Scott Rolen was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
The former St. Louis Cardinal, on his sixth ballot, got in with 76.3%, making it by just five votes – he earned just 10.2 percent on his first year in 2018 (players need 75% for induction).
Rolen recorded 2,077 hits in his career, along with 316 home runs and 1,287 RBI in his 17-year career. Rolen hit .281 in his career, and is one of four third basemen with 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs, and 1,200 RBI along with Chipper Jones, Adrian Beltre, and George Brett.
Out of non-active players, the seven-time All-Star’s .855 OPS is the eighth-best among third basemen of all time – he also won eight Gold Glove Awards.
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Rolen also is the only player in MLB history to play at least 2,000 games and only play third base in his entire career.
The 1997 NL Rookie of the Year won Gold Gloves in his third and 15th seasons, where he received MVP votes in both seasons. He also was a fourth-place finisher for the NL MVP in 2004 when he hit .314 with a 1.007 OPS belting 34 homers and driving in 124 runs, all career-bests.
Rolen won a World Series with St. Louis in 2006 and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2019.
He was with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1996 to 2002 before being traded to the Cardinals that season. He remained there until 2007 and joined the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008. The next year, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, where he stayed until his retirement in 2012.
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Todd Helton narrowly missed out on induction with 72.2% of the vote. He has five years of eligibility left, so at this point, it is a matter of if, not when. He missed induction by 11 votes.
However, it is the end of the line for Jeff Kent, despite hitting the most home runs (351) by any second baseman in the history of baseball. He received 46.5% of the vote after a 17-year career with the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Cleveland, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit .290, recorded 2,461 hits, racked up an .855 OPS, drove in 1,518 runs, and won an MVP in 2000. It will now be up to future committees to determine his fate.
Gary Sheffield has one more chance to get a plaque next season. His numbers (509 homers, .292 average, .907 OPS) are certainly Hall of Fame worthy, but there have been questions regarding his involvement with PEDs. He received 55% of the vote.
In his first year of eligibility, Carlos Beltran received 46.5% of the vote. He likely will make it eventually, but his involvement with the Astros cheating scandal of 2017 likely took away some votes and halted him from being first-ballot.
The Veterans Committee voted in Fred McGriff in December – he will join Rolen at the induction ceremony on July 23.
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Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, Chase Utley, Matt Holliday, Adrian Gonzalez, Bartolo Colon, Jose Bautista, Jose Reyes, and David Wright will all see their name on voters’ ballots next year for the first time.