Future Phillies Wall of Famers

I was reading a quite interesting thread on a Phillies forum about the recent era of Phillies baseball and how many potential Hall of Famers have recently played or still play for the Phillies. The discussion took a bit of a detour as others wondered how many players will be added to the Phillies Wall of Fame out in Ashburn Alley.

Darren Daulton, a fixture of the 1993 team that made it to the World Series, was inducted last year. He followed the legendary Harry Kalas, whose plaque was proudly mounted in 2009. A look through the list reveals a lot of players from the 1980 World Series champion team, including Tug McGraw, Garry Maddox, and Dallas Green. In fact, of the 32 Phillies Wall of Famers, 13 were a part of the 1980 team.

Presumably, more of the ’93 team will be included, and then the 2008-era Phillies will get their turn. Before we speculate as to which of the more recent Phillies will get their plaque, let’s take a look at the current Wall of Fame and try to find some trends.

The Wall of Fame tends to lag by a few years. The first member of the 1980 team to be inducted was Paul Owens in 1988. He was immediately followed by Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, and Larry Bowa in ’89 through ’91. Juan Samuel was the first (and only) member of the ’83 team who was not a part of the ’80 team to be inducted (in 2008). And, as mentioned, Daulton was enshrined in 2010 for being a part of the ’93 team.

Between the three eras, we have spans of 8, 25, and 17 years. If that is in any way indicative of the way things will continue, the earliest we can expect a member of the 2008 team to get up on the wall is 2016.

Phillies Wall of Famers played an average of 11 seasons with the team or spent an average of 13 seasons in another capacity (general manager, manager, coach).

Elsewhere, only two inductees never played for the Phillies: former GM Paul Owens, who also managed for three seasons, and Harry Kalas, who was the voice of the Phillies for 39 seasons. Five others played for the Phillies and were seen in another role such as coaching: Chuck Klein, Larry Bowa, Gavvy Cravath, Tony Taylor, and John Vukovich.

Onto the fun stuff: which recent Phillies can we expect to see on the Wall of Fame? I will list my candidates below in no particular order.

Ryan Howard: Unarguably the best first baseman in franchise history. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2005, the Most Valuable Player award in ’06, and has led the league in home runs twice (’06 and ’08) and RBI three times (’06 and ’08-09). Will undoubtedly finish his career with the second-most home runs as a Phillie. He currently sits at 253, just behind the 259 of Del Ennis, and well behind the 548 of Mike Schmidt.

Jimmy Rollins: Rollins became the face of the franchise, breaking out in 2006 with a 25-HR season. In ’07, a year in which he won the National League MVP award, he became one of four other players to post a season with at least 20 doubles, triples, home runs, and stolen bases. Known for his great defense, having won three Gold Glove awards. If his Phillies career extends beyond 2011, he will likely finish second in Phillies history in stolen bases. He currently sits at 343 in fourth place. His pre-season proclamations in ’07 and ’08 seemed to give the Phillies an attitude they had been lacking for nearly 15 years.

Chase Utley: Baseball’s best second baseman five years running (2005-09). He wasn’t a face of the franchise like Howard and Rollins, but had some memorable moments of his own. In the ’09 World Series, he tied Reggie Jackson‘s record for home runs with five. Utley is a five-time All-Star with four Silver Slugger awards and will go down as the best second baseman in franchise history.

Pat Burrell: Spent the majority of his career as a Phillie, posting some great offensive seasons, twice finishing with a .900 or better OPS (’02 and ’07). Currently sits fourth all-time in Phillies history in home runs and seventh in RBI.

Bobby Abreu: One of the most productive players (offensively speaking) in franchise history. Posted five consecutive seasons with a .900 or better OPS (1998-2002), was twice an All-Star, and won one Silver Slugger and one Gold Glove. Has the highest on-base percentage in franchise history among players who played after the Dead Ball Era. Abreu also has the seventh-highest slugging percentage.

Carlos Ruiz: Rapidly became a fan favorite because of his obvious love of the game. He was never expected to become a Major Leaguer, much less a productive one, but he finished 2010 as one of the most valuable catchers in all of baseball. Was the receiver for Roy Halladay‘s perfect game against the Florida Marlins and his no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in Game One of the 2010 NLDS. Respected by every pitcher that has passed through Philadelphia, especially Halladay.

Brad Lidge: Was a perfect 48-for-48 in save opportunities in 2008, including 41-for-41 during the regular season. Eric Gagne is the only other closer to have a perfect season.

Cole Hamels: Named the MVP of the 2008 World Series as part of a pitching staff of which he was the ace. Led the league in WHIP (’08) and shut-outs (’09). By the time his Phillies career is over, he may be a slam dunk Wall of Famer.

Jayson Werth: His stint with the Phillies was short, but the team made the playoffs every year he donned Phillies red (2007-10). He finished four consecutive seasons with an .860 or better OPS and he played quite well defensively in right field, throwing out a total of 37 runners (avg. about 9 per season).

Ryan Madson: Rarely the closer, Madson has nonetheless been (arguably) the most dominant reliever in franchise history. Finished with a 3.26 ERA or lower in each of the past four seasons. In 2010, he joined Billy Wagner, Doug Jones, and Dick Hall as Phillies relievers with a 4.9 or better strikeout-to-walk ratio, minimum 40 innings.

Jamie Moyer: Set a plethora of age-related records in his four-plus seasons as a Phillie. Won 56 games in his age 43-47 years with the Phillies. His start in Game Three of the 2008 World Series was crucial to their winning in five games over the Tampa Bay Rays. Became known as a pitching guru; a secondary pitching coach behind Rich Dubee. Also respected as a leader in the clubhouse and for his charitable efforts with the Moyer Foundation.

Charlie Manuel: The toast of the town managed the Phillies since 2005 to an aggregate .560 winning percentage (avg. 91 wins per 162 games). Led the Phillies to four consecutive post-season berths, three consecutive NL pennant bids, two World Series, and one title. His team led the Majors in wins in 2010. He is also credited, as a hitting guru, for helping many of the hitters out of slumps.

Pat Gillick: Although he was the GM for a short time (three seasons), he left his mark on the team. He helped end the Phillies’ long playoff drought and made some very significant transactions, including trading away Jim Thome and Bobby Abreu, and acquiring Brad Lidge. He also gave Jayson Werth a shot at redemption which turned out to be one of the most important signings in franchise history.

Chris Wheeler: Like Harry Kalas, “Wheels” has been part of Phillies games for a long, long time — 34 years, to be exact. At times, he can be “goofy” (as he would say) but he has been as much a part of Phillies baseball as any of the players.

Depending on what happens in the future, cases can be made for Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Shane Victorino, and Ruben Amaro Jr., among others.

If you can think of some other candidates or disagree with any of those listed above, feel free to share in the comments below.

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35 comments

  1. SABR

    December 23, 2010 08:19 AM

    Definitely In: Charlie, Ryan, Chase, Jimmy
    Out: Pat (x2), Jamie, Bobby, Jayson, Brad
    Need more years to answer: Chooch, Cole, Madson, RAJ

    Please God No: Wheeler.

  2. Matt

    December 23, 2010 08:56 AM

    No on Pat Burrell. He was an underachiever and wasn’t liked by fans.

    Abreu will make it. He didn’t become a great player until he came to the Phillies and had many statistically great seasons. So in a way, he was a rags-to-riches story that Philadelphia loves. Same goes with Jayson Werth, but I think it will take many years for Werth to make it on the Wall.

    Jamie is beloved because he is an underdog. Is that enough to make it? Not convinced.

    Lidge needs to end his career with the Phillies on a good note, otherwise his failures will overshadow his 2008 season.

    If Cole wins 17 or more games this season, that clinches it for me. Otherwise, it’ll take a little more time.

    One more deep playoff run and Chooch is in.

    Madson only if he turns into a dominant closer at some point.

    If Victorino wins another gold glove this year and has some stat line like .270 bavg, 15hr, 40sb then he’s in.

    If Halladay and Lee play out their contracts with the Phillies injury-free, they’ll eventually make it on.

  3. bill

    December 23, 2010 09:44 AM

    Utley/Howard/Rollins are locks. Charlie is pretty much a lock as well, as by the time he finishes up his managerial career, his lifetime stats will probably look pretty damn good. Cole is harder to say, but two more years of good pitching (let’s say two more 3.00~ ERA seasons) should do it.

  4. Cole Handsome

    December 23, 2010 09:47 AM

    Hey your wall of famer is easier to get into than Penn State. Then again, if you consider where they have set the bar, I agree with all of your picks, except Werth, Madson and maybe Ruiz. I believe Madson will leave after this season for a shot at being a closer. Werth’s stay was two short (two full seasons as a regular). Ruiz may always be Chooch, but he’s had one good year offensively–albeit batting eighth (which surely helped his OBP). One big objection–Roy Halladay, if he serves out the contract, he will make the wall. If he stays until the end of his career, he’ll have a team facility named for him in a decade. The front office just loves him. I’m just waiting for the ceremonies planned to honor his first bullpen season in Clearwater. Also, Victorino will be honored for the same reason a Bowa or Daulton was honored–he’s a big part of the brand, despite the production.

  5. Mr City

    December 23, 2010 10:11 AM

    I’m more interested in who from the 1993 team will make it. No doubt on Kruk and likely Schilling. Dykstra deserves it if he’s not in jail or something. I’d like to see Eisenreich (its not the REAL HOF and fan popularity obviously plays a role, see Daulton, Samuel). I’d also like to see The Wild Thing, at least to demonstrate to the world what we already know: Philly never turned on Mitch, we embraced him.

  6. frank mccloskey

    December 23, 2010 10:45 AM

    thought for sure we had seen the last of bobby abreu

    this would diminish the “WALL” and what a firestorm of discussion UGH

  7. nik

    December 23, 2010 10:48 AM

    I think they’d need to place the Abreu plaque about 10 feet in front of the wall.

  8. Steve

    December 23, 2010 10:50 AM

    Bill – Aside from the names you think could make the wall, which of the names on the list would you support making the wall?

  9. Cole Handsome

    December 23, 2010 10:53 AM

    @Mr City
    I don’t know if Schill makes it because he’s not loyal to the Phillies (if he makes the real HoF, he’ll do it as a member of the Red Sox, and he lobbied to get out of this town and has nothing good to say about anybody). Kruk is a good pick. Dykstra has a shot if he starts taking his medication, but I think he’s too disgraced (Daulton is only harmlessly crazy) Mitch only makes it if he does some more local color (he’s too Hollywood). Wheels will make it after he’s too old for anyone to care. But, for that matter, Sarge and LA will make it if they stick around another five years (which is questionable)

  10. nik

    December 23, 2010 10:55 AM

    Speaking of Mitch I caught him on the MLB network saying Dom Brown got exposed this year and if he doesn’t change his swing he has not shot in the majors.

  11. Bill Baer

    December 23, 2010 10:58 AM

    @ Steve

    As others have mentioned, a lot depends on how the next few years play out. As of right now, I would support the following players:

    Bobby Abreu
    Curt Schilling
    Scott Rolen
    Mitch Williams
    John Kruk
    Lenny Dykstra (his recent troubles shouldn’t diminish what he did on the field)

    As for more recent Phillies, I think Howard, Rollins, Utley, and Manuel are slam dunks right now. Depending on the near future, Hamels, Lidge, Madson, and Halladay are close IMO.

    How about you, Steve?

  12. Cole Handsome

    December 23, 2010 11:07 AM

    @ Bill

    I think you ignore the politics of it. For one matter, Harry never got enshrined until after he died because that would have given him contract negotiation leverage.

    Schill would be a bitter pill to swallow for Giles and company. Abreu is in good graces, but not Rolen, who disdains this town and would probably get booed. Dykstra is a pariah. He’ll probably demand a 50k appearance fee to show up to the induction.

  13. Steve

    December 23, 2010 11:09 AM

    I’m with you on Abreu, Schilling, Rolen, Kruk and Dykstra. Not sure about Williams, but that could definitely be an overreaction to his blown save.

    As for current Phils, it’s hard to argue with your slam dunks. I think Hamels has the best shot of the 2nd list, depending on if he’s extended or not. I don’t think Lidge will ever make the wall. I think Madson has a better shot, but again, like you mentioned, it will depend on his contract being extended. I’d love to see Halladay make it.

  14. Richard Hershberger

    December 23, 2010 11:10 AM

    I am in a small minority, but I am more interested in which older players have been overlooked. I’m a 19th century guy. Looking down the list, unless I missed someone there are only three from that era: Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, and Sam Thompson. All three are also in the Hall of Fame, making them no-brainers. But is that the criterion? There are lots of modern guys on the Wall who aren’t in the Hall, and 19th century players tend to be under-represented in the HoF.

    So who might be a 19th century candidate? Harry Wright is an obvious choice. He is a towering figure in the history of early professional baseball, and is also in the Hall of Fame. He managed the Phillies for ten years. On the other hand, this was well past his prime, and he never won a pennant for the Phillies. On the gripping hand, he took a truly abysmal club and made it respectable. There are arguments both ways, but perhaps the bottom line is that the stuff he is in the Hall for was all earlier. Even 19th century specialists associate him with the Cincinnati and Boston clubs, not with Philadelphia.

    Consider Jack Clements. He played 14 years with the Phillies, mostly as catcher, during the Delahanty era. Baseball-reference lists him with a 29.5 WAR with the Phillies. He makes it onto a boatload of leader boards. He compares favorably to several of the people already in.

    The Wall also includes Philadelphia A’s players. If we extend this principle backwards to previous incarnations of the Athletics, then it is comically absurd that Al Reach is not included, both as a player (remember that he goes back to the mid-1860s: not just what shows up on baseball-reference) and as an executive.

    Then there were the AA Philadelphia Athletics of the 1880s. Harry Stovey is an obvious omission.

  15. Bill Baer

    December 23, 2010 11:23 AM

    @Cole Handsome

    Very good point re: the politics. Of course, I’m speaking from a fan’s perspective and not from an owner’s perspective. But, ultimately, the owner’s perspective is the most important one.

  16. Bill Baer

    December 23, 2010 11:30 AM

    I think it’s technically correct.

    Runs Batted In = RBI, no?

    Or perhaps the technically correct version would be RsBI?

  17. Matty B.

    December 23, 2010 11:46 AM

    nik, I love Abreu, and even I laughed at that one.

  18. Drew

    December 23, 2010 12:40 PM

    @Bill

    You’re correct, “RBI” is already pluralized, though most people add the “s” anyway.

    Just like if anyone ever uses the term “BFFs” with you with the “s” included, kick them in the junk. (Although you should probably do that anyway.)

  19. Len Burke

    December 23, 2010 12:41 PM

    I still believe Andy Seminick belongs on the wall.

  20. FanSince09

    December 23, 2010 12:42 PM

    Hammels doesn’t deserve to be on there, he blew two straight Octobers.

  21. Scott G

    December 23, 2010 03:37 PM

    Bill and Drew,

    Sorry this turned into a convo, but it’s not right.

    RBI = Run Batted In.

    Certainly if you’re using the words, it’s “he had two runs batted in today”. However, the abbreviation of the stat is RBI. Which means Run batted in. You cannot change what that abbreviation stands for by saying “oh, just add an s to runs and it’s still RBI”. You’re just pluralizing the abbreviation of the stat RBI.

    “Jayson Werth had 8 RBIs on May 16, 2008″.

    For what it’s worth, I mentioned this to my friend who writes for one of the local papers. He spoke to his editor, and the editor confirmed that it should be RBIs since you’re just pluralizing the stat.

  22. Bill Baer

    December 23, 2010 03:45 PM

    Just curious. The people who use the acronym LOL to mean “lots of laughs” would they be correct to write it as LsOLs?

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think you account for singular or plural in acronyms.

  23. Scott G

    December 23, 2010 04:04 PM

    Bill,

    If you’re going to use it to mean Lots of Laughs, then LOL = lots of laughs. Adding those extra esses would be redundant.

    To use a different example:

    prisoner of war = POW

    plural

    prisoners of war = POWs

  24. Bill Baer

    December 23, 2010 04:11 PM

    So I actually did some research. I think you may be right, Scott.

    Wikipedia:

    A particularly rich source of options arises when the plural of an initialism would normally be indicated in a word other than the final word if spelled out in full. A classic example is Member of Parliament, which in plural is Members of Parliament. It is possible then to abbreviate this as M’s P. (or similar), as famously by a former Australian Prime Minister. This usage is less common than forms with s at the end, such as MPs, and may appear dated or pedantic. In common usage, therefore, weapons of mass destruction becomes WMDs, prisoners of war becomes POWs, and runs batted in becomes RBIs.

  25. B

    December 23, 2010 07:41 PM

    Would Bobby be the first player booed on his introduction to the wall of fame? Although there are a good amount of people who liked him, he’s one of the guys who draws a ton of ire from the majority of the fans.

  26. Richard

    December 23, 2010 09:02 PM

    The logic in that Wikipedia entry is impeccable, but in fact, “RBI” is always what you should write and say. MPs and POWs and WMDs are all different sorts of things than RBI, which is a statistical category. It should always be used the same way. (At the head of a column of stats, you don’t see RBIs, just as you don’t see Rs or HRs; you write it the same way.)

  27. Greg M.

    December 23, 2010 10:49 PM

    Do I really see people suggesting Scott Rolen would be a good candidate for the WoF? He had a few very good years here, but the guy is probably the second most hated opposing player in Philly (JD Drew being first). I don’t think Abreu would be booed if he happened to get elected, but Scotty certainly would. Schilling would be a little odd as well, but he was the ace of the ’93 Phillies, and is the only player from that team that has a shot at the actual Hall of Fame.

  28. Scott G

    December 24, 2010 11:59 AM

    Richard,

    At the top of the column you would see RBI because it’s just a damn stat column.

    However, when you’re writing sentences, RBI is a singular. If someone has multiple runs batted in in one game or one season, person X has X RBIs.

  29. Scott G

    December 24, 2010 12:00 PM

    That would be weird. I used the same variable. So essentially, Chase Utley has Chase Utley RBIs. lol

  30. Mratfink

    December 24, 2010 03:55 PM

    I think Gillick will be the first on the wall of these candidates and he’ll go in around 2015. Players will go after they retire, and Charlie when he retires.

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