Saturday, February 4, 2023

Scott Rolen Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown

Scott Rolen, the seven-time All-Star who won eight Gold Gloves at third base during a 17-season major league career, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday after pitching a second shutout in three years. Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) ballot.

None of the 27 other players listed on the 2023 Hall ballot passed the 75 percent threshold for election, though a pair came very close to selection. The results of the vote were revealed Tuesday during a broadcast on MLB.com.

Full-time third baseman Rolen was named in his sixth year with 76.3% of the votes cast, trailing behind Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who received 72.2% of the votes on the ballot in his fifth. . election effort

Players may appear on the ballot for 10 seasons following a five-year waiting period after retiring, as long as they appear with at least 5% of the ballot during the voting cycle.

Rolen was a seven-time All-Star during his 17-year career playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. His eight Gold Gloves is the fourth most for a third baseman. Was a member of the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year Cardinals when the club won the 2006 World Series.

Rolen, who ranks fifth in the career war among third basemen according to Baseball-Reference.com, was nominated on only 10.2 percent of ballots during his first year of eligibility in 2018, but he has steadily gained support with each voting cycle. did.

The same upward trajectory has held true for Helton, who started 2019 up 16.5%. A career .316 hitter in 17 seasons, all spent with the Rockies, Helton was a four-time Silver Slugger winner and three-time Gold Glover. for his job on first base.

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

Wagner, one of the foremost relievers of his era, has drawn steady support during his years on the ballot. He won support last year on 51% of the ballots. Next year will be his ninth season of eligibility.

Rolen’s close election meant that the BBWAA has so far declined to elect new members just nine times in its voting history. The writers also didn’t pick anyone in 2021. Last year, only Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz was selected by the writers.

A three-year stretch in which the BBWAA selected only two players coincided with an all-time low. Since the annual poll became permanent in 1966, writers have never failed to select at least two players during a three-year period. He picked just two players during a three-year tenure that ended in 1968 and each season from 1996 to 1998.

Ironically, some of the featured authors come a few years after Voting’s particularly fruitful period. During the three-year term ending in 2019, the BBWAA selected 11 new Hall of Famers and during the five-year span from 2015 to 2019, the writers selected 17 new Hall of Famers.

Unlike in 2021, when no new Hall of Famers were selected by the writers or the era committee – the first time since 1960 – at least two new members will speak during the July 23 induction ceremonies in Cooperstown. Fred McGriff will enter the hall with Rollen after being selected by the era committee at the Winter Meetings in December in San Diego.

Progress was slower for some of the more controversial candidates whose performance meets traditional Hall of Fame standards, but their cases are undermined by associations with PEDs.

Alex Rodriguez, who had huge career totals of 3,115 hits, 696 home runs and 2,086 RBI, was named on 35.7% of ballots during his second year of eligibility, up from 34.3%. Rodriguez missed the 2014 suspension for violating MLB’s PED policies.

Similarly, Manny Ramirez, who hit 555 home runs and had a .312 batting average but was suspended twice for PED violations, made little progress during his seventh time on the ballot. After reaching 28.9% last year, Ramirez soared to 33.2% this time around.

In contrast, the fearsome Sheffield Slugger scored a slight boost in their ninth year of eligibility. That last year as 40.6%. Sheffield, who hit 509 career home runs but was cited in the 2007 Mitchell Report, was never disciplined for using PEDs. The coming season would be his tenth and last chance to win election via the Writers’ Ballot.

Of the 14 newcomers on the ballot, only two received the 5% support needed to be considered for the next term.

One of them was Carlos Beltrán, who received 46.5% of the ballot. Beltrán’s case for moving to Cooperstown is strong on the merits of a career that includes 435 home runs, 312 steals, 2,725 hits and one of baseball’s most dazzling postseason records.

Beltrán was a central figure in the controversial sign-stealing scandal that clinched the 2017 World Series title for the Houston Astros, for whom Beltrán played. His involvement with the controversy later led to his resignation as manager of the New York Mets before his first season in that role.

While it’s unclear what role he played in the scandal, Beltran’s level of support bodes well for and perhaps, future nominations for other standouts on that Astros team.

The other first year on the ballot to remain on the ballot is Venezuelan reliever Francisco Rodríguez, whose 437 ballots save enough for 10.8%.

While voters have been tight-lipped in recent years, next year could see a busy induction week, with interesting candidates running next winter. The list of newcomers is led by third baseman Adrián Beltré, catcher Joe Mauer and second baseman Chase Utley.

Nation World News Desk
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