2000 National League Most Valuable Player Jeff Kent spoke out against Baseball Hall of Fame vote after failing to make it to Cooperstown in his 10th and final year on the ballot for the writer.
“Voting over the years has been too embarrassing,” Kent told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday, after the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted Scott Rolen into the Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Kent – who is considered one of the most powerful second basemen in league history – received 181 votes and garnered 46.5% of the vote, short of the 75% required for induction.
“Baseball is losing a few generations of great players who were the best of their time because a few non-voting statistics continue to compare those players to already elected players from past generations and influence votes,” Kent added. “It’s unfair to the best players of their era and those who have already voted, in my opinion.”
Although this is Kent’s last year on the writer’s ballot, he can still enter the Hall of Fame. He is eligible to be on the Contemporary Gaming Era Committee ballot for 2026.
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Kent’s 17-year MLB career included five All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers and a National League MVP award. He played for the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers, but his career didn’t take off until he was traded after the 1996 season at the San Francisco Giants.
In 2000, he was named National League MVP ahead of teammate Barry Bonds. Kent, who with Bonds led the Giants to the NL West title, was the first second baseman to win the award since the Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg in 1984. He hit .334 with 33 home runs and 125 RBIs this season- the.
Kent, a career .290 hitter, holds the all-time record for most home runs by a second baseman with 351 (of 377). That’s more than Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg (277), Joe Morgan (266) and Rogers Hornsby (265).
Kent has also topped 20 home runs and 100 RBIs in eight different seasons. Among second basemen, Hornsby has accomplished this feat only five times while no other player has done it more than four times.
Kent finished his career with 2,461 hits and 1,518 RBI.
Contributor: Scott Boeck
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeff Kent: Baseball Hall of Fame voting is an ’embarrassment’