Names to consider for Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame induction in 2018

Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame - Bobby Abreu deserves a spot
Alumni Weekend is one of the highlights of the Phillies' season anchored by Wall of Fame night, so who is in line for possible induction next season?

The Phillies usually begin the process in February each year releasing a ballot of 10 players and allowing fans to vote with the top three vote getters advancing to a Wall of Fame Selection Committee who makes the final decision on who to honor.

Players, managers, and coaches with four or more years of service are eligible. All candidates must be retired for three years before they can be eligible. In addition to a player's statistical record, consideration is given to longevity, ability, contributions to the Phillies and baseball, character, plus special achievements.

Revelations of an alleged improper relationship forced Pete Rose to step aside and the Phillies to cancel his enshrinement originally scheduled for Saturday into the Wall of Fame.

It's doubtful now given recent headlines the Phillies will ever honor Rose, so who is eligible next year and worthy of having a plaque next to the Philadelphia baseball elite?

Here are a few names to consider:

Bobby Abreu | 7th among offensive players in franchise WAR 47.2
A two-time All-Star, Abreu spent nine seasons in Philadelphia and compiling fantastic numbers, including a 139 OPS+ and a slash of .303/.416/.513. He won a Gold Glove in 2005 and received votes for the Most Valuable Player Award five times. He never was a fan-favorite and drew ire at times for a perceived lack of hustle, but he was one of the best outfielders of his generation, a borderline Hall of Famer, and deserving of recognition in Philadelphia.

Roy Thomas | 8th among offensive players in franchise WAR 40.4
A Norristown native, Thomas graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before signing with the Phillies in 1899. He went on to spend 12 seasons with the Phillies and was one of the best outfielders of his era. Upon his retirement following the 1912 season, he held career fielding records for center fielders in putouts (NL) and fielding average (MLB). His enshrinement night alone won't sell tickets as only diehard baseball fans know of him, but his time of being a forgotten star needs to come to an end.

Scott Rolen | 16th among offensive players in franchise WAR 29.6
Rolen, like Abreu, was never a fan-favorite. He had a tumultuous relationship with the organization and the city, yet he produced on the diamond and spent seven years in Phillies' pinstripes winning four Gold Gloves and slashing .282/.373/.504. Like Abreu, he's a borderline Hall of Famer and certainly the second best third baseman in Phillies' history behind only Mike Schmidt.

The Phillies could also call an audible and expand the Wall of Fame to honor Negro legends that spent the majority of their career in Philadelphia. There's little to no mention at Citizens Bank Park of such stars as Biz Mackey, Louis Santop, Nip Winters, and Slim Jones, so the Wall of Fame is one way to fix that.

The Wall of Fame selections will prove interesting over the next few years, but by 2020 the selections will be less of choosing between nonfan-favorites and more about honoring those that played a significant role in the Phillies' most recent run of success.

Sit tight. Chase Utley Wall of Fame night isn't really that far away.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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