Jimmy Rollins and the Hall of Fame
Jimmy Rollins spent 15 of his 17 major league seasons with the Phillies and will go down as one of the greatest players in Philadelphia baseball history. But what about Cooperstown? 
 
Does his resume place him amongst baseball's elite? 
 
Rollins, who stood all of 5-foot-7, 175-pounds, was the starting shortstop on the Phillies' five straight NL East champion squads between 2007-2011. He had a youthful swagger that enamored Philadelphia. His trademark smile remains part of the imprint of the 2008 club that won the second World Series in franchise history. 
 
Slick with the glove at shortstop, Rollins provided speed and power at the top of the lineup. A three-time All-Star, he was named Most Valuable Player in 2007 after hitting .296 with 30 homers and 94 RBIs. He also won four Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger Award and owns the franchise record for hits with 2,306. 
 
Over his 17-year career, Rollins played in 2,227 games - the sixth-most for a shortstop in baseball history.  He's also one of only five players with at least 230 career homers and 470 stolen bases, included on a list with Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, and Joe Morgan.
 
The statistical scrutiny deepens though with Rollins' career OPS+ of 95, languishing below the league average during his career. His .264 career batting average and .743 OPS fall notably short of the lofty .303 batting average and .845 OPS hallmark of the average Hall of Famer. 
 
Rollins' 47.6 career WAR ranks 34th at his position, ahead of Hall of Famers Travis Jackson (44.2), Phil Rizzuto (42.1), and Rabbit Maranville (44.1), but far below the 67.7 WAR average of the 23 shortstops currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame. He also has a deficit in 7-year peak WAR, trailing the average by nearly 11 points.
 
Dismissing the statistical critique, Rollins ardently defended his impact beyond numbers, expressing in a candid interview with Joel Sherman, "I don't care what the numbers say. I understand them. But that doesn't give a full picture of the impact that they had on their team, on their teammates, the organization." 
 
Rollins' journey toward Cooperstown is a nuanced one, as revealed by the modest 12.9% vote garnered in 2023, with early projections hinting at a marginal uptick to 14.2%. Players remain on the ballot for 10 years and must reach the 75% threshold for enshrinement. Players are removed if they drop below 5%. The MLB Network will unveil the 2024 voting results on Jan. 23. 
 
Rollins' narrative, ensconced in both numbers and intangibles, perpetuates a spirited debate around his Hall of Fame worthiness, transcending mere statistical metrics to encompass a legacy marked by the convergence of skill, leadership, and the ineffable 'it' factor.
 
"If you're building a team of players from the turn of the century, you have to consider Rollins," said one former NL East executive. "He knows how to play the game and was a proven leader, plus he carries himself in a way that is infectious. 
 
If I'm a young player looking to model myself after someone, he would be it -- the mix of fun and productivity."

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