Brian Roberts included on Hall of Fame ballot

The latest Hall of Fame ballot includes four players with ties to the Orioles and one who made a significant impact, though he isn’t likely to be a future inductee.

Second baseman Brian Roberts appears on the ballot for the first time. He’s joined by pitcher Curt Schilling and outfielder Sammy Sosa.

Pitcher Heath Bell, also in the group, signed a minor league deal with the Orioles in May 2014 and was released after 10 relief appearances at Triple-A Norfolk.

Brian_Roberts-sidebar_dive.jpgRoberts, now an analyst on MASN and 105.7 The Fan, spent 13 seasons with the Orioles before ending his career in 2014 with the Yankees. He slashed .278/.349/.412 with 285 stolen bases in 1,327 games with the Orioles, twice made the All-Star team and finished 18th in Most Valuable Player voting in the American League in 2005.

The Orioles selected Roberts with the 50th pick in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of South Carolina. He led the AL with 50 doubles in 2004 and 56 in 2009, and in stolen bases with 50 in 2007.

Injuries limited Roberts to only 192 games in his final four seasons with the Orioles - a concussion the most serious. He also underwent surgery for a sports hernia.

Roberts lives in Sarasota, Fla., not far from the team’s spring training complex.

Former Orioles outfielder Nate McLouth and pitcher Joe Saunders were eligible for consideration but didn’t appear on the ballot.

Schilling broke into the majors with the Orioles in 1988 and they sent him to the Astros with pitcher Pete Harnisch and outfielder Steve Finley in January 1991 for first baseman Glenn Davis - widely regarded as the worst deal in franchise history.

Schilling appeared on 60.9 percent of the ballots last year. Players must be named on 75 percent of ballots cast by selected members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Players may remain on the ballot for up to 10 years provided they receive at least five percent of the vote.

Sosa, who appeared in 102 games with the Orioles in 2005, also is included among the 32 names. His link to performance-enhancing drugs continue to hurt his candidacy. He appeared on 8.5 percent of the ballots last year.

Former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter heads the list of 18 new candidates and is a lock to make it to Cooperstown, N.Y. It’s just a question of how many votes he receives.

Here’s the entire ballot:

Bobby Abreu, Josh Beckett, Heath Bell, Barry Bonds, Eric Chávez, Roger Clemens, Adam Dunn, Chone Figgins, Rafael Furcal, Jason Giambi, Todd Helton, Raúl Ibañez, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Paul Konerko, Cliff Lee, Carlos Peña, Brad Penny, Andy Pettitte, J.J. Putz, Manny Ramírez, Brian Roberts, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Alfonso Soriano, Sammy Sosa, José Valverde, Omar Vizquel, Billy Wagner, Larry Walker.

Results will be announced on MLB Network on Jan. 21, 2020.

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