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Next stop Cooperstown for Roy Halladay

Dec 9, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT

Roy Halladay‘s shoulder let him down in the end, but not until after one of the best 10-year runs in memory.

From 2002-2011, Halladay went 170-75 with a 2.97 ERA and 1,699 strikeouts in 2,194 2/3 innings. He went to eight All-Star Games, won two Cy Young Awards and finished second twice more. During that span, he led his league in wins twice, innings four times and complete games seven times. He never actually did win an ERA crown, but he finished second three times, third twice and fifth twice. rWAR ranked him as his league’s top pitcher in four of those seasons, and he was in the top four eight times.

Halladay’s 62.4 rWAR during from ages 25-34 ranks as the 10th best ever among pitchers. Everyone else in the top 16 on the list is a Hall of Famer or will be.

87.7 – Walter Johnson
77.3 – Pete Alexander
70.6 – Pedro Martinez
70.2 – Roger Clemens
68.0 – Greg Maddux
67.2 – Tom Seaver
64.9 – Lefty Grove
63.8 – Bob Gibson
63.0 – Ed Walsh
62.4 – Roy Halladay
58.8 – Christy Mathewson
58.5 – Warren Spahn
58.1 – Fergie Jenkins
58.1 – Eddie Plank
57.0 – Gaylord Perry
55.6 – Carl Hubbard

Unlike most of the rest of those guys, Halladay, unfortunately, offers nothing beyond the 10-year run. He started his career 18-17 with a 4.95 ERA before breaking through in 2002, and he went a combined 15-13 with a 5.15 ERA in his final two seasons while dealing with shoulder problems. Still, the greatness that came in the middle should overcome the short career. Halladay did get to 200 wins anyway, finishing with 203. He didn’t receive much of a chance to make his mark in the postseason, getting there just twice in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, he had the memorable no-hitter against the Reds in the NLDS. However, he wasn’t able to pitch his team to the World Series either year, finishing 3-2 with a 2.37 ERA in five postseason starts.

Halladay’s other highlights include the 20th perfect game in major league history in 2010. In 2003, he threw the first 10-inning shutout since Dave Stewart went 11 innings for one in 1990 (or Jack Morris’s 10-inning one in the 1991 World Series, if you prefer). In fact, since 2000, there have been just five 10-inning starts and Halladay turned in two of them, also notching a 2-1 win in 10 innings in 2007. He retires having thrown 67 compete games, 30 more than anyone else currently active (CC Sabathia has 37). He was also the active leader in shutouts and winning percentage. The only 200-game winners with higher winning percentages than Halladay’s .659 in baseball history are Whitey Ford, Martinez, Grove and Mathewson.

So, yeah, it’d be nice if Halladay could have padded his win and strikeout totals with another five years of solid results. But he certainly offers Hall of Fame quality and just enough in the quantity department. There’s little reason to hold the shortish career against him.

  1. Mark Armour - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Sorry, Roy. Your wonderful career is now going to be reduced to a Hall of Fame debate. That’s how we roll nowadays.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      I don’t think he can get in, good pitcher not a all time great, sorry Doc.
      Also, he used Doc -Dwight Goodens nick name, not a good move Roy.

      • zzalapski - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        Yes, let’s pretend that Gooden was the first MLB player to have that nickname.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    That’s a very conclusive headline for an extremely debatable HOF case.

    As unfortunate as it may be, the “shortish” career likely be what keeps him out.

    • ochospantalones - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      I don’t see a guy with two Cy Youngs, a perfect game, and a post-season no-hitter failing to make it because he *only* has 203 wins. Peak performance counts with voters.

  3. corky2141 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    First ballot inductee. Best pitcher in league over his career.

  4. Youknowimright - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    I like that he is retiring as a member of the Blue Jays. It’s insult to injury for the Phillies and their fans who turned on this guy as so as he went downhill. Even after all of the great moments he provided that city, they disrespected him like only they can do. Enjoy retirement Roy.

    • chadjones27 - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Wow, you really have no clue, do you? Sure, it’d be nice to have him retire as Phillie, since that is where he had his perfecto and post season no-hitter. But, he started as a Blue Jay and that’s where he choses to retire. That does not add insult to injury to the Phillie fan base. Those fans love him and, trust me, the large majority whom you say, “turned on the guy” were booing the performance, not the player. Booing happens, albeit, more so in the north east than elsewhere.

  5. blovy8 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Agreed. The short career argument can be partially rebutted with how much of a horse he was during that career – he led the league in complete games seven times. If Glavine is sailing in, I can’t see anyone keeping him out for long.

  6. mikedi33 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    sandy Koufax got in on less years Doc was best pitcher in baseball over a 10 year period. First ballot without question.

  7. hep3 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Perhaps we should wait at least four years before discussing it. Through the prism of time, there may be some changes in how we view Halladay’s career.

  8. nymets4ever - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    Not enough wins, not enough years, and no World Series rings.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Luis Sojo has 5 WS rings. Does he get to go into the HoF?

    • mayorrobford - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Say hello to the 80’s for me

    • chadjones27 - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Adam Eaton has a WS ring.

  9. weaselpuppy - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Jack Morris was better

    • thepoolshark - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      You either need to start or stop smoking something…whichever gets you back to reality

    • cur68 - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      That’s the funniest thing anyone’s posted on the interwebz all day. Well done.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      Weasel, perhaps at cribbage.

  10. eagles512 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Not a big fan of Philly fans (though I am one) but they didn’t turn on him.

    • Youknowimright - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Booing and wanting him traded is turning on him.

      • msankey86 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        The performance. Not the man. We knew he was hurting, but we didn’t know the cause (well, I’m speaking for myself here), but the man kept going out there. The Phillycoaching staff wasn’t lily-white in this either – they kept sending him out there & making things worse.

      • Youknowimright - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        The performance not the man. What? Come on man. So if you knew he was hurt then you would not have booed him. Seriously? He did not deserve that treatment at the end of a great career. He knows that and that is one of the reasons he is retiring a blue jay.

      • msankey86 - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Just shows that you don’t understand Philly fans. At all.

        If we know you’re not performing well, we boo. Simple as that. We may have known something was wrong with the man (which was quite easy to figure out), but we didn’t know exactly what. Pretty sure most of us aren’t medical professionals. We only saw a man (who was absolutely DOMINANT for years) that…wasn’t dominant anymore.

        The man himself said he loved Philadelphia and Toronto. His career started with the Blue Jays & that’s where he was dominant until he came to Philly. That’s why he’s retiring there, not because of “the way the fans treated him” in his last few years. Take a look on Twitter for the tweets about his retirement announcement press conference.

    • tc4306 - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      The Philly fans who travel with their team must be a different lot than those who show up at their home park.

      In my limited contact with Philly fans in and around the Rogers Centre, I’ve found them to be a friendly, chatty and somewhat gregarious group.

      And if it gets into trading barbs about the Flyers and the Leafs, they can take as good as they give and do it with a smile.

      And day, any series you can give me Philly fans over the entitled snobs who show up wearing Red Sox gear.

      • msankey86 - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Yup. Dunno how it is down in Philly (I haven’t been there for a game since ’98, since I live 3 hours away. Gets expensive to go frequently…), but the ones that have come up here for MiLB games? Nice people. Smart too. They know what’s going on with the team, and are all too ready to talk about it. The same can be said for the Philly fans from this area.

        Don’t get me wrong, there are “idiot” fans (being nice) in Philly, but the same could be said of every other city.

  11. wpjohnson - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    “Jack Morris was better”. Here we go again. If A, why not B? In this case neither Morris nor Halladay are worthy of election. Two CY awards? Does that qualify Lincicum for the Hall? How about Brandon Webb. he won one and was close for two more.

  12. joejaws75 - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Youknowimright. You are an obnoxious moron. I am a full season tix holder. Roy was not booed. How many games did you attend? Jerk

    • Youknowimright - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Shocker, an angry Philly fan. Thanks for helping to make my point. this is why he retired a Blue Jay. If he was not booed then why did an earlier response to my post defend the booing by saying that he was not booed but his performance was booed? Whatever that means. You booed him we get it. that’s who you guys are. Not great fans except when you win. It’s ok to be frontrunners just don’t expect respect in return from the players or national media.

      • superturtle611 - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        So what team do you root for from your ivory tower? I am sure their fans have come up short of your standards at some point. It is much easier to throw stones though. As for Halladay, no one is above the boo. If you are healthy enough to step out on the field then you deserve to be evaluated as if you are giving a performance up to your standards. If you fall short then you deserve to be told so. If Roy Halladay is only 70% healthy do I get a 30% discount on my ticket? This isn’t little league, everyone doesn’t get a trophy for trying. If I show up to work sick my boss doesn’t give me a gold star because I toughed it out with a sore tummy. It’s where are the TPS reports, and being sick isn’t an excuse for not having them done. We as fans in this area shouldn’t have to apologize for expecting more than just showing up.

      • Youknowimright - Dec 10, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        Just because your boss treats you like crap and you hate your job, it does not make it right that you booed this guy for a few bad outings. He is the second best pitcher next to carlton to ever take the bump in philly and he gave you tremendous memories. He deserved better.

    • chadjones27 - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      joejaws, the “boo” game in question is the one where it was 90+ degrees in Philly and he went, i think, less than an inning, giving up 4 or 5 runs on a bunch of pitches. So, yes, there was booing with Halladay on the mound. But seriously, what fan base wouldn’t be upset about that?

    • sportsfan18 - Dec 9, 2013 at 5:21 PM

      joe jaws

      You say Roy was NOT booed. Just Google “Philly fans boo Roy Hallady” I did and here was a story from THIS very website back in May of this past season. A portion of the article is as follows:

      “Halladay was booed walking off the field in the third inning of his start against the Marlins on May 5 after surrendering nine runs, the final four on a grand slam to Adeiny Hechavarria. He received further criticism from fans after it was revealed he had pitched despite feeling shoulder discomfort.

      Via Matt Gelb:

      “I’ve been thinking just the last couple of days,” Halladay said. “I just felt like I should address the fans. I know there is a lot of mixed opinions on pitching, not pitching, all that kind of stuff. I know there are people who are disappointed about how I pitched the last two years. I know there are a lot of people who are very supportive.”

      You called the other poster an obnoxious moron. Who is the moron now? When you say blatantly obvious things that are incorrect, you lose all your credibility.

      Big whoop, you have season tickets. THEY didn’t help you to realize that as you sat there listening to Halladay getting booed that he was getting booed did they?

      Roy WAS booed. Look it up since you had amnesia during your time at the old ballpark.

      • Youknowimright - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        What ‘s that joejaws ? Oh nothing. Sorry I that you had something else to say. Another ill -informed philly sports fan. Please post again when you know what you are talking about. Which will be never.

  13. quincy1959 - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    He had 203 wins most of which were with Toronto when they had teams not a good as the rest of the AL east. Not quite the same as if had he been with the Yankees during those years. How many 20 plus wins might he have had if on a better team. And don’t forget only 36 and if healthy the last couple of years would have won more if he had been able to pitch maybe 3 more years. His winning would more likely be a probability than a possibility.

    But if 300 wins is the benchmark, then unlikely everyone will vote for him on the first ballot. But he likely will go in on first ballot anyway. He was totally dominant and clean in a steroid era. Perfect game, no hitter in playoffs, and Cy Youngs in both leagues will do it. Voters from both leagues saw him play enough as a dominant pitcher in his day in their leagues. An advantage some who do not have when their name on the ballot. The ones who don’t vote for him will focus on the 300 wins benchmark and have to think hard.

    If he had stayed in the game as a shell of what he once was, trying for extra wins, far less likely to reach the HOF. Another 20 would hurt him more than retiring now.

    Not sure who is the youngest to get in the HOF. Not even sure who will be new to the ballot on his first year, but I don’t think a strong class and those remaining on the ballot will have many tainted. So if betting was allowed in baseball, my money would be on a first year inductee. But I watched him play so many times, I would say he deserved it anyway. Regardless of how good or bad Toronto was when he played for them, or which team you cheered for, generally you felt he was going to win again or at least make it tough. Very few can have the effect on a game the way he did, and that will be the basis for saying he deserves to get in. Lack of 300 wins not withstanding.

    • Detroit Michael - Dec 11, 2013 at 6:22 AM

      Sandy Koufax, at age 36 and on his first ballot, was the youngest player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

  14. TBaySlim - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    i dont know if doc is a HOF or not, but i do know he wasnt even the best in the american league: during his dominate years if you match Docs numbers with Johan Santana 2003-2007 (Santanta went to National league) Santana has more wins, SO, better ERA and more Cy youngs- JMO but Doc was good but wasnt the best in the league during his time, there were a number of guys putting up equal numbers

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      Santana has more wins, SO, better ERA and more Cy youngs

      Santana’s best 5 year stretch was ’02 to ’07, so matching the two up we get:

      JS – 75-28, 2.83 ERA; 960 IP 161 ERA+; 30.1 rWAR
      RH – 77-32, 3.17 ERA; 1000.0 IP 146 ERA+; 28.6 rWAR

      However, that’s Santana’s peak where Halladay had more and better years

      • TBaySlim - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        ok so my point is (I took JS 2003 season as starting just because JS didn’t start in 02) but you got your stats there, Doc wasn’t even the best in the league at the time as people in other comments referenced above with your stats I mean during that stretch it can be said that Santana was better and most likely should have won 3 straight cy youngs ( 04 and 06 JS won) Colon took home 05. Then you still had pedro and Shilling, cliff lee, verlander and others who put up similar stats in stretches with him in the American league. good pitcher just not HOF material in my opinion

  15. vader3234 - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    Two words one year, Cody Ross, 2010.

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