Less than three months after his tragic passing, Roy Halladay is posthumously eligible for the 2019 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Despite the news breaking this week that his autopsy revealed painkillers and amphetamines in his system, I’m fairly certain he will be inducted.
As a pitcher, Halladay was ferocious, posting a 3.38 career ERA with 2,117 strikeouts, a win-loss record of 203-105, and 67 complete games. Throughout his fifteen-year MLB career, he was an 8-time All-Star and twice recipient of the prestigious Cy Young Award, only the 6th pitcher in league history to win the award as an American League and National League pitcher.
But when it comes to awards, how many awards you’ve already won is not reason enough to win another. Halladay’s skill on the mound speaks volumes and is what should be recognized and valued, not his Cy Young’s or his untimely death. On May 29th, 2010, he pitched the 20th perfect game in Major League history, one of his two no-hitters that season. He retired 27 batters, had 11 K’s, and allowed nothing. His second no-hitter that season was his first-ever postseason start, Game 1 of the NLDS. Nearly 60 years after Don Larson became the first pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter, Roy Halladay became the second.
Roy Halladay was a man of enormous skill, and he was admired by both his teammates and league-mates. He was beloved by his fans, admired by children who, like me, grew up dreaming about playing on those beautiful green baseball diamonds. Roy Halladay never won a World Series, but he was a winner of a player. He struck out entire lineups, but he had their respect. He instilled fear in opposing teams, but he was so good that they admired him while they quaked in their cleats. While his death might have put him on this ballot sooner than expected, it’s who Roy Halladay was when he was alive that make him worthy of being a Hall of Famer.