Jan. 25 (UPI) — Scott Rolen, a seven-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove winner and World Series champion, was narrowly elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Baseball Writer’s Association of America announced.
The association announced Tuesday that Rolen was the only one of 28 candidates to meet the threshold of being named on at least 75% of voters’ ballots. The role received 297 votes, or 76.3% of the voters.
“You don’t think about this,” Rolen told MLB Network. “You think about trying to do the best you can and play for your team and play the game the best you can.
“It’s such a long road. I never thought this was the answer.”
Longtime Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton fell 11 votes short of the election, but jumped to 72.2% in his first year on the ballot. Former relief pitcher Billy Wagner (68.1%) and outfielders Andruw Jones (58.1%) and Gary Sheffield (55%) were the next closest choices, among the group of former baseball stars.
Rolen, 47, hit .281 with 316 home runs, 517 doubles, 43 triples and 118 stolen bases in 2,038 games over 17 seasons. The 1997 National League Rookie of the Year hit at least .300 in two separate seasons and hit more than 20 home runs in 10 respective campaigns. Rolen hit career highs with a .314 average, 34 home runs and 124 RBIs in 2004 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The second round pick in the 1993 MLB Draft made his MLB debut in 1996 for the Philadelphia Phillies. He joined the Cardinals in a trade in 2002. He went on to win a World Series with that franchise in 2006.
The Cardinals traded Rolen to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008. The Blue Jays traded Rolen to the Cincinnati Reds in 2009. Rolen hit .245 over his final season in 2012.
Candidates can remain on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot for up to 10 years if they receive at least 5% of the ballots cast. If not selected, their case may be sent back to the Historical Review Committee for consideration as a selection by the Contemporary Baseball Era Player Committee.