Jimmy Rollins dishes on which teammates should be in Hall of Fame
Which former Phillies player will be the next to represent the franchise in the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Jimmy Rollins thinks two Hall of Famers came out of the 2000s-2010s Philadelphia Phillies:
Himself and Chase Utley.
Rollins received 9.4% of votes in his first year on the ballot this year, which wasn’t close to the 75% required for election, but enough to keep him on next year’s ballot (the minimum is 5%). He wasn’t the only former Phillie not elected in 2021; Curt Schilling, Jonathan Papelbon, Ryan Howard, and Scott Rolen were among the candidates not elected. Longtime Red Sox DH David Ortiz was the only player voted in on the BBWAA ballot.
Utley isn’t eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2024, but his chances of election are already favorable. He played 16 years in the majors, including 13 in a Phillies uniform. A six-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger, he was crucial to the Phillies’ success in the mid-to-late 2000s, including their second-ever championship in 2008.
Rollins and Utley overlapped in Philadelphia from 2003-14, and then briefly in Los Angeles with the Dodgers in 2015. As shortstop and second baseman, they worked closely together.
Why did Ryan Howard fall off the Hall of Fame ballot?
Rollins also told NBC Sports Philadelphia that he feels teammate Ryan Howard was on track for a Hall of Fame career before injuries got in the way. Simply put, Howard’s insanely high peak wasn’t long enough:
"“He was definitely on pace to be a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Some injuries got in the way. Being the type of hitter he was, being a power hitter, you have to be able to use your legs. Knee problems led to the Achilles, and he just couldn’t sustain what he was able to do early in his career when he was able to sit back and be on his legs. Had he not gotten injured, I would have said for sure. You talked about Ryan and you talked about Albert (Pujols). You couldn’t talk about Major League Baseball and power hitters without talking about Ryan Howard, for certain.”"
Howard’s star burned brightly, but briefly. He became the first player in MLB history to reach 100 and 200 home runs, and won Rookie of the Year and MVP in back-to-back seasons, as well as a Silver Slugger, a Home Run Derby, and Major League Player of the Year. Like Rollins and Utley, he has a 2008 World Series ring.
While Howard’s Hall of Fame hopes died in his first year on the ballot – he only received 2% of votes – several of his belongings are preserved at Cooperstown already, including one of his home-run bats from the 2008 World Series, and a jersey he wore in 2006, when he hit 58 home runs and won NL MVP.