Scott Rolen was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame – Orange County Register

By RONALD BLUM AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK — Slick-fielding third baseman Scott Rolen was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame Tuesday with five votes exceeding the required 75%.

The seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner was included in his sixth appearance on the ballot, which accounted for 76.3% of 297 of 389 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. A player needed 292 votes for the election.

He became the 18th third baseman selected to the hall, the least of any position. Rolen will join Fred McGriff, who was selected last month by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee as recruits at Cooperstown on July 23rd.

“You don’t think about it. You think about doing your best,” Rolen said. “I never thought the Hall of Fame would be the answer.”

Rolen had a .281 batting average with 316 homers and 1,287 RBIs for Philadelphia (1996-2002), St. Louis (2002-07), Toronto (2008-09), and Cincinnati (2009-12). He was unanimously voted NL Rookie of the Year in 1997, scoring a .421 when the Cardinals won the 2006 World Series.

Rolen’s five-vote margin was the 12th-smallest among the authors’ chosen players, and his 76.3% of the vote was the 10th-lowest. Rolen rose from 63.2% last year to 10.2% on his first ballot in 2018.

That was the lowest first-choice percentage for a later-chosen player. The previous mark was Duke Snider’s 17% in 1970. Snider was elected in 1980 with 86.5%.

First baseman Todd Helton was second with 281 votes (72.2%) and reliever Billy Wagner was third with 265 (68.1%). Helton is up from 52% and can have five more appearances on the ballot, while Wagner is up from 51% and has two extra chances.

Several others also saw big gains: Andruw Jones went from 41.1% to 58.1%, Gary Sheffield went from 40.6% to 55% in his penultimate appearance, and Jeff Kent went from 32.7% to 46.5% in his last year. Kent may be considered by today’s Baseball Era Committee for years to come.

Players hit by drug bans again lagged behind. Alex Rodriguez was at 35.7%, up 34.3%, and Manny Ramirez was at 33.2%, up 28.9%.

Eight blank ballots were submitted by writers eligible to vote after 10 consecutive years of membership in the BBWAA.

Of 14 players who were on the ballot for the first time, only two reached the 5% threshold required to be considered next year. Carlos Beltrán received 181 votes (46.5%), his total likely influenced by his role in the Houston Astros cheating scandal en route to the 2017 World Series title.

Former Angels pitcher Francisco Rodríguez received 42 votes (10.8%).

Omar Vizquel 76 (19.5%), Andy Pettitte 66 (17.0%), Bobby Abreu 60 (15.4%), Jimmy Rollins 50 (12.9%), Mark Buehrle 42 (10.8%), Francisco Rodríguez 42 (10.8%) and Torii Hunter 27 (6.9%) all received enough votes to remain on the ballot.

First-time candidates for next year include former Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltré, longtime Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, former New York Mets third baseman David Wright, former Toronto Blue outfielder/third baseman Jays, Jose Bautista, and St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Urlaub.

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen stretches to make the catch for a drive by Philadelphia Phillies' Pat Burrell in the third inning Thursday, April 6, 2006 in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen stretches to make the catch for a drive from Pat Burrell of the Philadelphia Phillies during a game April 6, 2006 in Philadelphia. An eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, Rolen was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy) Scott Rolen was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame – Orange County Register

Russell Falcon

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