The Baseball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2023 will be 100 percent American Legion Baseball alumni.
Scott Rolen was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) in voting announced Jan. 24. He and Fred McGriff, who was selected by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee in December, are the only two players selected to the Hall of Fame this year.
Rolen and McGriff will bring the total of Legion Baseball alumni in the Hall of Fame to 85 when they are formally inducted July 23 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Rolen was one of 28 players on the BBWAA ballot but the only one to receive the 75 percent of the total votes necessary to earn election to the Hall of Fame. Rolen, who played American Legion Baseball in Jasper, Ind., appeared on 297 ballots — 76.3 percent of the vote.
The 2005 American Legion Baseball Graduate of the Year, Rolen played 17 seasons in the major leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. He was the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year as well as a seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. Rolen was also part of the 2006 World Series champion Cardinals.
Rolen is just the 18th third baseman elected to Cooperstown, the lowest total of any fielding position, and the first since Chipper Jones in 2018.
McGriff was a unanimous selection by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee. After playing American Legion Baseball for Post 248 in Tampa, Fla., the “Crime Dog” played 19 seasons in the major leagues for six teams: the Atlanta Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers.
A five-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and one-time World Series champion — with Atlanta in 1995 — McGriff finished his career with 493 home runs, 1,550 RBIs and a .284 batting average.
Two other Legion Baseball alumni were on the BBWAA ballot but failed to achieve the 75 percent of the vote necessary. Gary Sheffield (Post 248/Tampa, Fla.) appeared on 55 percent of the ballots in his ninth year of candidacy, while Jeff Kent (Bellflower, Calif.) appeared on 46.5 percent of the ballots.
This was Kent’s 10th and final year of consideration by the BBWAA.
The 2023 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place July 23 in Cooperstown, N.Y.