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Jimmy Rollins reaches voting threshold to remain on Hall of Fame ballot in 2023


It looks like Jimmy Rollins’ Hall of Fame candidacy will live to see another year.

Jimmy Rollins will stay on the Hall of Fame ballot for at least one more year. (Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

On Thursday, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark revealed his 2022 ballot, which included Rollins’ 20th selection out of 174 publicly revealed ballots. While that 11.5% rate is far from the 75% needed for induction, it gives the former Phillies shortstop enough cushion to remain above the 5% threshold that will keep him on the ballot for at least another year, regardless of his popularity among the remaining ballots (based on the estimated number of Hall of Fame voters, believed to be just below 400).

There’s some poetry in Stark serving as Rollins’ 20th vote. Stark covered the Phillies with the Philadelphia Inquirer for over 20 years and admitted in a Thursday column that in his time watching him play, his sense is that he “was watching a special player whose impact on great teams isn’t properly summed up by [advanced] metrics.”

In explaining his vote, Stark also noted that Rollins is the only shortstop in MLB history with an MVP Award, four Gold Gloves and more than 2,400 hits, 200 homers, 400 steals and 857 extra-base hits while being the centerpiece of a championship team and a franchise hits leader. He also pointed to Rollins’ 38-game hitting streak, one of several memorable moments noted by Phillies Nation’s Jonny Heller in analyzing Rollins’ Hall of Fame credentials.

There also seems to have been some appeal — for Stark, and likely other writers as well — in voting for Rollins to, if nothing else, keep his name in consideration for next year, when hotly debated candidates like Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens will be off the ballot. That turnover would figure to play into Rollins’ favor, given the 10-player limit for individual ballots and the additional time to consider his qualifications, particularly from a defensive standpoint. 

Rollins is one of three ex-Phillies who are first-time candidates this year, and the news isn’t quite as promising for the other two. According to Ryan Thibodaux’s ballot tracking team, Jonathan Papelbon and Ryan Howard were polling at 0.6% and 1.7%, respectively, through 175 ballots. Meanwhile, Scott Rolen (69.7%), Schilling (60.6%) and Billy Wagner (48.6%) were on the outside looking in, and Bobby Abreu (11.4%) will most likely stay on the ballot another year.

Of course, the extension of Rollins’ candidacy is far from an indication that he’ll earn a spot in Cooperstown one day; the 11.5% rate tells all there is to know about the uphill climb he’ll face in the coming years — even if the circumstances play in his favor. Still, the threshold is a noteworthy accomplishment for a player whose Hall of Fame case is arguable, but whose place in Phillies lore is not.

The official voting results will be announced on MLB Network on Jan. 25. David Ortiz has the best chance of reaching the 75% needed to get elected into the Hall of Fame through the BBWAA ballot.

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