The Hall of Fame announced its newest electees Tuesday — Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and Rockies/Expos/Cardinals outfielder Larry Walker were chosen — but the ones who made it in aren’t the biggest stories around these parts.
No, the biggest, most important angle of this round of Cooperstown voting revolves around Bobby Abreu, the very inspiration for this blog’s inception. Abreu, who played with the Phillies from 1998 until his trade to the Yankees in 2006, received 22 votes from Baseball Writers of Association members in his first year of eligibility. Those 22 votes gave him 5.5 percent of the total, which means Abreu will once again be eligible for Hall of Fame voting next year. And that’s worth celebrating.
Abreu remains a long, long shot to eventually be elected. No delusions about that. But this small bit of recognition is a deserving tip of the cap to a career that included 288 homers, 574 doubles, 400 stolen bases in 528 attempts, and a .305/.416/.513 line across a nine-year offensive peak from 1998-2006. Even if he eventually falls short of Hall election, he was a certifiably excellent hitter who might have gone underappreciated for too long.
Other former Phillies on the ballot included Curt Schilling (70 percent), Scott Rolen (35.3 percent), and Billy Wagner (31.7 percent). All three will be eligible again next year. First-time former Phillies who did not receive the 5 percent necessary to remain on the ballot are cult heroes Cliff Lee (0.5 percent) and Raul Ibanez (0.3 percent). They will not be eligible for BBWAA election.
Full results available here.