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Former Cardinals Star Scott Rolen Headlines 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2023

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 27: Scott Rolen #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws the ball against the Washington Nationals on May 27, 2007 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Nationals beat the Cards 7-2.   (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Scott Rolen was the only player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in the class of 2023.

The results were announced Tuesday on MLB Network, with players needing at least 75 percent of votes for induction.

Joon Lee @joonlee

Scott Rolen: Hall of Famer<br><br>Todd Helton misses by 11 votes<br><br>Rolen: 76.3<br>Helton: 72.2<br>Wagner: 68.1<br>Jones: 58.1<br>Sheffield: 55<br>Beltran: 46.5<br>Kent: 46.5<br>A-Rod: 35.7<br>Manny: 33.2<br>Vizquel: 19.5<br>Pettitte: 17<br>Abreu: 15.4<br>Rollins: 12.9<br>Buehrle: 10.8<br>K-Rod: 10.8<br>Hunter: 6.9

The 47-year-old Rolen will join Fred McGriff, who was unanimously selected as part of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee in December.

Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner were considered three of the top candidates entering this year after each received at least 50 percent of the vote on the 2022 ballot. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling were all removed after losing their eligibility after 10 years on the ballot.

None of the first-year players eligible, including Carlos BeltrΓ‘n, Francisco RodrΓ­guez, Matt Cain and John Lackey, earned enough votes to get into the Hall of Fame this year.

Rolen was the biggest favorite to earn a spot in his sixth year on the ballot. The seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner spent 17 years in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. He finished his career with a .280 average and 2,077 hits, adding 316 home runs.

The third baseman also won Rookie of the Year in 1997 and helped the Cardinals win a World Series in 2006, which was enough to earn a spot in Cooperstown.

Helton also posted impressive offensive numbers during his 17 seasons with the Colorado Rockies, including a .316 career batting average. He totaled 2,519 hits and 369 home runs, earning five All-Star selections and one batting title.

His .953 career OPS ranks 23rd in baseball history.

Voters consider his numbers to be inflated after he spent his entire career in hitter-friendly Coors Field, which was enough to keep him out of the Hall for a fifth year in a row.

Wagner was one of the best closers of his era during his 16 seasons with the Houston Astros, New York Mets, Phillies, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. He earned seven All-Star selections and finished with a 2.31 career ERA, 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings and 422 saves, which ranks seventh all time.

Despite earning MVP votes in two different seasons, twice finishing in the top six of Cy Young Award voting, he remained just short of the Hall of Fame for the eighth year.

Alex Rodriguez, who has three MVP awards and ranks fifth in MLB history with 696 home runs, earned 35.7 percent of the vote in his second year on the ballot. Like Bonds and Clemens, the superstar appears hurt by his connection to performance-enhancing drugs.

Andruw Jones, Gary Sheffield and Manny Ramirez are among other notable players who will hope for better numbers next year.