By Sam Bush
Two Phillies greats are now on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.
Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard join 11 other first-time candidates on the ballot for the Class of 2022. Former Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon is also a first-time candidate for the Class of 2022.
Rollins, Howard and Papelbon will remain on the ballot for 10 years, unless they are elected, or fail to receive at least 5% of all ballots each year.
They join other former Phillies Curt Schilling, Bobby Abreu, Scott Rolen and Billy Wagner on the ballot.
Rollins and Howard were integral pieces of the Phillies’ golden years from 2007 to 2011 and leading Philadelphia to a 2008 World Series championship.
Howard and Rollins won the 2006 and 2007 National League MVPs, respectively.
Rollins finished his 17-year career as a three-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove Award winner, an MVP winner and a Silver Slugger Award winner.
He hit .296 with an NL-best 139 runs and 20 triples in his 2007 MVP-winning season. He’s reached 100 runs scored six times in his career — 2004 to 2007, 2009 and 2012, stolen 20 or more bases in 13 seasons, hit 20 or more homers in four seasons, led the NL in triples four times, at-bats four times, runs once and stolen bases once.
His 2007 season also was the third time a shortstop joined the 30 homer/30 stolen base club.
Howard was the 2005 NL Rookie of the Year, after he hit 22 homers in 88 games, and won the 2006 NL MVP for slugging 58 homers, driving in 149 runs and recording 383 total bases — all of which led the majors. He was a three-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger Award winner and finished in the top 10 of NL MVP voting six times.
Howard’s also one of just 13 players in MLB history with at least three 140-RBI seasons.
His performance in the 2009 National League Championship Series earned him the NLCS MVP, hitting .333 with two homers, six walks and eight RBIs in five games.
Schilling fell 16 votes shy of the 75% benchmark in last year’s balloting. The BBWAA did not elect anyone into the Hall of Fame last year. This is Schilling’s 10th and final year on the ballot.
Other notable first-time candidates are David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez and Tim Lincecum.
This is also the final year on the ballot for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa, all in some way or another tainted by steroid accusations.
The Hall of Fame vote will be announced on Jan. 25.