Cooperstown will be welcoming two Blue Jays to the Hall of Fame this year.
The Veterans Committee voted Fred McGriff into the Hall earlier this winter and now Scott Rolen has been voted in by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Rolen received 76.3 percent of votes, narrowly getting over the 75 percent needed to be elected…
Rolen, an eight-time Gold Glove winner and seven-time All-Star, obviously isn’t at all remembered for his brief stint in Toronto, which came late in his career.
He came up with the Philadelphia Phillies in the mid-90s and won the National League Rookie of the Year in 1997. After seven seasons with the Phillies, he was dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he’d spend six seasons and win the 2006 World Series.
In January of 2008, the Blue Jays acquired Rolen from the Cardinals in exchange for Troy Glaus. Over a season-and-a-half in Toronto, Rolen slashed a .288/.358/.452 line with 19 home runs while playing excellent defence at the hot corner. With the Blue Jays firmly out of contention in July of 2009, he was moved to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke, and Zach Stewart.
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Rolen is a prime example of how baseball’s perception of player value has changed over the years. In his first go-around on the ballot back in 2018, Rolen received just 10.8 percent of votes and was nowhere near being elected to the Hall of Fame. But over the past few years, the sabermetrics community has pushed hard in favour of Rolen, who put up a 70.1 bWAR over his career in the big leagues.
Elsewhere on the ballot, Mark Buehrle got 10.8 percent of votes and will be back again next year, while R.A. Dickey will be a one-and-done after receiving just one vote. Next year, Jose Bautista will be on the ballot for the first time.