Scott Rolen became the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Tuesday night, when the longtime third baseman received 76.3 percent of the vote in results announced by Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch at the plaque gallery inside the museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Rolen will officially be inducted during ceremonies at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown on July 23 along with Fred McGriff, who was elected unanimously by the 16-member Contemporary Baseball Players Committee on Dec. 4.
Rolen, in his sixth year on the ballot, was named on 297 of the 389 ballots cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — just five more than required to reach the 75 percent necessary for enshrinement.
Rolen, who played for four teams from 1996 through 2012, is the 18th third baseman elected to the Hall of Fame. While he spent the most time with the Philadelphia Phillies (844 games), he made four All-Star Games and won the World Series in 2006 with the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom Rolen played 661 games.
Longtime slugging first baseman Todd Helton and closer Billy Wagner came close to enshrinement in their fifth and eighth years on the ballot, respectively. Helton was named on 72.2 percent of the ballots, falling just 11 votes shy of the 292-vote minimum. Wagner earned 68.1 percent of the vote.
Jeff Kent received 46.5 percent of the vote in his 10th and final year on the ballot.
The only first-timers — players who retired following the 2017 season — to receive the five percent of the vote necessary to remain on the ballot were outfielder Carlos Beltran (46.5 percent) and closer Francisco Rodriguez (10.8 percent). Beltran hit 435 homers and made nine All-Stars teams, but his candidacy was expected to suffer initially after he was the only player on the 2017 Houston Astros named in Major League Baseball’s report on the sign-stealing system used by the World Series-winning Astros.