Phillies legends will soon flock into Cooperstown with ease
Wednesday evening the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2018 will be released with much fanfare and anticipation. Former Phillies slugger Jim Thome and Phillies killer Chipper Jones are expected to make the Hall of their first ballots, while several other candidates are making a strong push.
Several Phillies sit on the ballot this year with little to no chance of making the Hall, including Brad Lidge, Jamie Moyer, and Kevin Millwood. Meanwhile, Billy Wagner and Scott Rolen are likely to hold onto their eligibility for at least another year, as both are firestarters between voters.
After this year the Hall of Fame ballot could potentially feature seven former Phillies as first-ballot candidates: Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Michael Young, Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco, Freddy Garcia, Jose Contreras.
It’s likely Garcia, Polanco, and Contreras fall off the ballot in their first year as none of them are likely to receive at least 5% of the total votes.
Halladay’s posthumous induction is very likely and was so even before his tragic plane accident last year. With 203 wins, two Cy Youngs, a perfect game, and a post-season no-hitter Halladay is as strong a candidate as anyone. A ring in 2011 would have been the icing on the cake for Doc, but those St. Louis Cardinals and Chris Carpenter got in the way.
Young will likely sit in the low double-digits for a couple of years before falling off. With 2,375 hits he’s on the borderline of being a Hall of Famer. He does have more hits than games played, something that can’t be said by Barry Bonds or Jim Thome. Young didn’t have a fantastic glove and was a seven-time All-Star, leaving him with only his offensive numbers to stand on.
Oswalt and Pierre are likely the next group of guys writers and analysts will debate credentials over. Pierre’s 614 stolen bases have to account for something, correct? He stole more bases than Thome hit home runs!
Yes, he never made an All-Star team but he played five consecutive seasons with 162 games and hit .300 or higher in six of his 14 seasons.
In his first 10 seasons, Oswalt was a top-five pitcher in baseball, posting back-to-back 20 win seasons. He finished in the top-six in Cy Young voting six times in his career and prior to pitching in Arlington and Colorado he owned a 3.21 career ERA.
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A lot of next year’s ballots will depend on who gets in this year; if Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez fall a couple of votes short, they’ll likely make it next year. Where will Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons end up in 2018, and will they have a final push into Cooperstown? Will Fred McGriff and Martinez receive sympathy votes in their final year of eligibility?
Other factors will be the remaining first-ballot players in 2019, which include Mariano Rivera, Lance Berkman, and Todd Helton.
I anticipate two of the greatest pitchers in Phillies history, Halladay and Schilling, to make the Hall of Fame next year. After that, it’s a big mystery until the final votes are tallied for the Hall of Fame class of 2018.