PHILADELPHIA -- Who will be the next Phillies player to make the Hall of Fame?
There are more than a handful of candidates, but here are MLB.com’s top five players with Phillies connections currently without a bronze plaque in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Allen, who died in December 2020, fell one vote short of enshrinement in the Golden Days Era Committee vote in December 2021. He will not be eligible again until 2026. It really is surprising that Allen keeps falling short. (He also fell one vote short in 2014.)
Allen deserves a 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. Allen made seven All-Star teams, including three with the Phillies. He earned MVP votes in six other seasons.
From 1964-74, he posted 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. Jimmy Rollins (47.6 bWAR)
Rollins appeared on 9.4 percent of ballots cast by the BBWAA in his first year of eligibility in 2022 and 12.9% in '23, which keeps him on the ballot for at least another year. (Players must hit the 5 percent mark to remain on the ballot for up to 10 years of eligibility.)
There are many reasons why he deserves serious consideration. Rollins 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 a World Series, two NL pennants and five consecutive NL East titles. He was brilliant defensively.
Rollins compares well to other Hall of Fame shortstops, too. His career bWAR ranks 25th all time among shortstops, better than six Hall of Fame shortstops, including Phil Rizzuto.
3. Chase Utley (64.4 bWAR)
Utley’s career bWAR ranks 15th among second basemen, better than 12 Hall of Fame second basemen, including Jackie Robinson. Utley’s 62.0 bWAR from 2004-14 ranked third 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 appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2024.
4. Curt Schilling (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 baseball's greatest big-game pitchers. He began that reputation with the Phillies. Schilling 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.
Schilling, however, got only 58.6 percent of the vote in his 10th and final season of BBWAA eligibility in 2022. (He needed 75 percent.) But he could be on the Today’s Game Era Committee ballot as early as this year. The 16-member committee votes on players, managers, executives and umpires whose greatest contributions were made from 1988 to the present day. Schilling would need at least 75 percent of that vote to be enshrined in the 2023 Hall of Fame class.
5. Bobby Abreu (60.2 bWAR)
Abreu has received modest consideration for the Hall of Fame through his first four years on the ballot. After hovering around 10% for his first three years, he appeared on a personal-best 15.4% of the ballots in 2023.
Though Abreu still has a long way to go to earn enshrinement from the BBWAA, the longtime Phillies outfielder certainly has a unique case for the Hall of Fame. Though he was only a two-time All-Star and one-time Gold Glove Award winner, Abreu famously put on a show at the 2005 Home Run Derby in Detroit.
But Abreu was far from just a home run hitter. In fact, he reached base 3,979 times during his 18-year career. The only players to reach base more times during that same span (1996-2014) were Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Chipper Jones. Abreu also led the Majors with 1,396 walks from 1998-2011.
Abreu might not be the stereotypical Hall of Famer, but with 195 home runs, 254 stolen bases and a 128 OPS+, don't be surprised if he continues to gain support in the coming years.