The Phillies revealed the 12-man ballot for this year's Wall of Fame voting and, once again, Curt Schilling has to be considered the favorite.
That, of course, did not matter in 2011 when John Kruk was enshrined. The team opens voting to fans online and the choices are whittled to five for the team-picked committee to decide on the inductee.
Here is the full ballot:
Larry Christenson, RHP
Jim Konstanty, RHP
Ron Reed, RHP
Curt Schilling, RHP
Rick Wise, RHP
Mike Lieberthal, C
Jimmy Wilson, C
Pinky Whitney, 3B
Greg Gross, OF
Von Hayes, OF
Mike Ryan, coach
Jim Fregosi, manager
Who deserves to be the next Phillie honored on the team's Wall of Fame?
Interestingly enough, Lenny Dykstra's name is missing from the ballot despite his inclusion last season. This isn't the Hall of Fame, so the Phillies run the show. They, apparently, have invoked the morality clause. Dykstra, among other legal issues, is awaiting sentencing on multiple counts of grand theft auto. It's been postponed to March.
So replacing Kruk and Dykstra are Whitney and Ryan.
There really shouldn't be a challenger to Schilling. Already, two members from the 1993 Phillies — Darren Daulton and Kruk — have been inducted before Schilling.
Schilling ranks at the top in many of the franchise's major pitching categories. He's sixth in wins (101), eighth in innings pitched (1,659 1/3), fourth in strikeouts (1,554), fifth in WHIP (1.12), second in K/9 (8.4), sixth in games started (226), first in K:BB ratio (3.75) and fifth in bWAR (34.6). He still holds the single-season record for strikeouts, 319 in 1997.
Obviously, he has a complicated legacy in Philadelphia cemented once he demanded out of the city and won three World Series with Arizona and Boston. That shouldn't take away from his accomplishments over nine seasons with the Phillies.
In his only postseason with the Phillies, he started four games. The Phillies won three, including his masterful shutout in Game 5 of the 1993 World Series, and he posted a postseason ERA of 2.59.
After this season and Schilling's assumed induction, the Wall options are bleak. Pat Burrell won't be eligible until 2015 for enshrinement. Bank on that.
And there are plenty of future inductees on the current Phillies. But none are retiring any time soon.
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