The greatest Phillies player of all time, Mike Schmidt, made a big proclamation today when he said Jimmy Rollins is having a Hall of Fame career. Rollins, who is currently only nine hits away from passing Schmidt as the Phillies career leader in hits, has certainly been a leader for the Phillies over the past decade, but not many consider Rollins Hall of Fame worthy. Schmidt clearly does.
“My assessment would be that if Barry Larkin is in the Hall of Fame , you’ve got to think about Jimmy Rollins,” said Schmidt. Larkin was inducted into Cooperstown in 2012 in his third year on the ballot. Over the course of his career, Larkin made 12 All-Star teams and won nine Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Gloves. On the other hand, Rollins has made only three All-Star teams, won one Silver Slugger and four Gold Glove. Also, both men have won one MVP award.
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Larkin clearly has more accolades, but Rollins has the better stats. Jimmy leads Larkin in home runs, triples, doubles and stolen bases, and Schmidt believes Rollins may have another three to four years left of everyday playing.
“I can’t see Jimmy as a bench player or a DH. I can’t see him hanging around. I see him being an offensive force and a great defensive player for the rest of his career,” Schmidt said.
The Hall of Fame includes the best of the best. It is meant to be an exclusive club, and much as I admire Jimmy Rollins for being the player he has been during a great Phillies era, it is very hard for me to see Jimmy getting voted into the Hall of Fame. Maybe if he was not competing with Omar Vizquel and Troy Tulowitzki for Gold Gloves every year, his resume would look better, but, as it stands, nothing really pops out and announces Rollins as a legit Hall of Fame candidate.
Rollins is currently hitting .251 this season and has publicly stated he will not waive his no-trade clause for any reason. However, with the way the future looks in Philadelphiam Jimmy may want to rethink his loyalty. The Phils are most likely years away from competing again and Jimmy only has a few season left to get his second World Series ring. Maybe it is time for the soon-to-be Phillies all-time hits leader to consider playing somewhere else. Then again, when you have one of the greatest players in your team’s history speaking so highly of you, Rollins might just want to stay home.
Either way, Jimmy Rollins has been the face of the franchise for years, and if, for some reason, the Hall of Fame does come calling, I am sure many of the Phillies faithful will be making summer vacation plans for Cooperstown that year.