It is Scott Rolen’s fifth time on the ballot. He jumped from 35.3%, in 2020, to 52.9% last year before. So a similar jump would get him close to that 75% number he needs.
Scott is one of those guys who doesn’t have that one great stat that Writers can look at and say ‘he should be in, but then he was good at all parts of the game. Bobby Grich is a fair comparison in that way. Grich should be in the Hall, but the Writers have a hard time with guys who do everything well.
Scott played 17 seasons, 7 with the Phillies, 6 with the Cardinals, 4 with the Reds, and 2 with the Blue Jays.
He hit .281/.364/.490 with 316 home runs in 2038 games. He was Rookie of the Year in 1997, won eight Gold Gloves, made seven All-Star teams, and received MVP votes four times. And, for a brief period, he was the GOAT with the Jays. He had seven straight seasons with 25 or more home runs.
He was a favourite in his short time with the Jays. Of course, it helped that he started his Jays’ career with a seven-game hitting streak.
He came to us in trade for Troy Glaus. And he left us for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke, and Zach Stewart.
His bWAR was 70.2 (fWAR 70.1), which puts him 67 all-time among position players.
I was looking at Brooks Robinson’s career, Rolen looks like a better version of Brooks (with a shorter career), so I’ll vote yes. I didn’t see Robinson play, so I’m not sure how their defense compares. But, of course, they played in different eras.
Rolen is a tough one. For those on the yes side, it is in part because of his glove. If you consider him the best defensive player of his generation at third base, he like deserves to go in. If you don’t think his defense was that good, then his offensive numbers come up short.
He did win eight Gold Gloves. We were lucky enough to get to watch him play third for a season and a half. He wasn’t quite at the peak of his defensive powers, but he might have been the best defensive third baseman we’ve had in Toronto (Kelly Gruber was pretty with the glove too).
He and Tony LaRussa didn’t get along. Something about Tony not liking the look in Rolen’s eye or something. Old school managers have this thing about how guys ‘carry themselves’. I’m generally more interested in whether they help the team win between the lines, but then who knows.
Would you vote Scott Rolen into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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