Blue Jays legend, Roy Halladay figures to be a Hall of Famer and he should be enshrined wearing Toronto colours
On January 22, the 2019 class of inductees to MLB’s Hall of Fame will be announced. Apparently, roughly 39% of eligible voters have revealed their ballots, and Halladay was chosen on 94.4% of them. He would need to be chosen on roughly 64% of the remaining ballots for the 75% needed for induction. Looks like there is a very good chance the late Halladay will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Very well deserved.
The only real question at this point – which hat will be wear in Cooperstown, Blue Jays or Phillies?
For me, the answer is obvious. He needs to go in as a Blue Jay.
Let’s take a look at the numbers. Halladay made his MLB debut with the Jays in September of 1998, when he started two games. He showed a glimpse of his star potential when, in just his second game in the majors, he took a no hitter in to the 9th inning in the final game of the regular season. He went on to play from 1999-2013 before retiring from baseball. From 1998-2009 he was with the Jays. Following the 2009 season, he was traded to the Phillies where he spent his final four seasons.
When deciding between two or more teams, what criteria should be used? How long a player played for each team? What were his accomplishments with each team? Did he help those teams go to the playoffs/win in the playoffs? What are his own wishes?
- How long did Halladay play for the Jays and the Phillies? No contest here. Doc was with the Jays from 1998-2009, and the Phillies from 2010-2013.
- What were his accomplishments with each team? Doc performed very well overall for both the Jays and Phillies. He was an all star six times for the Jays and twice for the Phils. He won a Cy Young award once for each team. He pitched 49 of his 67 career complete games for the Jays and 18 for the Phillies. He did pitch one of only 23 perfect games in MLB history for the Phils on May 29, 2010.
Maybe the most telling stat is the winning percentage. Halladay’s career win % is .659, 18th best in MLB history. With Toronto, his winning percentage was .661, whereas the Jays winning percentage during his tenure was only .499%. With the Phillies his winning percentage was .655 and the Phillies were .545 in his four years there. In other words, Halladay was even more dominant in his years with Toronto teams that overall were much worse. Though this is close, I’d give the edge to the Jays here as well.
3. Did he help his teams go to the playoffs/win in the playoffs? This is the only argument in the Phillies favor. The Jays couldn’t manage a single playoff appearance during Halladay’s tenure (partly due to being in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox) which ultimately led to his request to be traded to a contender. Halladay’s Phillies made the playoffs in 2010 and 2011. Doc threw one of only two playoff ho hitters in the 2010 NLDS, helping the Phils advance to the NLCS where they lost to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. In 2011 the Phillies couldn’t advance past the NLDS, losing to the eventual champion St Louis Cardinals.
This alone shouldn’t determine which team a player represents. Let’s take another case as a comparison. A 21 year MLB player who played his first 15 seasons with one team, finally left as a free agent to play for a team he thought had a better chance to win. The very next season he won the World Series with his new team and was named World Series MVP after batting .500/.571/1.000 in the series. In spite of this, Paul Molitor went in to Cooperstown as a Brewer, which was the correct call.
4. What are the player’s wishes? On December 9, 2013, Halladay signed a one day contract with Toronto in order to retire with the Jays organization that drafted and developed him. Then on August 14, 2016, Halladay told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi that if it were up to him, he would go in as a Blue Jay, not a Phillie.
Roy Halladay should be inducted to MLB’s Hall of Fame and he should go in as a Blue Jay. The sad part is that he won’t be present at his induction ceremony due to his untimely death on November 7, 2017.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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