Jeff Kent blames ‘non-voting stat folks’ as Hall of Fame dream ends

Former Giants MVP Jeff Kent has failed to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his 10th and final year on the Baseball Writers Association of America’s ballot. Kent received 46.5 percent of the vote, which is well below the 75 percent needed to be inducted.

The votes were announced on Tuesday night, with only Scott Rolen headed to Cooperstown. Along with Kent, players like Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez also fell well short with 35.7 and 33.2 percent of votes, respectively.

Kent did not take the result well.

“The voting over the years has been too much of a head-scratching embarrassment,” Kent told the San Francisco Chronicle in a text.

“Baseball is losing a couple of generations of great players that were the best in their era because a couple of non-voting stats keeps comparing those players to players who have already voted in generations past and are influencing the votes.”

Jeff Kent played for the Mets in 1994

Kent first became an established player with the Mets in the early 1990s, before he was dealt to Cleveland at the 1996 trade deadline for Alvaro Espinoza and Carlos Baerga. Kent was then traded after the 1996 season to San Francisco, where he established himself as an All-Star and won the NL MVP in 2000.

Kent racked up 2,461 hits, 1,518 RBIs, 377 home runs (most all-time for a second baseman) and a .290 batting average in his 17-year career. The five-time All-Star started his career with the Blue Jays and later played for the Astros and Dodgers.

However, Rolen won eight Gold Glove awards at third base — considered a more important defensive position than second base. Rolen’s career WAR was 70.1, compared to Kent’s 55.4.

Kevin Mitchell (left).  Jeff Kent (middle), and Willie McCovey at a ceremony celebrating Buster Posey in 2013.
Kevin Mitchell (left). Jeff Kent (middle), and Willie McCovey at a ceremony celebrating Buster Posey in 2013.

There is hope for Kent, now 54 years old, to be elected by the Contemporary Baseball Era committee, but they don’t meet again until the winter of 2025.


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