ST. LOUIS -- Scott Rolen headlines a group of players on the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot with ties to St. Louis.
Rolen, one of the best third basemen in Cardinals history and inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame this summer, is on the ballot for the third time. Last year, he received 73 votes and was named on 17.2 percent of the ballots cast, an increase from the 10.2 percent support he received in his first year of eligibility. Walker received 54.6 percent support on last year’s ballot, while Furcal and Penny are first-timers.
Players become eligible for the BBWAA ballot five years after their last career game and remain eligible for up to 10 years, provided they continue to appear on at least five percent of ballots.
Eligible voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America will submit their ballots by year’s end -- and the 2020 class will be announced Jan. 21 on MLB Network. Players must appear on 75 percent of submitted ballots to be inducted into the Hall in the 2020 induction ceremony on July 26 in Cooperstown. Last year, 425 ballots were submitted, and players needed 319 for induction.
Rolen played for the Cardinals from 2002-07 and had some of his best years in St. Louis, where he made four All-Star teams and won three Gold Glove Awards. He played on the Cardinals' 2006 championship team and hit .421 during that World Series.
Rolen was Rookie of the Year in 1997 with the Phillies, and over his 17-year career, he was a seven-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove winner and finished fourth in the MVP race in '04. His home run (316) and RBI (1,287) totals rank in the top 15 all time among third basemen.
Walker ended his 17-year career by appearing in 144 games with the Cardinals after being traded from the Rockies in the middle of the 2004 season. A former National League MVP winner, Walker slashed .313/.400/.565 in his career and .286/.387/.520 with the Cardinals. He was a seven-time Gold Glove Award winner, five-time All-Star, three-time NL batting champ and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
In the middle of the 2011 season, the Dodgers traded Furcal to the Cardinals, where Furcal spent the next two years. He was the starting shortstop on the 2011 World Series championship team and an All-Star in 2012. Furcal batted .281/.346/.402 over his 14-year career that began with the Braves.
Penny only played for the Cardinals in 2010, toward the end of his 14-year career. He started nine games, went 3-4 and had a 3.23 ERA that year. The right-hander had a 4.29 career ERA and made two All-Star games with the Dodgers. In 2007, he finished third in NL Cy Young award voting.