesting candidates. The rookie roster is led by third baseman Adrian Beltre, catcher Joe Mauer and second baseman Chase Utley.

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