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Scott Rolen is entering Cooperstown. But the Hall of Fame's voting process remains a mess.
Sixteen people entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2022.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame typically enshrines eight people each year.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame, meanwhile, continues to lag behind. Scott Rolen is the newest hall of famer, it was announced Tuesday, after appearing on 75 percent of ballots from Baseball Writers' Association of America voters.
The third baseman received seven all-star selections and eight Gold Gloves, a Rookie of the Year and a World Series ring with the 2006 Cardinals.
Rolen will enter Cooperstown in July alongside Fred McGriff, elected in December through a Contemporary Baseball Era committee confab.
There should have been other inductees.
Like Todd Helton (72.2%) and Billy Wagner (68.1%), who came oh so close.
Helton, the longtime Rockies slugger, is poised to soon become the second member of the 1994 Tennessee Vols football team to enter a major sports hall of fame, after QB icon Peyton Manning. But Helton thankfully focused on baseball. He put up back-to-back 145+ RBI seasons and batted an otherworldly .372 in 2000 on his way to 2,519 career hits, 369 home runs and a .316 batting average.
Wagner, meanwhile, is probably the second-best reliever of his era after Mariano Rivera. He saved 422 games and had a 1.43 ERA with 37 saves in his final season. In terms of JAWS (Jaffe Wins Above Replacement Score), he ranks sixth all-time among relievers behind Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Hoyt Wilhelm, Goose Gossage and Trevor Hoffman.
Tuesday's results are the latest reminder that the baseball hall's voting system is compromised, hypocritical and broken. By failing to establish an enshrinement quota like the other sports — say, at least five baseball players, managers or contributors added each year — and by limiting players' ability to get elected through BBWAA voting, the hall continues to sink further into irrelevance.
With Rolen's election, the hall narrowly avoided a third instance since 2010 of the BBWAA failing to elect anyone to the hall of fame.
In order to streamline the voting process and ensure that worthy candidates are elected each year, the hall of fame could enshrine the top three finishers in the BBWAA voting (and any others who top 75 percent), along with one player from a committee like McGriff and an additional contributor from baseball's past.
But come this summer, because of gridlock and a broken system, it will only be McGriff and Rolen.
And no one captures national attention quite like Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff.