The former Mariners reliever, Arthur Rhodes has been put on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, and it probably won’t be his last either. But, no matter how many times his name shows up on the ballot, the odds of him ever being enshrined like Ken Griffey Jr. was this past season are quite small.
Rhodes was a staple in the major leagues for twenty seasons both as a relief pitcher and a bedazzled trend-setter -Rhodes played with earnings, and was once prompted to remove them in the middle of a game.
He played for seven different organizations, but only stayed on a club’s roster for more than two years twice. He played his first nine campaigns with the Baltimore Orioles, then his next five seasons with the Mariners.
Over the course of his two decades in the league, Rhodes would be part of a handful of playoff teams. And, in a storybook-like ending to his career, Rhodes’s final relief appearance would be in game seven of the 2011 world series.
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He would face one batter, Yorvit Torrealba, and would induce a pop fly for the first out of the seventh inning with a runner on second. He would earn a hold -his fourth of that postseason- which would help the St. Louis Cardinals win the decisive match, earning the franchise their eleventh World Series trophy.
The World Series win was the cherry on the cake for the former Mariners reliever. Before he even came west to Seattle, Rhodes was pitching in back-to-back ALCS’s for the Orioles in 96′ and 97′.
A few years later, Rhodes would appear in his third and fourth championship series with the Mariners. During the 2000 ALCS, Rhodes was flat out awful. The left-hander allowed more than three runs in two outings that series, blowing the save in each game. In another game, he walked three of the seven Yankees he would face in that mid-October duel.
In his career, Rhodes would never prove to be a consistent, lock down reliever. His 4.04 ERA in the postseason is borderline unrespectable.
When it comes to the regular season, Rhodes’s stats don’t get much better. Over twenty seasons, Rhodes had an ERA of 4.08. In twelve of his twenty years in the league, Rhodes ERA would be above 4.00, and in seven of those twelve years, it was over 5.00.
In all, Rhodes would be the first pitcher (reliever or starter) to be elected into the hall of fame with a career ERA above 4.00. The Player with the highest ERA when pitching in at least fifty games is the Yankees, Red Ruffing, who played most of his ball before World War II.
Rhodes can say that he tried his best on the Mariners to one day be a hall of famer. From 2000-2003, Rhodes would post an ERA of 3.08, while adding eight saves and boasting a 26-15 record.
In the first half of 2008 in his second (and brief) stint with the Mariners, Rhodes was more of his old M’s self. He had a 2.86 ERA over thirty-six games before he was then traded to the Florida Marlins.
If Rhodes had thrown the ball as well as he did with the Mariners for his entire career, this piece would have ended up with a different conclusion. Unfortunately for the former Mariners stud, he had too many “off” years to merit a spot in the exclusive hall of fame.