A year after electing just one player—David Ortiz—in the 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame class, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America has chosen just one player yet again.
Third baseman Scott Rolen received the call Tuesday that he’s heading to Cooperstown, surpassing the 75% threshold among the writers’ ballots. Rolen received 76.3% support five years after receiving just 10.2% of votes in his first year up for election, making him the player with the lowest first-year support to eventually be elected by the BBWAA.
Rolen joins Fred McGriff in this year’s class of new Hall of Famers after McGriff was elected via the Contemporary Era committee in December.
Rolen earns enshrinement in his sixth year on the ballot. Known as one of the best defensive third basemen of all time—and certainly of his era—he won eight Gold Glove awards during his 17-year career with seven All-Star appearances. Rolen was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year with the Phillies in 1997, and was a key member of the Cardinals’ World Series-winning club in ’06. He also played for the Blue Jays and Reds.
The player who came the closest to earning enshrinement was first baseman Todd Helton, who fell 11 votes short of election. Helton spent his entire 17-year career with the Rockies, becoming one of the most dominant hitters of his era. A career .316 hitter, Helton won the batting title by posting a .372 average in 2000, and had six consecutive 30-home run seasons from ’99 to ’04.
Billy Wagner received 68.1% of the votes, followed by Andruw Jones (58.1%), Gary Sheffield (55.0%), Carlos Beltrán (46.5%) and Jeff Kent (46.5%).
The 2023 Hall of Fame ceremony will be held July 23.