Five former Philadelphia Phillies have their names listed on the 2020 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot and are hoping for enshrinement alongside the greatest to ever play the game.
Bobby Abreu, Cliff Lee, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling and Billy Wagner make up the list of those on the Hall of Fame ballot that played their home games in Philadelphia for some portion of their careers. And although it will not officially be known if any of these players will be elected until later this month, their progress in the voting can be monitored thanks to a team headed by Ryan Thibodaux.
Thibodaux and the Tracker Team, consisting of Anthony Calamis, Adam Dore and John Devivo, collect public and anonymously-submitted ballots from Hall of Fame voters to show what candidates are receiving votes. The team has tracked 37.1 percent of all ballots as of Jan. 14 and has posted the data for the baseball world to see.
Schilling looks to be the most likely Phillie to be inducted this year. He has been selected on 79.5 percent of known ballots, needing 72.4 percent of the remaining vote for induction. Considered one of the best postseason pitchers in history, it will be hard to keep him out of the Hall of Fame for baseball reasons alone. Schilling won the 1993 National League Championship Series MVP with the Phillies and the 2001 World Series Co-MVP with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He also added two more World Series championships with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.
Coming in with 50.3 percent of the known vote, Rolen is an unlikely but possible candidate for induction in 2020. However, this number is a positive sign for the future for the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year at the very least. Rolen has gained 39 returning voters thus far, the most of any player on the ballot. If he can continue to trend upward, Rolen could end up in Cooperstown in the next few years.
Wagner has gained a fair share of returning voters himself. The former Phillies closer has received 24 selections from voters who did not choose him last year. He comes in with only 33.1 percent of the known vote so far, but Wagner’s Hall of Fame candidacy may still have legs going forward.
Many in the sabermetric community seem to back the Hall of Fame candidacy of Abreu. And they have a point. His 59.8 career fWAR is sandwiched between Hall of Famers Dave Winfield and Andre Dawson on the all-time list for hitters. While the support is there from those on the outside, it has not translated over to the voters on Abreu’s first ballot. He has received 7.3 percent of the known vote and will need at least 10 more votes just to stay on the ballot next year.
Lee was the 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner, helped take the Phillies and Texas Rangers to the World Series in consecutive seasons and was a four-time All-Star. He had an objectively great peak that was just not long enough for Hall standards. Lee has only received one vote so far and it appears likely that he will fail to receive 5.0 percent of the total vote, which means he will fall off the ballot after 2020.
The Phillies have had former players inducted for two straight years in Jim Thome and Roy Halladay. Next week is when fans can find out if a Phillie will be elected for a third straight season. The results of the election will be released on Jan. 21 with the induction to take place in Cooperstown, New York on July 26.
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