By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The Baseball Hall of Fame announced this evening that third Baseman Scott Rolen has been elected by the Baseball Writers Association of America. In this year’s election cycle, he is the only player inducted by the BBWAA.
Rolen received 297 votes (76.3%) of the vote, just above the 75% required for induction. A few players that did not make the cut were Todd Helton, who in his fifth year on the ballot fell 11 votes short of getting into Cooperstown with 281 votes (72.2%). Billy Wagner, oh his eighth ballot, fell short with 265 votes (68.1%), Andruw Jones, in his sixth year received 226 votes (58.1%), and Gary Sheffield missed in his ninth year with 214 (55.0%).
The Philadelphia Phillies selected Rolen in the second round of the 1993 draft. Rolen was homegrown in the Phillies organization until he was called up to the Majors in 1996 when he was just 21 years old. In August of 1996, he played in 37 games, hitting four home runs in 146 plate appearances with a .254 batting average, while driving in 18 runs. Rolen gave the Phillies a big spark during the 1997 season, his first full year in the Majors, where he played in 156 games, batting .283, hitting 21 home runs, and driving 92 runs batted in 657 plate appearances on his way to being unanimously voted the National League’s Rookie of the Year.
Rolen was elected in his sixth year on the ballot, and in his career, batted .281 with 1,287 RBI, 1,211 runs, and an OPS of .854 combined with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. Among his 2,077 hits were 517 doubles, 43 triples and 316 home runs, and he was a member of the Cardinals’ championship club in 2006, when he hit .421 with a home run and two RBI in the World Series.
Rolen will be inducted alongside first basemen Fred McGriff, whom the inaugural Contemporary Baseball Era Committee previously elected with an unanimous vote after not making being voted in by the BBWAA.
McGriff played for six teams during his 19-year career that ended in 2004. The five-time All-Star clubbed 493 home runs and collected 2,493 hits while finishing in the top 10 of MVP balloting in six seasons, including each season from 1989 to 1993.
McGriff hit 30 or more home runs in a season for five different franchises and helped carry the 1995 Atlanta Braves to World Series Championship, hitting two home runs during the fall classic.
Rolen and McGriff will be honored July 21-24 in Cooperstown, N.Y., at the July 23 Induction Ceremony on the grounds of the Clark Sports Center.