Jeff Kent says Hall of Fame voting is “mind-boggling embarrassment” after not being inducted

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Jeff Kent was a .290 career hitter and hit the most home runs ever for a second baseman (377).

Yet he failed to get even 50% of the vote in his final year of Hall of Fame eligibility.

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Jeff Kent #21 of the San Francisco Giants bats during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco, California.
(Tom Hauck/Allsport)

Players need a minimum of 75% to get in, and only Scott Rolen got the required percentage on Tuesday night.

Kent won an MVP with the San Francisco Giants in 2000, racking up 2,461 hits and 1,518 RBIs, both more than Rolen. Kent also won four Silver Slugger Awards, while Rolen earned one.

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You could certainly make the case that Kent should be there, especially with Rolen now getting a plaque in Cooperstown – and Kent is making his case.

Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 8, 2000 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 8, 2000 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.
(Sports News via Getty Images)

8-TIME GOLD GLOVER, WORLD SERIES CHAMPION TO NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME

“Voting over the years has been too much of an embarrassment,” Kent told the San Francisco Chronicle. “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.”

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Rolen’s excellent defense gave him the higher career WAR (wins over replacement) – 70.1 to 55.4. An eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, he hit .281 with an .855 OPS in his 17-year career. Kent failed to win the defensive award.

Sophisticated analytics has allowed voters to analyze careers in more depth than ever before, helping Rolen’s case and keeping the conversation going for many other players.

In his first year of eligibility, Rolen received 10.2% of the vote, the lowest ever for an eventual Hall of Famer. Kent only managed 14.0% in his sophomore year, but his 46.5% yesterday was the highest he had ever achieved.

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Kent’s only hope is that future committees will vote him out, which has been the way of Harold Baines, Gil Hodges and Fred McGriff in recent years.

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