The Baseball Writers’ Association of America says that throughout the Hall of Fame voting process, a player’s “record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played” will all come into question to determine whether or not they’re a HoF-worthy talent.
Roy Halladay was exemplary in all of those fields, and now, the former Blue Jay’s name will live on forever in Cooperstown, New York.
The right hander made preparation and execution into an art form and rose to the top as one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation. The contributions he made to an otherwise lifeless franchise at the time were immeasurable. And if you speak to anybody that knew him, his character, sportsmanship, and integrity surpassed nearly everything he did on the mound.
Also getting in: first timer Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez (10th year), and Mike Mussina (6th year).
His death was untimely, but it’s not the reason why we’re here today. Sure, he only struck out 6.9 per nine over the course of his career and retired early at 36 due to shoulder issues, but everything else that Halladay did every fifth day was otherworldly. He not only lasted in the rough American League East during the 2000s, he shone, finishing top-five in Cy Young Award voting on five occasions, winning it in 2003. He later added a few more special moments while wearing a Phillies uniform and even picked up another Cy.
He finished his career with a 3.38 earned run average, two Cy Young Awards, 67 complete games, countless all star game appearances, a no hitter in the post season, and of course, a perfect game, just the 20th in MLB history. That’s Hall of Fame worthy if you ask me.
Personally, I have two Doc regrets: the first is that we never got to witness his magic during a postseason run here. Back in 2015 and 2016, when everything was fun and the Blue Jays were the centre of attention, you couldn’t help but think about the one name that was missing. Doc was a solitary beacon of light in the middle of an ocean filled with despair during his time here. It only would have been right for him to be part of the ride.
The second is that we won’t get to witness him making his speech sometime during the summer. I come from a generation of fans that were just too young to witness WAMCO that grew up witnessing Doc’s greatness. He may be gone, but his legend will live on forever due to the fact that our kids will probably never stop hearing about the things that he did during those 11 years in Toronto.
The only thing left to decide is which hat he wears in his Hall of Fame plaque. He signed a one-day contract after the 2013 season to retire as a Blue Jay, and in 2016, said that if he gets in, he’d want to go in as a member of the franchise. But regardless if it’s a bird or a P on his cap, fans in both cities are eternally grateful that they got to watch Harry Leroy Halladay III pitch for their club.
Thank you, Doc.