The Flyin’ Hawaiian Soars onto the Hall of Fame Ballot

MLB: APR 25 Phillies at Diamondbacks
25 April 2012: Philadelphia Phillies Shane Victorino (8) at the plate during a regular season game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 7-2.

From 2007-2011, Phillies baseball was the hot ticket in Philadelphia. It hadn’t been since 1993 that the Philly Phaithful had something to be excited for in red pinstripes.

During that time span, one of the most exciting and fun to watch players in baseball was coming into their own. Most fans in Philly knew him as “The Flyin’ Hawaiian”.

Shane Victorino did it all as a Phillie. Slick plays, clutch hits, an infectious smile, Victorino was truly a fan favorite.

Just 2 years ago, Victorino took his daughter Kali’a to the hallowed grounds of Cooperstown. There he got to show off his cleats from his grand slam in game 6 of the 2013 ALCS.

Now Victorino will have the chance to be immortalized forever in upstate New York. On Monday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame released the 2021 ballot. Victorino is 1 of 11 new names on the ballot, and 6 former Phillies.

While Victorino is unlikely to be elected into the Hall of Fame, his career should be recognized for his many achievements. The 2X All-Star and 4X Gold Glove winner won 2 World Series, one with the Phillies in 2008 and 1 with the Red Sox in 2013.

Victorino set several records for a Hawaiian-born player. While Kurt Suzuki has since past Victorino in hits and home runs, he still holds records for most triples (70), most stolen bases (231), most runs scored (731), and highest career batting average (.275, minimum 50 games).

Most importantly, Victorino will never be forgotten in Philadelphia. Between his defense and offense, Victorino was often compared to (another awesome Phillies’ nickname) “The Secretary of Defense” Garry Maddox. Both had 30+ WAR for their careers, Victorino had a 102 OPS+ for his career and Maddox had a 101 OPS+, and both won WS with the Phllies.

Victorino’s best years came from ’07-’11 when he averaged 10 triples, 14 homers, and 30 stolen bases a season. In that span, he hit .281 with a .795 OPS. He averaged out to be a 4 WAR player over those seasons.

Plus he did this against CC Sabathia.

Photo Credit:  Doug James/Icon Sportswire