No call for Schilling; Rolen gains; J-Roll stays

January 26th, 2022

PHILADELPHIA -- One day, maybe, Jimmy Rollins will follow Scott Rolen’s path to the Hall of Fame.

Neither election is a certainty, of course, but there are reasons for Phillies fans to believe. Rollins learned on Tuesday night that he appeared on 9.4 percent of ballots cast by eligible BBWAA voters. Rollins, who is in his first year of eligibility, fell far short of the 75 percent needed for enshrinement, but he also landed above the 5 percent threshold required to remain on the ballot. Rolen, who was Rollins’ teammate in Philadelphia from 2000-02, appeared on 10.2 percent of ballots in his first year of eligibility (2018), but he hit the 63.2 percent mark in his fifth year of eligibility in 2022.

Players have 10 years of eligibility with the BBWAA, meaning Rolen is trending in the right direction with five years to go.

Rollins has nine years to go.

So you never know, J-Roll.

Former Phillies ace Curt Schilling is out of time, falling short in his 10th and final year of eligibility. The postseason legend with the Phillies, D-backs and Red Sox appeared on only 58.6 percent of ballots, unquestionably hurt by controversial comments he has made since the end of his playing career in 2007. Schilling appeared on 71.1 percent of ballots last year, then asked to be removed from the ballot.

The Hall of Fame said no.

Former Phillies closer Billy Wagner (51 percent, up from 46.4 percent, seventh year of eligibility), right fielder Bobby Abreu (8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent, third year), first baseman Ryan Howard (2 percent, first year) and closer Jonathan Papelbon (1.3 percent, first year) also received votes.

Howard and Papelbon will not return to the ballot after falling short of the 5 percent requirement.

It appears that voters have come to appreciate Rolen’s career over time. He ranks 10th all-time among third basemen in bWAR (70.1), and slashed .281/.364/.490 with a 122 OPS+ in his career. He won the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year Award, eight Gold Glove Awards, one Silver Slugger and made seven All-Star teams, and he helped the Cardinals win the 2006 World Series.

He was brilliant defensively, and a solid middle-of-the-lineup force for years.

Rollins won the 2007 NL MVP Award, four Gold Gloves, one Silver Slugger and made three NL All-Star teams in his 17-year career. He slashed .264/.324/.418 with 2,455 hits, 511 doubles, 115 triples, 231 home runs, 936 RBIs, 1,421 runs scored and 470 stolen bases. The Phillies’ all-time hits leader, he was a rare combination of power, speed and defense rarely seen at the position.

Rollins is one of just five shortstops in baseball history (minimum 51 percent of career games played at the position) with at least 2,000 hits and 200 home runs. Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter, Robin Yount and Miguel Tejada are the others.

Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Paul Molitor, Roberto Alomar and Rollins are the only players in history with 200 homers, 2,000 hits and 450 stolen bases:

Howard was one of baseball’s most feared sluggers from 2005-11. He won the 2006 NL MVP and 2005 NL Rookie of the Year Awards, one Silver Slugger and made three NL All-Star teams. He finished in the top five for NL MVP from 2007-09, and top 10 in 2010 and 2011. He slashed .258/.343/.515 with 277 doubles, 21 triples, 382 home runs, 1,194 RBIs and 848 runs scored in his 13-year career. He hit a franchise-record 58 home runs in 2006, but his dominance was cut short when he tore his Achilles heel making the final out of the 2011 NLDS.