Top 5 Phillies with a Hall of Fame case

November 17th, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- The Hall of Fame unveiled its 2021 ballot on Monday, which has several players with strong and not-so-strong Phillies ties.

The strong ties include Curt Schilling and Scott Rolen.

The ballot got wondering about the best players from every team not in the Hall of Fame. Here are our top five players with Phillies connections:

1. (58.8 career bWAR)

Allen should have made the Hall of Fame next month, but the museum postponed the Golden Days Committee vote because of the pandemic. It said, “The Era Committee process, which has been so effective in evaluating Hall of Fame candidates, requires an open, yet confidential conversation and in-person dialogue.” Important and confidential business is conducted daily across the country during the pandemic. Certainly, the Hall could have hooked up a secure Zoom call. Alas, Allen, 78, will have to wait at least another year.

Allen deserves his spot in Cooperstown. He slashed .292/.378/.534 with 351 home runs, 1,119 RBIs, a .912 OPS and a 156 OPS+ in a 15-year career with the Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox and A’s. He won the 1972 American League Most Valuable Player Award. He won the 1964 National League Rookie of the Year Award. He made seven All-Star teams, including three with the Phillies. He earned MVP votes in six other seasons. From 1964-74, he posted a 58.3 WAR, according to Baseball Reference. It tied Willie Mays for sixth place among position players in that 11-year span, behind Hank Aaron (68.8), Carl Yastrzemski (68.2), Roberto Clemente (64.7), Ron Santo (60.1) and Brooks Robinson (59.4). Pete Rose (58.0), Frank Robinson (55.3) and Joe Morgan (54.0) rounded out the top 10.

2. (47.6 bWAR)

Rollins will appear on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot next year. There are so many reasons why he deserves serious consideration. He finished his career with 2,455 hits. He won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2007, batting .296 with 30 home runs, 94 RBIs and an .875 OPS. He won four Gold Glove Awards and one Silver Slugger Award. He made three NL All-Star teams and earned MVP votes in five seasons. He helped the Phillies win one World Series, two NL pennants and five consecutive NL East titles. He was brilliant defensively. He compares well to other Hall of Fame shortstops, too. His career bWAR ranks 25th all-time among shortstops, better than six current Hall of Fame shortstops, including Phil Rizzuto.


3. (64.4 bWAR)

Utley’s career bWAR ranks 15th among second basemen, better than 12 current Hall of Fame second basemen, including Jackie Robinson. Utley’s 62.0 bWAR from 2004-14 ranked third in baseball behind only Albert Pujols (76.2 WAR) and Adrián Beltré (63.3 WAR). Miguel Cabrera (59.3) and Alex Rodriguez (52.2) rounded out the top five. In other words, Utley was one of the most dominant players in baseball for more than a decade. That alone should make him a strong Hall of Fame candidate.

Utley will not appear on the Hall of Fame ballot until 2023.

4. (79.5 bWAR)

Schilling had a Hall of Fame-worthy career based on his regular-season statistics, but he truly made his mark in the postseason as one of the game’s greatest big-game pitchers. He began that reputation with the Phillies. He had a 1.69 ERA in two starts against the Braves in the 1993 National League Championship Series. After he got hit hard in Game 1 of the ’93 World Series against the Blue Jays, he pitched a five-hit shutout in Game 5, extending the series another game.

“I wanted the ball,” Schilling said. “I wanted the responsibility. I’ve said before, if you don’t want the ball in these situations, why show up? You want your teammates to count on you at times like this.”

5. (70.1 bWAR)

Rolen ranks 10th all-time among third basemen in bWAR, ahead of eight Hall of Fame third basemen, including Home Run Baker. Rolen slashed .281/.364/.490 with a 122 OPS+ in his career. He won the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year Award. He won eight Gold Glove Awards and made seven All-Star teams. He was brilliant defensively and a solid middle-of-the-lineup force for years. Sure, he is not the most beloved former Phillie, but that should not matter here. He is worthy.