Though they might not all be remembered as such, seven Phillies appeared on the 2022 BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot. Three players appeared for the first time, one player was in their tenth year, and the three others received enough to stay on the ballot, but none were sent to Cooperstown.
Oddly enough, only two of these players are remembered fondly by fans while the other five all left Philadelphia on poor terms.
It seems unlikely that any of these players might make the MLB Hall of Fame via the BBWAA ballot, but only one player has any real shot.
Scott Rolen: 5th Year (63.2%)
It was almost two decades ago now that Rolen played his last game as a Phillie, but the seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove Award winner spent significantly more of his career in Philadelphia than anywhere else.
Rolen amassed 70.1 WAR for his career, more than any non-active player not to make the Hall of Fame. He’s also been trending up on the ballot, by 17.6% in 2021 and by 10.3% in 2022. Now that Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling are no longer on the ballot, Rolen may have a chance at Cooperstown in the coming years.
It remains unclear though what hat Rolen would wear on his plaque or if the Phililes would uphold their long-standing policy of retiring Hall of Famers’ numbers, seeing as player and club have a notably icy relationship. Rolen isn’t even on the Phillies Wall of Fame.
Curt Schilling: 10th Year (58.6%)
A miracle of biblical proportions would have been needed for Schilling to make “the Hall” this year. In recent years, Schilling has aligned himself with far-right extremists and expressed concerning political views via Twitter and Facebook. Last January, he even asked to be removed from the ballot.
Due to these circumstances, Schilling dropped 12.5% on the ballot in his final year. Even if he were inducted, Schilling has already expressed that he would wear a Diamondbacks cap on his plaque.
Billy Wagner: 7th year (51.0%)
The Phillies certainly aren’t short of controversial figures, and Wagner, like Schilling, fits that bill. The lefty closer was dominant in his two seasons with Philadelphia in 2004 and 2005 before he signed as a free agent with the New York Mets. There he was the center of a heated rivalry between the two clubs in the later half of the 2000s.
Wagner’s stock is slowly trending up, he’s gained almost 9% since 2020, but he has limited time left on the BBWAA ballot and almost certainly won’t reach the necessary 75% before his eligibility expires.
Jimmy Rollins: 1st Year (9.4%)
Rollins escaped a dreaded first year exit from the ballot, but he isn’t anywhere close to induction. A Philly fan favorite, Rollins' double play partnership with second baseman Chase Utley may be the 2008 Phillies best shot at the Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame comparisons do exist for players who started with similar ballot numbers to Rollins. Though he debuted higher, Larry Walker received just 10.2% of the vote in his fourth eligible year in 2014, and was formally inducted in 2020 with 76.6% of the vote.
Bobby Abreu: 3rd Year (8.6%)
Abreu actually lost one vote from 2021. His case for the Hall of Fame is weak, but worse players than Abreu have joined Cooperstown before. Abreu put up good counting stats, 2,470 hits and 400 stolen bases over an 18-year career.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see Abreu fall off the ballot in 2023 or beyond, but he still could have a chance with the Veterans Committee.
Ryan Howard: 1st Year (2.0%)
Howard received just eight votes, but he would be wrong to be pleased with that total. He does have a few notable accolades like MVP, Home Run Derby Champion, Rookie of the Year and fewest at-bats to 100 home runs, but his career as a whole is ugly.
After tearing his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, Howard never again reached 30 home runs or an OPS of .800, disheartening for a poor defensive first baseman. He ended his career with 14.7 career WAR in 2016.
Jonathan Papelbon: 1st Year (1.3%)
Papelbon joins a long list of polarizing Phillies figures on the 2022 Hall of Fame ballot, but of all of them, he was the least recognized. Papelbon spent four seasons in Philadelphia and finished as the Phillies all-time saves leader with 123.
His career ERA is impressive no doubt, 2.44, but as a closer, a lot more longevity is expected before one can make the Hall of Fame. Papelbon retired in 2016 at age 35 with 368 saves.
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