Utley: 'No doubt in my mind' Rollins deserves to be in Hall of Fame
Retired second baseman Chase Utley would induct his former Philadelphia Phillies double-play partner Jimmy Rollins into the Hall of Fame if he had a say in voting.
"There's no doubt in my mind that he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," Utley told Matt Breen of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Rollins is eligible for induction for the first time Tuesday. However, he doesn't stand a good chance of getting enshrined despite producing an impressive career, which includes three All-Star Game appearances, four Gold Gloves, a 2008 World Series championship, and the 2007 National League MVP.
"He played a tremendous shortstop," Utley said. "He made it look extremely easy, which as you talk to guys who played shortstop over the years, it's not as easy as he made it look. For him to have the ability to not only play defense but to be an offensive presence, whether it's in the batter's box or on the bases, he was a threat all over the place."
Rollins has appeared on only 10.9% of the public ballots so far, according to Ryan Thibodaux's Hall of Fame tracker. That's far from the 75% needed for induction, although the 43-year-old is in good shape to surpass the 5% requirement to remain on the ballot for another year.
Rollins' career WAR (49.4), batting average (.264), and OPS (.743) aren't doing him any favors, but Utley believes his ex-teammate possessed at least one trait that voters are taking for granted - durability. Rollins played 2,275 games over his 17-year career, appearing in 137-plus contests in 14 of those campaigns before retiring following the 2016 season.
"That's huge because you don't see that very often," Utley said. "He wanted to be out there whether he was feeling great or not. Over the course of the season, there's going to be plenty of days when you just don't feel like you're bringing a whole lot to the table, but he was still ready to post on a daily basis. That's something that all players should look up to."
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