SAN DIEGO — Maybe Gary Sheffield can make one last push.
The former Padre hit a new high on the Hall of Fame ballot revealed Tuesday, hitting 55 percent in his ninth year of eligibility. The nine-time All-Star will get more crack at crossing the 75% threshold before his case is moved to the committee process.
Sheffield had appeared on 40.6% of the ballot the previous two years. The jump to 55% this year represented his highest surge since moving from 13.6% of the ballot in 2019 to 30.5% the next year.
Sheffield hit 509 home runs in his 22-year career, but ties to PED usage have been an obstacle in his Hall of Fame candidacy. Sheffield appeared in his first Midsummer Classic as a Padre in 1992 and was on his way to another invite the following June when he was flipped to the Marlins in the deal that netted, among others, Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman.
Former Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen was the only player elected into this year's Hall of Fame class, appearing on 76.3% of ballots, while former Rockies first baseman Todd Helton (72.2) missed the cut by 11 votes.
Only Rolen, Helton, Bill Wagner (68.1), Andruw Jones (58.1) and Sheffield appeared on more than half the ballots turns in by voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Rolen will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23 alongside one-time Padres first baseman Fred McGriff, who was elected by the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee last month in San Diego.