Yes, he’s only played for 13 seasons so far, and yes, I’m a self-described “tough grader” when it comes to who gets my vote. But on the other hand, I’ve always put a highly subjective “does he FEEL like a Hall of Famer when I’m watching his career unfold” test on players – rightfully or wrongfully.
And while Halladay may not quite be a slam dunk just based on his lifetime career totals, he is clearly one of most dominant pitchers of the past decade and should be mentioned in the same breath as Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez. His masterpiece last night and his perfect game earlier in the year serves to show the rest of America what those who were either hardcore fans, Blue Jay fans or American League East fans have known for a long time:
Roy Halladay is a special pitcher.
On Toronto – a team that was never all that good during his tenure, and having to play at least 2 teams every single year that won 90+ games for a very good percentage of his starts. His stats against the Yankees are even better than his stats against everyone else. He was an all star for the 7th time in 12 full seasons this year, will likely win his 2nd Cy Young Award this year to go with one 2nd place finish, one 3rd place finish and two 5th place finishes. He has 3 seasons of 20 wins or more. His 169 wins are twice as many as his losses (number one among active pitchers), he has a lifetime ERA of 3.32, pitching predominantly against the toughest division in baseball for the past decade. His WAR are first or 2nd in 8 years. His 58 complete games are first among active pitchers, and he has led the league 6 times (with one second place finish). And he is routinely amongst league leaders in innings pitched.
He can easily win 300 games with the way he pitches and his relative youth, which would be unheard of after the retirement of Johnson, Maddux and Glavine.
But just as important – he instantly gives his team an excellent chance to win every single time out in a way that few pitchers over the past 15 years have – even the ones with overpowering fastballs.
Maybe his numbers aren’t as gaudy as others on the ballot, but if his career ended this postseason, what is the argument against voting him into the Hall of Fame?