The Philadelphia Phillies released their 2017 Wall of Fame ballot Thursday and the names on the ballot, or lack thereof, suggest that 2017 will be Pete Rose's year to be inducted.
Earlier this week, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki noted that Rose would be joined by Placido Polanco, Scott Rolen, Steve Bedrosian and Manny Trillo on this year's ballot. The full 10-man ballot is as follows:
- Pete Rose
- Scott Rolen
- Placido Polanco
- Steve Bedrosian
- Manny Trillo
- Larry Christenson
- Gene Garber
- Jim Fregosi
- Ron Reed
- Rick Wise
What the Phillies have done with this ballot is put zero names that are expected to pose any sort of real threat to Rose getting the nomination. The fans only select the top five names for the Wall of Fame committee to choose from, but if the ballot is so weak that the fans pick Rose as their No. 1 choice, that makes the job of the committee, who clearly wants Rose to get the honor in 2017, easy.
Scott Rolen and Manny Trillo both have interesting cases, but won't seriously push Rose. Rolen statistically should be on the Wall of Fame, at least compared to some previous nominees, but won't be because his ugly exit made him nearly universally disliked by the fanbase. Much of the crowd that would have voted for Trillo will likely vote for Rose, who was his teammate on the 1980 World Series team.
Both Brad Lidge and Roy Halladay meet the eligibility requirements to be on the ballot, so it's telling of the organization's desires that neither are on the ballot. It's unclear if either Lidge or Halladay would have gotten more fan votes than Rose, but they would have pushed him because of both the recency bias and strong sentimental cases.
Fans can vote on the Wall of Fame here. Fan voting will run until March 15. Whoever the eventual pick for 2017 induction is will be honored on Saturday, Aug. 12, when the Phillies host the New York Mets.