ST. LOUIS — Scott Rolen already has his red jacket as a Cardinals Hall of Famer, but another call could be coming soon. That would be a call from Cooperstown.
Rolen received 63.2% of the vote on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot for this past 2022 election cycle. That's a jump from 52.9% in 2021 and 35.3% of the vote in 2019. A player needs 75% of the vote to get elected.
2022 was Rolen's fifth year on the BBWAA ballot, so he has five more years to get to 75%.
Things are trending towards an eventual election for the Cardinals legend, and he knows the positive momentum has kept rolling.
"Things look good. That's where it's gone," Rolen said about his candidacy's progression over the years while back in town for Cardinals opening day at Busch Stadium. "My son's into it. He's excited about it. He watches it and tries to follow it quite a bit when it gets down to it. It's nothing I can control or our family can control, but I've had some luck going in the right direction. Obviously as all the years go on, you try to hang on in the first year with a tough ballot, than second year is a tough ballot with Mariano Rivera and then gain a little ground in the third year. In a good spot I think right now, and hopefully keep trending in the right direction. We'll see what happens. I have some time left."
One thing that has benefited Rolen has been the increased usage of advanced statistics when evaluating a player's career.
He said he knows more than he did about some of that added value he's getting from those who do deep dives into the analytics, but another hall of famer always had the best benchmark of what a hall of famer is.
"I'd sit with Joe Morgan in Cincinnati when I was there at the end of my career and he put it best. He said, 'When players played and they're on the field, they know who the hall of famers are that they're playing with and against.' I kind of looked at it that way," Rolen said. "You can kind of dissect... longevity is a thing... but who the hall of fame guys are. We didn't look at stats, we didn't look at the analytics of things, but those guys have some pretty good stats and analytics as it turns out."
Rolen got to don the red jacket as a Cardinals hall of famer for the first time in 2020, but due to the COVID pandemic, he didn't get the usual pomp and circumstance of a "normal" opening day at Busch Stadium.
This year, opening day was back in all its glory, and Rolen enjoyed getting to take his place beside the other Cardinals legends in the hall of fame caravan.
"This is my first time actually doing that. Last year we came back and I got the short straw to try and fire a grenade to Nolan from the concourse there in center field. And that was fantastic in its own right. Because it's kind of a point in time, right? But getting back out here and getting in that convertible and riding around, having my camera out to video and send back to my wife and daughter without having indigestion and stress about the game that's pending is pretty cool," Rolen said.