2023 Hall of Fame ballot

GrandSlamPozo

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May 16, 2017
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How common is it for a Hall of Famer not to have led the league in basically any statistical category (he was first in, like, assists by a 3rd basemen a couple times)?
I checked all of the players elected by the BBWAA since 2000, the following have 0 black ink (based on BB Reference's tabulation, see here):
Rolen
Ivan Rodriguez
Mike Piazza (he did lead the league in OPS+ twice but that apparently doesn't count)
Barry Larkin
Tony Perez

Special shout-outs to Carlton Fisk whose only black ink came from leading the league in triples of all things as a rookie, and to Ozzie Smith who acquired his 2 black ink in the strike-shortened 1981 season for leading the league in games played and at bats while slashing .222/.294/.256.
A lot of players had less black ink than you would expect, one that stood out was Chipper Jones whose only black ink came in 2008 when he lead the league in batting average and OBP. He also lead the league in OPS in 2007 but for some reason BB Reference doesn't count that towards black ink.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I checked all of the players elected by the BBWAA since 2000, the following have 0 black ink (based on BB Reference's tabulation, see here):
Rolen
Ivan Rodriguez
Mike Piazza (he did lead the league in OPS+ twice but that apparently doesn't count)
Barry Larkin
Tony Perez

Special shout-outs to Carlton Fisk whose only black ink came from leading the league in triples of all things as a rookie, and to Ozzie Smith who acquired his 2 black ink in the strike-shortened 1981 season for leading the league in games played and at bats while slashing .222/.294/.256.
A lot of players had less black ink than you would expect, one that stood out was Chipper Jones whose only black ink came in 2008 when he lead the league in batting average and OBP. He also lead the league in OPS in 2007 but for some reason BB Reference doesn't count that towards black ink.
Good work. And that's definitely the class of HoFer that Rolen finds himself in. It's mind-blowing to me that you can get into the Hall of Fame with just one top-10 MVP year.

I guess 517 doubles is impressive. Barely over 2000 hits, .281 AVG (remember when Rice's failure to quite keep his .300 average was a big strike against him?), .678 OPS in the playoffs, including a stout 0-15 in the Series against the Sox in 2004.

9 gold gloves is nice, but I'd take Evans (127 OPS+, five better than Rolen) over this dude all day and twice on Sunday - I don't get it.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Sheffield was historically bad on defense, acknowledges using PEDs – although with the preposterous excuse that he took something Bonds gave him without asking what it was – and dogged his way out of Milwaukee. I don't recall details, but I'm certain he also had some off-field behavior issues. He checks every box for subjective reasons not to vote for him.
 

JM3

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They're all Hall of Fame players. If a particular writer's arbitrary line is "suspended for PEDs", then you get a vote for Sheff but not the other 2.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I’m good with Rolen getting in. Similar to, slightly better case than, say, Dwight Evans, who should be in.

Ok with Wagner missing, as his playoff stats stink and closers walk a tight rope as it is. Helton? Eh.

Do people here think Mauer gets in next year, or is otherwise a likely entrant? Twins fans are skeptical, but his peak and 3 batting titles make him seem like a shoo in to me.
 

simplicio

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I'm counting on our Napoli voter to give Bartolo the recognition he deserves next year.

I don't think there's any chance Mauer makes it first ballot. If he's getting in at all that feels like a year 8-10 candidate.
 
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Max Power

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I’m good with Rolen getting in. Similar to, slightly better case than, say, Dwight Evans, who should be in.
Evans was a better player, I think. He had a better career slash line with 2,000 more career plate appearances. They both played great defense, with Rolen playing the more important position (although not as much as it seems with Evans in Fenway's giant right field). I don't know why they designed this year's vet committee to induct McGriff instead of trying to get Dewey in.
 

InstaFace

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Congrats to Scott Rolen.

only 15 returning candidates to the ballot next year seems like a very low amount. Seems like most players have either been elected if they're worthy, or failed to get 5% because they weren't close, and not too many are in ballot purgatory anymore.

2023: 15 returners (28 total names on ballot)
2022: 17 (30)
2021: 14 (25)
2020: 14 (32)
2019: 15 (35)
2018: 14 (33)
2017: 15 (34) (final year for players grandfathered into the 15-year eligibility period - Lee Smith ages off)
2016: 17 (32)
2015: 17 (34) (first year of 10-year eligibility period)
2014: 17 (36)

OK so I guess 15 is actually totally normal. How have each year's new entrants fared?

2023: 14 new names, 12 drop off, 2 return (Beltran, F. Rodriguez)
2022: 13 new names, 10 drop off, 2 return (Rollins, A-Rod), 1 elected (Ortiz)
2021: 11 new names, 8 drop off, 3 return (Buehrle, Hudson, Hunter)
2020: 18 new names, 16 drop off, 1 returns (Abreu), 1 elected (Jeter)
2019: 20 new names, 16 drop off, 2 return (Helton, Pettitte), 2 elected (Rivera, Halladay)
2018: 19 new names, 14 drop off, 3 return (Vizquel, Rolen, A. Jones), 2 elected (C. Jones, Thome)
2017: 19 new names, 16 drop off, 2 return (Guerrero, Manny), 1 elected (I. Rodriguez)
2016: 15 new names, 12 drop off, 2 return (Hoffman, Wagner), 1 elected (Griffey)
2015: 17 new names, 12 drop off, 2 return (Sheffield, Nomar), 3 elected (R. Johnson, Pedro, Smoltz)
2014: 19 new names, 14 drop off, 2 return (Mussina, Kent), 3 elected (Maddux, Glavine, F. Thomas)

And how about a "It was a journey" list? Closest calls to falling off of anyone who eventually would be enshrined, in the last 15-or-so ballots:

2011 Harold Baines 4.8% (2019 VC inductee)
2014 Larry Walker 10.2% (2020: 76.6%)
2018 Scott Rolen 10.2% (2023: 76.3%)
2014 Fred McGriff 11.7% (2023 VC inductee)
2013 Alan Trammell 13.4% (2018 VC inductee)
1999 Bert Blyleven 14.1% (2011: 79.7%)
2014 Mike Mussina 20.3% (2019: 76.7%)
2009 Tim Raines 22.6% (2017: 86.0%)
2014 Edgar Martinez 25.2% (2019: 85.4%)

Todd Helton, who will probably make it next year, got 16.5% in 2019. Billy Wagner was down to 10.2%, also in 2019. Sheffield got 11.1% in 2018. And if Andruw Jones eventually gets the votes, he'll have the closest shave of anyone recent who's not named Baines: in his debut in 2018, he got only 7.3%.
 

scottyno

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What’s the argument for Sheffield over Arod or Manny? Was he a great defender, because he was a lesser hitter and at least equally roided up.
Both of them failed tests in the testing era, a lot of voters differentiate between guys who were using during the testing era and guys who may have been using before it but stopped
 

Marciano490

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Both of them failed tests in the testing era, a lot of voters differentiate between guys who were using during the testing era and guys who may have been using before it but stopped
These guys are so weird. This is why people fall into cults and shit. It’s a nice museum kinda far from everything about a game most of us play as kids. The impulse to sanctify it and create these esoteric standards. Yeah, sure, Sheffield over Arod and Manny.

These were illegal drugs. Did there need to be a rule against them? Like was there a rule against heroin? What an odd moral distinction. Our country outlawed these things but our game did not, this Gary Sheffield, Sr. is a virtuous chevalier in our baseball kingdom.
 

BoSox Rule

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I'm counting on our Napoli voter to give Bartolo the recognition he deserves next year.

I don't think there's any chance Mauer makes it first ballot. If he's getting in at all that feels like a year 8-10 candidate.
Mayer won’t cruise in due to injuries and a forced move to first changing the perception of him but he should. 5th all time in peak score JAWS for catchers, 7th overall, and hit .323/.405/.469 from 2004-2013 with an MVP and three batting titles.
 

Rovin Romine

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These guys are so weird. This is why people fall into cults and shit. It’s a nice museum kinda far from everything about a game most of us play as kids. The impulse to sanctify it and create these esoteric standards. Yeah, sure, Sheffield over Arod and Manny.

These were illegal drugs. Did there need to be a rule against them? Like was there a rule against heroin? What an odd moral distinction. Our country outlawed these things but our game did not, this Gary Sheffield, Sr. is a virtuous chevalier in our baseball kingdom.
I absolutely deserve to be enshrined in the Backgammon Hall of Fame, even though I played with loaded dice.
 

InstaFace

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What would happen if the HOF changed to a 2/3s standard (66.7%+) instead of their current 3/4ths standard?

2023: Todd Helton elected, 72.2% (up from 2022: 52%)
2023: Billy Wagner elected, 68.1% (up from 2022: 51%)
2022: Barry Bonds just misses election with 66.0% in his final year
2020: Curt Schilling elected, 70.0% (2019: 61%, 2021: 71.1%)
2018: Edgar Martinez elected, 70.4% on his 9th ballot (instead of 2019 on his 10th, with 85.4%)
2017: Vladimir Guerrero elected first ballot, 71.7% (was instead elected 2018 with 92.9%)
2016: Jeff Bagwell elected with 71.6% (was instead elected 2017 with 86.2%)
2016: Tim Raines elected with 69.8% (was instead elected 2017 on his 10th, with 86.0%)
2016: Trevor Hoffman elected first ballot, 67.3% (was instead elected 2018 on his 3rd, with 79.9%)
2015: Mike Piazza elected, 69.9% (was instead elected 2016 on his 4th, with 83.0%)
2013: Craig Biggio elected first ballot, 68.2% (was instead elected 2015 on his 3rd, with 82.7%)
2012: Jack Morris elected on his 13th ballot, 66.7% (instead dropped to 61% in 2014, and was elected by the Veterans Committee in 2018)
2010: Bert Blyleven elected on his 13th ballot, 74.2% (was instead elected 2011, with 79.7%)
2010: Roberto Alomar elected first-ballot, 73.7% (was instead elected 2011, with 90.0%)
2009: Andre Dawson elected, 67.0% (was instead elected 2010, with 77.9%)
2008: Jim Rice elected, 72.2% (was instead elected in 2009 on his 15th, with 76.4%)
2007: Goose Gossage elected, 71.2% (was instead elected 2008, with 85.8%)
2005: Bruce Sutter elected, 66.7% (was instead elected 2006, with 76.9%)
2002: Gary Carter elected, 72.7% (was instead elected 2003, with 78.0%)

So we have a bunch of guys who would've been elected a year or two sooner (some of them first-ballot instead of later, which is clearly a distinction some writers are intent on drawing), exactly two guys who missed out as a result of the 75% threshold (Schilling and Morris), and one of them was put in the VC a few years later (and if Schilling keeps his trap shut, might find the same happen to him). And two guys who are still on the rise and likely to be elected eventually anyway.

In other words, shifting to a 2/3s standard would have changed almost nothing, except a little timing here and there, and maybe Schilling's fate. On the other hand, a 3/5s standard would have changed almost nothing as well; Schilling gets in a bit earlier, as do other guys including Rolen (and Larkin, Dawson, Blyleven, etc); Clemens and Bonds clear it in their 8th year. But nobody else in the last 20 years got even 60% and ultimately failed to get elected.
 

ehaz

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I’m good with Rolen getting in. Similar to, slightly better case than, say, Dwight Evans, who should be in.

Ok with Wagner missing, as his playoff stats stink and closers walk a tight rope as it is. Helton? Eh.

Do people here think Mauer gets in next year, or is otherwise a likely entrant? Twins fans are skeptical, but his peak and 3 batting titles make him seem like a shoo in to me.
IMO Mauer, Beltre, and Utley should be automatic next year.

Also—how did Utley never win a gold glove?
 

Hoya81

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I think Rolen goes in as a Cardinal. He won a World Series there, is in the Cardinals Hall of Fame, and things ended badly in Philadelphia.
Rolen is basically persona non grata with Philly fans, perhaps none more than my wife. She hated the way he shot his way out of town to get to the Cards. I follow a few Philly centric accounts on Twitter and they largely ignored it.
IMO Mauer, Beltre, and Utley should be automatic next year.

Also—how did Utley never win a gold glove?
Utley might have some trouble as he has a rep in certain circles as a dirty player with the rough slides etc.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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As Jay Jaffe has pointed out a few times, the writers have never elected a “modern” candidate with fewer than 2000 hits - I don’t know that people think of this as a bright line, but it is true. Utley - who I would absolutely vote for if I had a ballot - retired with 1885. But! He’s also 12th in JAWS, basically at the average for HoFers at the position. So he might get there.
 

Eric1984

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Grich is well above Utley in JAWS and above him in WAR (71-64). Whitaker is above Utley in WAR (75-64) and a hair behind him in JAWS (they're all ahead of Biggio and Alomar in both categories). I'd vote for Utley but not before the Vet's Committee rights a couple of travesties in the omission of Whitaker and Grich.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Grich is well above Utley in JAWS and above him in WAR (71-64). Whitaker is above Utley in WAR (75-64) and a hair behind him in JAWS (they're all ahead of Biggio and Alomar in both categories). I'd vote for Utley but not before the Vet's Committee rights a couple of travesties in the omission of Whitaker and Grich.
Whitaker is the classic very-good-never-great player. He was never really seen as the best player or the leader on his team. He had consistency, right from the start. But his peak and WAR/162 were lower than Grich and Utley (and Pedey). Those guys all had 7 and 8 bWAR seasons; Lou didn’t. I’d be good with Whitaker getting in. But I haven’t lost sleep over it. None of them are sure things.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Whitaker is the classic very-good-never-great player. He was never really seen as the best player or the leader on his team. He had consistency, right from the start. But his peak and WAR/162 were lower than Grich and Utley (and Pedey). Those guys all had 7 and 8 bWAR seasons; Lou didn’t. I’d be good with Whitaker getting in. But I haven’t lost sleep over it. None of them are sure things.
If you like using WAR, in the 80s Whitaker lead the Tigers in that category in 1981, 82, 83 (his highest with an 6.7) and 89. He was second on the team in that category in 1985, 86 and 88. He was top five in 1984 and 87.

The Tigers were pretty good in the 80s and Whitaker was probably the second best hitter on the team.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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If you like using WAR, in the 80s Whitaker lead the Tigers in that category in 1981, 82, 83 (his highest with an 6.7) and 89. He was second on the team in that category in 1985, 86 and 88. He was top five in 1984 and 87.

The Tigers were pretty good in the 80s and Whitaker was probably the second best hitter on the team.
“Led,” but point taken! I lived in MI 83-87. Saw Lou play a ton…
 

JimD

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I've been pretty busy lately and haven't paid much attention to sports, but I was still surprised to discover that the HoF vote results were out. ESPN is on frequently in the break room at work, and I don't recall seeing anything lately leading up to this. I know it's the NFL playoff season and all, but it really is striking how irrelevant baseball can feel these days.
 
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trekfan55

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I've been pretty busy lately and haven't paid much attention to sports, but I was still surprised to discover that the HoF vote results were out. ESPN is on frequently in the break room at work, and I don't recall seeing anything lately leading up to this. I know it's the NFL playoff season and all, but it really is striking how irrelevant baseball can feel these days.
I think baseball does that to itself too.

Trying to drag out its news during the offseason they lose relevance.

The NFL hands out all awards before the Super Bowl (Hall of Fame too) while everyone is paying attention to them.
 

jon abbey

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I don't really get the premise here, I couldn't tell you a single NFL Hall of Fame inductee (I mean, I could guess, but I have never paid attention to who is in and who isn't). Obviously the NFL is much more popular than MLB, just not sure Hall of Fame attention has much bearing on anything.

Trying to drag out its news during the offseason they lose relevance.
I see this complaint constantly but for me this is a feature, not a bug. It makes baseball a 12 month sport and since I am into the personnel side of things as much as I am the actual sport, I love it.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Agree with Jon, another major problem in terms of other sports trying to grab the limelight from the NFL is that the NFL is a year round entity at this point. Between the regular season, post season, free agency, pre season, etc….the NFL is pretty much the top sport followed even when it’s not playing games.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I've been pretty busy lately and haven't paid much attention to sports, but I was still surprised to discover that the HoF vote results were out. ESPN is on frequently in the break room at work, and I don't recall seeing anything lately leading up to this. I know it's the NFL playoff season and all, but it really is striking how irrelevant baseball can feel these days.
Rolen (and McGriff for that matter) aren't the kind of players whose election is going to be the lead story on Sportscenter. I'm a believer that both belong in the HOF, but they were not the very best players or the biggest stars. There really hasn't been somebody on that level since Jeter four HOF classes ago.
 

InstaFace

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Agreed. Also, I'm pretty sure that the BBHoF always announced their new inductees in January. I don't believe that this is a new thing.
Always in January, yes. But announcement dates have shifted from early January to late January, as of a few years ago. I don't know if that helps or hurts their relevance.

2023: Jan 24th
2022: Jan 25th
2021: Jan 26th
2020: Jan 21st
2019: Jan 22nd
2018: Jan 24th
2017: Jan 18th
2016: Jan 6th
2015: Jan 6th
2014: Jan 8th
2013: Jan 9th
2012: Jan 9th
2011: Jan 5th
2010: Jan 6th
2009: Jan 12th
2008: Jan 8th
2007: Jan 9th
2006: Jan 10th
2005: Jan 4th
2004: Jan 6th
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Always in January, yes. But announcement dates have shifted from early January to late January, as of a few years ago. I don't know if that helps or hurts their relevance.

2023: Jan 24th
2022: Jan 25th
2021: Jan 26th
2020: Jan 21st
2019: Jan 22nd
2018: Jan 24th
2017: Jan 18th
2016: Jan 6th
2015: Jan 6th
2014: Jan 8th
2013: Jan 9th
2012: Jan 9th
2011: Jan 5th
2010: Jan 6th
2009: Jan 12th
2008: Jan 8th
2007: Jan 9th
2006: Jan 10th
2005: Jan 4th
2004: Jan 6th
That's a good point. Maybe baseball and the HoF would be better served to announce the results on the Wednesday of the first week of the Super Bowl break. By that time, the Conference Championship games have long been dissected, college football has been over for a few weeks and the NCAA hoops, NBA and NHL seasons are beyond routine. It's a bit of a slow news day and MLB might have the headlines to themselves.
 

jon abbey

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That's a good point. Maybe baseball and the HoF would be better served to announce the results on the Wednesday of the first week of the Super Bowl break. By that time, the Conference Championship games have long been dissected, college football has been over for a few weeks and the NCAA hoops, NBA and NHL seasons are beyond routine. It's a bit of a slow news day and MLB might have the headlines to themselves.
Or they could actually enshrine their best players.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Or they could actually enshrine their best players.
That's not a Cooperstown or MLB problem*, they shoved that responsibility to the BBWA and former players.

* I don't agree with this, but that's how these two institutes decided to handle it.

But after Bonds, Clemens, Manny, ARod and Rose get in; then what? It's back to the regular business of electing players like Rolen and McGriff into the HoF that--while worthy--probably doesn't move the needle in terms of fan reaction or sports world news.
 

Max Power

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That's not a Cooperstown or MLB problem*, they shoved that responsibility to the BBWA and former players.

* I don't agree with this, but that's how these two institutes decided to handle it.

But after Bonds, Clemens, Manny, ARod and Rose get in; then what? It's back to the regular business of electing players like Rolen and McGriff into the HoF that--while worthy--probably doesn't move the needle in terms of fan reaction or sports world news.
Right. The problem is that baseball isn't as popular as it once was and reaction to the Hall of Fame is a response to that, not the other way around. Albert Pujols was one of the all time great players. When he's inducted in 5 years, the news story will be below whatever NFL conference championship games are coming up that week.
 

jon abbey

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The problem is that baseball isn't as popular as it once was and reaction to the Hall of Fame is a response to that, not the other way around.
I honestly don't think these two things are connected at all, do people really care about who the NFL puts in their Hall of Fame? Maybe they do, dunno.
 

8slim

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I honestly don't think these two things are connected at all, do people really care about who the NFL puts in their Hall of Fame? Maybe they do, dunno.
People do, but it's a MUCH different conversation because football is so... non-statistical?... compared to baseball. There's always a lot of chatter over on the Pats section about what current/recent QB should make the Hall, or how a WR HoF candidate today compares to those from 10-20 years ago. It's just a different dynamic than looking at Rolen and comparing his numbers to guys who played 50 years ago.

Anyway, it's Scott Rolen, so his selection isn't going to generate headlines. He's... fine.
 

JM3

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That's not a Cooperstown or MLB problem*, they shoved that responsibility to the BBWA and former players.

* I don't agree with this, but that's how these two institutes decided to handle it.

But after Bonds, Clemens, Manny, ARod and Rose get in; then what? It's back to the regular business of electing players like Rolen and McGriff into the HoF that--while worthy--probably doesn't move the needle in terms of fan reaction or sports world news.
It's clearly time to institute a CHEAT (Cheaters, Hooligans, Ethically-challenged, A-Holes & Traitors) Committee to select one CHEAT to the HoF every 4 years.

That way they can have their own wing & we can actually debate the relative merits of those players against each other Thunderdome-style, but it's not so often that we run out of CHEATs & it will still greatly slow down their HoF induction.

The acronym could use some workshopping, though.
 

Ale Xander

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That's a good point. Maybe baseball and the HoF would be better served to announce the results on the Wednesday of the first week of the Super Bowl break. By that time, the Conference Championship games have long been dissected, college football has been over for a few weeks and the NCAA hoops, NBA and NHL seasons are beyond routine. It's a bit of a slow news day and MLB might have the headlines to themselves.
Nah. First Tuesday after end of WS I think is better. (do the end of year awards earlier, start during LCS, and end the day before Game 1 WS)
 

jon abbey

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Nah. First Tuesday after end of WS I think is better. (do the end of year awards earlier, start during LCS, and end the day before Game 1 WS)
Honestly I think quite a few fans tune out once their team is eliminated, the season is so damn long.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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It's clearly time to institute a CHEAT (Cheaters, Hooligans, Ethically-challenged, A-Holes & Traitors) Committee to select one CHEAT to the HoF every 4 years.

That way they can have their own wing & we can actually debate the relative merits of those players against each other Thunderdome-style, but it's not so often that we run out of CHEATs & it will still greatly slow down their HoF induction.

The acronym could use some workshopping, though.
I like the acronym. No notes!

Right. The problem is that baseball isn't as popular as it once was and reaction to the Hall of Fame is a response to that, not the other way around. Albert Pujols was one of the all time great players. When he's inducted in 5 years, the news story will be below whatever NFL conference championship games are coming up that week.
I'm not so sure about that. We all realize that baseball is becoming a regionalized game and I think that the HoF results are just another example of that. When Ortiz was elected last year, there was tons of press around it here in Boston. It was like two or three days of Ortiz (which rules of course), but Rolen and McGriff don't move the needle here in New England. But I bet in St. Louis, Rolen rolling into Cooperstown was a big deal. Maybe Philly, though their eyes are somewhere else this week. I'm not sure where McGriff getting into the HoF is a big deal in maybe Toronto. Maybe Atlanta?

But I think that for the truly big stars, like Jeter, the news is greater nationwide and in the area in which they played their career. ESPN and other sports outlets have taken the NBA and NFL view of their sports (the past doesn't matter, all that matters is right this second) and that's how they view sports news. Baseball, for better or worse, isn't like that. It revels (I'd say unhealthily fetishizes to it's detriment) in its past, so this is right up their alley. But no one else cares about a guy who hasn't swung a bat in over a decade. Scott Rolen? You may as well be talking about Ron Santo in terms of moving the needle.
 

Sandwich Pick

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Rolen is basically persona non grata with Philly fans, perhaps none more than my wife. She hated the way he shot his way out of town to get to the Cards. I follow a few Philly centric accounts on Twitter and they largely ignored it.
Yeah, most Phillies fans either hate Rolen or don't think about him at all. He was the face of the franchise during some really bad years. And there is really no reason to re-live that era because him leaving marked the start of a new one (Although they didn't exactly get better by trading him, and he won a title in St. Louis, as well). For me, that whole stretch feels like a lifetime ago given everything that has happened since then.

He rejected a 10-year/140m extension before the 2002 season and did an extended interview in spring training where he basically trashed ownership, their commitment to winning, their results since he'd been there (They had 86 wins in 2001, their only winning season in his career) and openly questioned whether guys like Burrell, Lieberthal and others would even be there 5 years from then.

From that moment until he was traded, there was a lot of cognitive dissonance among the fanbase. Many fans agreed with Rolen but really didn't like him very much. Many others were easily influenced by the likes of Dallas Green, and old school guy still employed by the team who would question Rolen's toughness on talk radio.

He was booed relentlessly for years every time he came back as a visitor, including a really awkward moment that year when he shook Harry Kalas' hand on the field during a tribute to him.

I feel like the Phillies are trying to mend fences. Owner John Middleton sent out a congratulations to Rolen and said he would honor him in some way. Much like Bobby Abreu, he had the unfortunate task of being a star for them when they were underachieving or mediocre.

Here's a good read on it. "He ran afoul of the old guard" is a very good description the author uses.

EDIT: I forgot to include that when he was traded to St. Louis, he said he felt like he had been traded to "baseball heaven", implying that Philadelphia was something like baseball Hades.

https://www.crossingbroad.com/2023/01/scott-rolen-the-phillies-and-the-road-not-taken.html