Scott Rolen was awarded a place in Baseball's Hall of Fame last week for recognition to his services to the sport, his name added to the roster by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Rolen was a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds and often viewed as the best defensive player in his spot in his era, winning a National League Gold Glove eight times in his career.
|What:||MLB Hall of Fame|
|Where:||National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, NY|
|When:||July 23rd 2023|
|How to watch:||MLB Network|
The induction of candidates for the Hall of Fame will take place on 23rd July 2023.
The Hall of Fame and Museum is in Cooperstown, New York, a small village in Central state New York.
It is said that Baseball was invented there by Abner Doubleday on a cow pasture within the village in 1839, the present site of Doubleday field.
This claim has been subject to questioning by many Baseball historians, however Cooperstown remains synonymous in the Baseball world.
Usually the programme is shown on MLB Network.
The first induction took place when the hall opened in 1939, although their had been candidates voted in from 1936. There have been entries into the Hall of Fame every year except for a break for World War 2.
Rolen was born in Indiana and was a second-round pick by the Phillies in the 1993 MLB Draft. At the age of 21, he made his big league debut for the Philadelphia against the Cardinals and went 1-for-4, while he reached his first All-Star game in 2002 - a season he hit 31 home runs.
His last year with the Phillies was 2002 after he informed the front office that he would not be re-signing when he reached free agency. He was subsequently traded to St. Louis in July of that year for pitchers Mike Timlin and Bud Smith plus infielder Placido Polanco.
Rolen enjoyed special times in St. Louis, becoming an All-Star on four consecutive seasons and hitting a career-high 34 home runs in 2004. During a five-game World Series for the Cardinals over the Detroit Tigers in 2006, he batted .421 and hit a game one home run off Justin Verlander.
Following the 2007 season, the Cardinals traded Rolen to the Blue Jays for third baseman Troy Glaus. However, it was the Reds that wanted Rolen's leadership skills and they acquired him at the Trade Deadline in July 2009. He helped Cincinnati claim National League Central titles in 2010 and 2012.
Speaking to MLB.com, Rolen said: "The highlight of my Hall of Fame career was the first day I got called up in the Major Leagues and I watched my parents walk into the stadium. I choked up on the field and had a hard time finishing the inning.
"They (Phillies) taught me how to play the game. My six years in Phildelphia, I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. It taught me who I was as a player and what I was going to do for them, how I was going to work no matter where I went.
"I never thought I was going to be a Hall of Fame player, I never thought I'd get drafted, I never thought I'd make it through the Minor Leagues, the Major Leagues and get the chance to win a World Series with the Cardinals."
Falling short in 2023 were Todd Helton and Billy Wagner, but they will be added to the ballot in 2024. Joining them in the voting will be Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, Chase Utley, David Wright, Bartolo Colon, Matt Holliday, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes.
This is a lot of first-year players, some with a shot of getting to Cooperstown and some who are likely to miss out on being in the Hall of Fame, but still adored by their supporters.
In 2025, new players to the ballot will be Ichiro Suzuki, CC Sabathia, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Troy Tulowitzki and Felix Hernandez.
Seattle Mariners fans will be invested in this ballot with the news that Ichiro has been added to the voting. The Japanese superstar had 3,089 career hits alone. He led the league in hits seven times, including the all-time single-season record of 262, and he was an exceptional baserunner.
In 2026, new entries to the ballot will be Cole Hamels, Ryan Braun, Alex Gordon, Shin-Soo Choo and Edwin Encarnacion.
2027 will have Buster Posey, Jon Lester, Ryan Zimmermann and Kyle Seager in the voting. Posey will be favourite in this year, there is no denying his six-year run from 2012-2017 as the best catcher in the game, but as his career was quite short, he may get challenged for the admission by Joe Mauer.
After these years and when they start to retire, you'll add Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw when they give up playing, what an elite pitching class that will be.