Rolen short of Hall; Dunn, Konerko off ballot

January 22nd, 2020

CINCINNATI -- A trio of former Reds -- outfielder , third baseman and first baseman -- were all on the 2020 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, and all three came up short when the voting was revealed Tuesday.

As anticipated, Yankees great Derek Jeter was voted into Cooperstown in his first year on the BBWAA ballot. In his final year on the ballot, Larry Walker, who played for the Expos, Rockies and Cardinals, was finally elected.

Walker’s election might set the groundwork for Rolen’s enshrinement one day.

Rolen has continued to trend upward in each of his three years of eligibility, with his name on 35.3% of the ballots cast this year after he was named to 17.2% last year and 10.2% in 2018. Dunn was named to one ballot and was below the 5% threshold needed to return to the BBWAA ballot for '21.

Mostly associated with the Cardinals, who inducted him into their club Hall of Fame in 2019, Rolen spent the end of his career with the Reds from '09-12. Over 17 seasons with the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Reds, he batted .281/.364/.490 with 316 home runs and 1,287 RBIs. He was a member of the 2006 World Series championship team with St. Louis.

Now 44, Rolen was the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner, a seven-time NL All-Star and an eight-time NL Gold Glove Award winner. He was viewed by many as the best defensive third baseman of his era.

As for Dunn, he played 14 Major League seasons, but he is most remembered for his tenure with the Reds from 2001-08. He also played for the D-backs, Nationals, White Sox and A’s before retiring after the '14 season with 462 career home runs -- a ratio of one for every 14.9 at-bats.

During his time in Cincinnati, Dunn, now 40, hit 270 homers, which ranks fifth in the franchise’s history behind Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, Tony Perez and Joey Votto. Dunn slugged at least 40 homers in six seasons -- including five straight from 2004-08, and totaled at least 100 RBIs in six seasons as well. The two-time NL All-Star led his league in walks twice, with at least 100 in eight seasons. He had a .364 career on-base percentage.

The Reds inducted Dunn into their club Hall of Fame in 2018.

Konerko was named to 10 ballots (2.5%). He was acquired from the Dodgers in July 1998 and played in 26 games for the Reds before he was traded to the White Sox for Mike Cameron after the season. He spent the rest of his career in Chicago and became one of the city’s most revered players.