NEW YORK — Scott Rolen could become just the 18th third baseman elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame, the fewest of any position.

“It stems from an original prejudice that third base is not important defensively,” John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official historian, said Monday. “I think Brooks Robinson changed that perception. So that just as relief pitchers for the longest time were regarded as failed starters rather than as a new position in the changing game, third basemen were regarded as washouts.”

A seven-time All-Star who retired after the 2012 season, Rolen is among the top contenders on the 28-player ballot considered by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in a vote announced Tuesday night. He received just 10.2% in his first ballot appearance in 2018 and climbed to 52.9% in 2021 and 63.2% last year, when he fell 47 votes shy of the needed 75%.

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