Scott Rolen was the only player voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) on Tuesday. He received 76.3 percent of the 389 votes cast in 2023 after missing last year’s induction by 63.2 percent of the 394 votes cast in 2022. That’s a small margin.
27 other players participated in this year’s ballot, and longtime Rockies first baseman Todd Hilton lost 11 votes out of the required 75 percent. In his fifth year on the ballot, Hilton jumped to 72.2 percent of the total vote this year after getting 52 percent last year.
Rolen will join Fred McGriff in this year’s class, as McGriff will be inducted into the Hall in July after being elected by the Contemporary Era of Baseball committee in December.
Here’s everything you need to know about the selection process, who cast fewer votes than Rolen and who could make it to next year’s roster:
How are players selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame?
BBWAA members—who have been active baseball writers for at least 10 consecutive years—vote on eligible players each cycle. The 2023 ballot has been sent to nearly 400 voting members of the BBWAA, the hall announced in November. Players need 75 percent of the vote to be honored and removed from the ballot if they are named to less than 5 percent of the vote or if they are on the ballot 10 times without being elected.
A committee chooses who is on the ballot, which will be released in November. To be eligible for selection, candidates must have been active major league players during a period beginning 20 years prior and ending five years prior to the election. They must also have played in 10 major league seasons, a portion of which must have been within the aforementioned period.
Players on the ineligible MLB list are not considered. Additionally, if an active player or retired player has died for less than five years and is otherwise eligible, they will be eligible at the next election occurring at least six months after the date of death or at the end of the five years. The period of the year, whichever comes first.
According to the BBWAA, voting is based on a player’s “record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, personality, and contributions to the team(s)” for which they have played.
More details about the election process can be found here.
Who was on the ballot this year?
Fourteen players appeared for the first time on the BBWAA ballot in 2023: Bronson Arroyo, Carlos Beltran, Matt Cain, R. Dickey, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andre Ethier, JJ Hardy, John Lackey, Mike Napoli, Johnny Peralta, Francisco Rodriguez, Houston Street , Jared Weaver, and Jason Wirth.
Fourteen former players also returned to the 2023 BBWAA ballot (having received at least 5 percent of last year’s vote): Rollin, Hilton, Billy Wagner, Andrew Jones, Gary Sheffield, Alex Rodriguez, Jeff Kent, Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Andy Pettitt, Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu, Mark Burley and Torrey Hunter.
Who are the other members elected to the Hall of Fame with 5 or fewer votes?
One player, Al Simmons, received enough votes to reach the 75 percent threshold in 1953. Ferguson Jenkins (75.4 percent in 1991), Ralph Keener (75.41 percent in 1975) and Willie Keeler (75.55) were honored percent in 1939) only. Two votes to spare.
Early Wynn entered the hall in 1972 with 76.01 percent of the 396 votes cast while Evan Rodriguez received 76.02 percent of the 442 total votes cast in 2017.
Three players, Cy Young (76.12 percent in 1937), Ren Sandburg (76.16 percent in 2005), and Catfish Hunter (76.27 percent in 1987) had a percentage lower than Rollin when they were voted on.
What happens when players don’t reach 75 percent?
The Hall of Fame did not add any members in 2021 due to no player receiving enough votes, a year that included Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens on writers’ ballots. Those three returned to last year’s election and missed the cut, along with Sammy Sosa, during their tenth and final year listed.
The BBWAA also did not select anyone in 2013, 1996, and 1971.
Who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame?
The Baseball Hall of Fame includes 340 former players, including seven who were inducted last year: Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Catt, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Buck O’Neal and David Ortiz. Fowler, Hodges, Minoso and O’Neill were posthumously elected.
Who can be elected next year?
First-time players eligible for the Class of 2024 could include Jose Bautista, Adrien Peeltri, Bartolo Colon, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Holliday, Jim Johnson, Victor Martinez, Joe Mauer, Brandon Phillips, Jose Reyes, James Shields, Chase Utley, David Wright, Brad Ziegler .
Among the players who did not earn a spot in the hall but did receive enough votes to stay on the ballot in 2024 are Todd Hilton (72.2 percent), Billy Wagner (68.1 percent), Andrew Jones (58.1 percent), and Gary Sheffield (55 percent). ), Carlos Beltran (46.5 percent), Alex Rodriguez (35.7 percent), Manny Ramirez (33.2 percent), Omar Vizquel (19.5 percent), Andy Pettitt (17 percent), Bobby Abreu (15.4 percent), Jimmy Rollins (12.9 percent) and Mark Buehrle (10.8%), Francisco Rodriguez (10.8%), and Torii Hunter (6.9%).
Jeff Kent received the required 46.5 percent of the vote but was in his final year of eligibility.
Hilton has made great strides, losing just 11 votes after receiving just 52 percent of the required vote in 2022. He would be a strong candidate for the honor in 2024.
Beltré, a four-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove winner, is also a potential selection. He is the only major league player with at least 3,000 hits and 450 home runs among those who have appeared in at least half of their games at third base.
Mauer, a six-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger, and three-time Gold Glover Award winner, and Utley, a six-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner, stand the best chance of joining the Beltré as first ballot picks.
The Hall of Fame 2023 induction ceremony has been scheduled for July 23. July 27, 2025; and July 26, 2026.
(Top photo: Albert Dixon/Getty Images)