Jeff Kent calls voting into the Baseball Hall of Fame an “embarrassment” after falling off the ballot

2000 National League MVP Jeff Kent speaks out against the Baseball Hall of Fame vote after failing to make Cooperstown in his 10th and final year on the writer’s ballot.

“Voting over the years has been too much of an embarrassment,” Kent told the San Francisco Chronicle 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 greatest power-hitting second basemen in league history – received 181 votes and received 46.5% of the vote, short of the 75% required for induction.

“Baseball loses a few generations of great players who were the best in their day because a few non-voters continue to compare those players to players who have voted for generations and affect the votes,” Kent added. “In my opinion it is unfair to the best players in their own time and those who have already voted.”

Although this was Kent’s last year on the writer’s ballot, he can still make it to the Hall of Fame. He is eligible for the Contemporary Game Era Committee vote for 2026.

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WHY JEFF KENT BELONGS IN THE HALL: Jeff Kent hit more home runs than any second baseman in history

Giants Jeff Kent celebrates a two-run homer past Anaheim Angels first baseman Scott Spiezio in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series.

Giants Jeff Kent celebrates a two-run homer past Anaheim Angels first baseman Scott Spiezio in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series.

Kent’s 17-year career in the MLB has 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 the 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 the National League MVP over teammate Barry Bonds. Kent, who teamed up with Bonds to lead the Giants to the NL West title, was the first second baseman to win the award since Ryne Sandberg of the Cubs in 1984. He hit .334 that season with 33 homers and 125 RBI.

A career .290 batter, Kent holds the all-time record for most home runs by a second baseman with 351 (out of 377). That’s more than Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg (277), Joe Morgan (266) and Rogers Hornsby (265).

Kent also topped 20 home runs and 100 RBI in eight different seasons. Of the second basemen, Hornsby managed that feat only five times, with no other player doing it more than four times.

Kent finished his career with 2,461 hits and 1,518 RBI.

Contributors: Scott Boeck

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jeff Kent: Baseball Hall of Fame Voting Is an ‘Embarrassment’

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