A former Phillies infielder has received an unexpected push for the Hall of Fame
Phillies fans have a lot to look forward to when it comes to the annual Baseball Hall of Fame ballot. This year’s ballot is chock full of former Phillies after the team has gone with just three inductees since 2005: Jim Thome, Pedro Martinez, and Ryne Sandberg. None of whom, however, entered Cooperstown with a “P” on their hat or are remembered for their time in Philadelphia.
With less than three percent of the votes published on Ryan Thibodaux’s ballot tracker, Halladay leads the group with 10 votes thus far, or 83.3 percent of the total votes, positioning him to pass the 75 percent threshold to be inducted into Cooperstown.
Schilling and Rolen have also received votes, though both are currently short of the 75 percent mark.
Those three receiving a vote isn’t far-fetched as each has a legitimate case for Cooperstown. There’s one other former Phillie who has a vote many didn’t expect to see.
Bill Madden of the New York Daily News announced in an article that he’s casting a vote for Polanco, a 16-year vet with three Gold Gloves, over 2,100 hits, and two All-Star appearances.
Madden’s argument for Polanco is primarily faced on defense, a category many have revisited with Omar Vizquel’s arrival on the ballot last year.
"Polanco is the only player in history to hold the lifetime fielding percentage records at two different positions – second base (.993) and third base (.983). He also holds the lifetime records for most consecutive error-less games at second (186) and most consecutive chances (911) without an error. In addition, Polanco is one of only two players in history to win Gold Glove awards at multiple positions and the only one to have won them both in the infield."
Madden also throws out the general hitting statistics, which aren’t stingy by any means with a career .297 batting average for the Phillies, Cardinals, Tigers, and Marlins.
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While a handful of cherry-picked defensive stats are nice for Polanco, he’s far from being a Hall of Famer. The argument that a player’s defense can be the sole-decider for putting them in the Hall of Fame can’t rest on just those numbers.
Vizquel won 11 Gold Gloves while collecting nearly 2,900 hits, 456 doubles, and stealing over 400 bases. Ozzie Smith went to 15 All-Star games and won 13 Gold Gloves with nearly 600 stolen bases.
Polanco was an average player during his career, going nearly a decade before making his first of two All-Star games. He falls incredibly short on all of the Hall of Fame analytics such as JAWS and WAR, which is well-short when looking at both his career and seven-year peak.
Polanco is not a Hall of Famer and seeing him on a writer’s ballot is a joke and disgrace to the entire system.