On Sunday night, 6 new faces were welcomed to the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2022. Between the Early Baseball Era Committee and the Gold Days Era Baseball Committee, Bud Fowler, Buck O’Neil, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, and Tony Oliva will all be immortalized with plaques in Cooperstown.
Out of those names, Jim Kaat is the only one with Phillies‘ connections.
Jim “Kitty” Kaat pitched parts of 4 seasons with the Phillies from 1976-1979. At the time, Kaat was in his late 30’s and past his prime. He went 27-30 with the Phils with a 4.23 ERA. During his tenure, he added his final 2 Rawlings’ Gold Glove awards out of 16 total in his career. He is tied 2nd all-time with Brooks Robinson and is only behind Greg Maddux’s 18.
While with Philadelphia, Kaat’s most important appearance was in game 3 of the 1976 NLCS against the Big Red Machine. He’d pitch 6+ innings, allowing 2 ER. The Reds would walk it off to sweep the Phillies in 3 games.
In his career, Kaat won 283 games with a 3.45 ERA. He threw 180 complete games.
While it’s nice to see a Phillies pitcher headed to the hall, there was one name that was absolutely snubbed. For the second time, Dick Allen fell short just 1 vote of being elected to the Hall of Fame.
You’d think after having his number retired by the Phillies, voting Allen in would’ve been a no-brainer. His number 15 represented the first non-HoF player to ever have their number retired by the Phillies.
Many writers agreed that Allen should’ve been inducted.
When comparing Dick Allen’s hitting to that of Minnie Minoso and Gil Hodges, there’s no doubt that Allen should’ve finally gotten the call.
Outside of batting average, Allen also blew Tony Oliva out of the water, comparatively.
A Rookie of the Year and MVP, Allen was one of the most feared batters of his time. One day he’ll get the recognition he deserves. Until then, at least the Phillies were able to honor the legend while he still walked this Earth.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire