The Hall of Fame case for Arthur Rhodes

Does this Rhode lead to Cooperstown?

The 2017 Baseball Writers’ Association of America 34-player Hall of Fame ballot was announced on Monday and while there were expected stars like Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez making their debuts, there were also a few surprises. Among them was Arthur Rhodes.

Let’s examine his case for Cooperstown.

Rhodes bounced around throughout his 20-year Major League career. The left-handed reliever started his career in 1991 with the Baltimore Orioles and was teammates with both Cal and Billy Ripken. He spent nine years of his career there and it would likely be an “O” on his hat, if he were to miraculously be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. There were also stops in Seattle, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Oakland, Texas, Cleveland and Florida.

He only managed to make the All-Star team once in 2010, when he was 40 years old and pitched to a 2.29 ERA in 69 games with the Reds. He has a World Series ring as a member of the Cardinals in 2011, where he was perfect in all three of his outings against the Texas Rangers.

(Fun fact: The first batter that he faced in his postseason career was Brian Giles in the 1996 ALDS between the Indians and Orioles. The last batter that he faced in his career was Yorvit Torrealba who flew out to centerfield in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the World Series where the Cardinals defeated the Rangers. But the result of the game didn’t even matter since he had been traded from Texas to St. Louis earlier in the season. He was guaranteed a World Series ring.)

Rhodes pitched in 900 career games. That’s a durable pitcher but his 87–70 record along with a career ERA of 4.08 with just 33 saves is nothing that voters have been champing at the bit for.

While he was reliable in big spots, he will be the Rhode not taken for the 2017 Hall of Fame class.