Ryan Howard and Jonathan Papelbon have fallen off the ballot for future National Baseball Hall of Fame voting.
The former Philadelphia Phillies All-Stars failed to reach 5% of the vote by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in their first year eligible, disqualifying them from future consideration on the writers’ ballot.
Their former Phillies teammate and 2007 National League MVP Jimmy Rollins will appear on next year’s ballot after receiving 9.4% of the vote.
Howard, who received votes on 2% of ballots, spent all 13 seasons of his career in Philadelphia. The former first baseman appeared to be on a Hall of Fame track in his early years, winning the NL Rookie of the Year in 2005, the NL MVP in 2006 and becoming the fastest player to hit 100 career home runs. He was a key member of the Phillies teams that claimed five straight NL East titles from 2007-2011 and won the 2008 World Series.
The trajectory of Howard’s career shifted as he ruptured his Achilles tendon on the final play of Philadelphia’s Game 5 loss to the Cardinals in the 2011 NLDS. The left-handed slugger saw a decrease in production afterwards, and the Phillies declined as a team.
After finishing his major-league career in 2016, Howard amassed 382 home runs with 1,194 RBIs and an .859 OPS.
Papelbon (1.3%) pitched parts of four years of his 12-season career with the Phillies. He began his career in Boston in 2005 and was the closer for the 2007 World Series champion Red Sox. The right-hander continued to be one of the top closers in the majors before signing a free-agent contract with the Phillies before the 2012 season.
Despite the team’s struggles and Papelbon’s vocal frustrations about them, he excelled on the mound for the Phillies. He represented the Phillies in the All-Star game in 2012 and 2015, and he also became the franchise’s career saves leader with 113 in 2015.
Later that season, Papelbon was traded to the Nationals and played in Washington through 2016. He totaled 368 saves with a 2.44 ERA throughout his career.
Former Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling (58.6%) also fell off the ballot after failing to obtain the 75% of the vote needed for election in his 10th year, while Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner and Bobby Abreu received a large enough percent of the vote to return to the ballot in 2023. Schilling, along with Howard and Papelbon, could be considered for Hall of Fame induction by future ERA Committees.
David Ortiz was the only player elected to the Hall of Fame via the writers’ ballot. They will be formally inducted into Cooperstown on July 24, along with ERA Committee selections Buck O’Neil, Bud Fowler, Minnie Miñoso, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva and former Phillies pitcher Jim Kaat.
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