Sixteen major league seasons. Seven-time league-leader in complete games (2003, 2005, 2007-11). Two-time wins leader (2003,2010). Four-time league leader in shutouts (2003, 2008-10) and innings pitched (2002-03, 2008, 2010). Eight All-Star appearances (2002-03, 2005-06, 2008-11), including two starts (2009, 2011). Three 20-win seasons, five with 200+ plus strikeouts. Perfect game and playoff no-hitter hurler(!). Two-time Cy Young Award Winner- one in the American League before an encore performance in the National League in 2010. One of only six pitchers with at least 200 victories and a .650 winning percentage among all pitchers whose career began in 1900 or later.
One of the most highly-decorated innings-eating offense-nullifiers to ever grace the mound, Roy Halladay is, without a sliver of uncertainty, deserving of being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019. A newcomer on the HOF ballot, Halladay possesses the generational resume required to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The late Blue Jays and Phillies legend is one of the most dominant, skilled pitchers we’ve had the pleasure of watching since the turn of the century. Major league batters were routinely retired with ease by the Colorado native as Halladay flossed his teeth with the senior circuit. Behind
the back of his filthy five-pitch repertoire, Halladay was able to sustain an almost two-decade-long career of masterful pitching across both the National and American league.
In regards to front-end, ace pitchers, the 6-foot-6 Doc was stood tall over the rest, as he is just one of nineteen storied pitchers to win multiple Cy Young awards- as well as being on the more exclusive list of hurlers to do it in the AL and NL. Of the nineteen multi-Cy Young winners, only three have failed to reach the HOF- not including active players and/or players currently on the ballot. His talent and accomplishments are staggeringly impressive and the legacy of Halladay deserves to live forever in the heart of Cooperstown.
“I would see him working out in between starts, like an absolute maniac,” 3x All-Star Dan Haren spoke of the late Halladay to Ben Lindbergh of the Ringer via text. “I would think to myself if I wanted to get to his level I need to be busting my ass like him. He never walked guys, [he] challenged hitters and trusted his stuff and I tried to be like that too. I admired how deep he could go in games, I wanted his arsenal, I wanted my cutter to be like his because I knew it was impossible for me to have his curve, changeup, or sinker. He could make his fastball go both ways, sink and cut. Just a beast, I never wanted to match up with him cause I knew how it was gonna end.”
One of the most hard-working warriors the game has ever seen, Halladay even impressed fellow Phillies legend and future Hall of Famer Chase Utley in their first Spring Training together in 2010:
“It was the first day of Spring Training for me and I wanted to get in early to show my teammates I was ready to go… I remember walking in at 5:45 in the morning, sun wasn’t out yet, assuming we would be the first people here…Roy was sitting there and he had his workout clothes on butthey were soaking wet… so I said hey Roy was it raining when you walked in?… He let out a chuckle, put out his hand and said no I just finished aworkout. I knew right then and there he was the real deal”.
No stranger to the grind himself, Utley’s comments speak volumes about just how much of a competitor Halladay was. Halladay made good on Utley’s almost instantaneous confidence in him as well, going 21-10 with an absurd 2.44 ERA and earning his second Cy Young award that season. The meticulous right-hander trounced opposing batters with his pinpoint accuracy and overwhelming refusal to lose. The Doc not only threw a perfect game against the Marlins in May of that season but a no-hitter as well in the Phillies’ first postseason game against the Reds later in the year. His capabilities knew no bounds and his success knew even fewer. The Doc started his prosperous Phillies tenure with one of the most historic pitching seasons in recent memory and put an exclamation point on one of the most illustrious pitching careers in history.
Halladay wasn’t satisfied with simply being a major leaguer. He wasn’t satisfied with being an opening day starter. Heck, he wasn’t even satisfied with being an all-star for half of his career. Halladay wanted to be the bestand worked tirelessly toward that goal. While his ranks among the elite are up for debate, his Hall of Fame worthiness is not. Roy Halladay is one of the most dominant players of all-time and deserves to dwell amongst the titans of the sport in Cooperstown forever.