2000 National League MVP Jeff Kent speaks out against voting in the Baseball Hall of Fame after failing to make it to Cooperstown in his 10th and final year on the Writer’s Choice.
“Voting through the years has been too embarrassing,” Kent told the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday after the Baseball Writers’ Association of America elected Scott Rolen to the Hall of Fame Class of 2023.
Kent – who is regarded as one of the greatest power wielders in league history – received 181 votes and received 46.5% of the vote, less than the 75% needed for induction.
“Baseball loses a few generations of great players who were the best of their time because a few non-voting stats people keep comparing those players to players already elected from previous generations and affecting the votes,” added Kent. “In my opinion it’s unfair to the best players of their own era and those who have already voted.”
Although this was Kent’s last year on the writer’s choice, he can still make it into the Hall of Fame. He is eligible to participate in the Contemporary Game Era Committee vote for 2026.
CLASS 2023: Scott Rolen was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and joined Fred McGriff
CLASS 2024: Who is running for Baseball Hall of Fame nomination next year?
OPINION: Are Baseball Hall of Fame standards too high? Why voters should be more lenient
WHY JEFF KENT BELONGS IN THE HALL: Jeff Kent has hit more home runs than every other baseman in history
Giants’ Jeff Kent celebrates a double homer past Anaheim Angels first baseman Scott Spiezio in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series.
Kent’s 17-year career in MLB 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 really take off until he was traded to the San Francisco Giants after the 1996 season.
In 2000, he was named National League MVP ahead of teammate Barry Bonds. Kent, who teamed with Bonds to lead the Giants to the NL West title, was the first second baseman to win the honor since the Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg in 1984. He hit .334 with 33 homers and 125 RBI this season.
The story goes on
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 surpassed 20 home runs and 100 RBI in eight different seasons. Among the second basemen, Hornsby managed the feat just five times, while no other player managed it more than four times.
Kent finished his career with 2,461 hits and 1,518 RBI.
Featuring: Scott Boeck
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeff Kent: Baseball Hall of Fame voting is an ’embarrassment’