Former St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen missed out on being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame for a fifth straight year on Tuesday, but his odds of one day getting a call to Cooperstown continue to increase.
Rolen's voting total jumped from 52.9% in 2021 to 63.2% this year. A candidate must receive 75% of the BBWAA vote in order to be inducted into the Hall. Former Twins and Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was the only player to be elected via the writers' ballot on Tuesday.
Outfielder Carlos Beltrán, who spent two of his 20 major league seasons (2012-13) with the Cardinals, is seemingly the only realistic candidate for first-ballot induction on next year's ballot. With Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling — a trio of polarizing candidates who received a majority of the vote in recent years — falling off the ballot following their 10th and final year of eligibility and writers having the ability to vote for up to 10 candidates, Rolen has a solid shot at getting over the 75% threshold next January.
Rolen, who also spent time with the Phillies, Blue Jays and Reds during his 17-year major league career, posted a .281/.364/.490 career slash line with 316 home runs and 1,287 RBIs. He was the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, a seven-time All-Star and a Silver Slugger Award winner in 2002. He helped the Cardinals to a World Series victory in 2006, hitting .421/.476/.737 in the Fall Classic as St. Louis defeated the Detroit Tigers.
Top photo of Scott Rolen courtesy St. Louis Cardinals Archive.