Roy Halladay, the intelligent, intense and highly competitive pitcher who thrilled Phillies fans with a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter, has received his sport’s highest honor.
Halladay, as announced Tuesday night, was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. The right-hander was named on 85.4 percent of the ballots cast by veteran members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, far surpassing the required 75 percent for election.
Halladay’s first-ballot election comes just 14 months after he was killed at the age of 40 in a plane crash off the west coast of Florida. Halladay’s death hit family and former teammates hard and he was remembered in a touching memorial at the Phillies’ spring training stadium in Clearwater, Florida, on Nov. 14, 2017.
In addition to Halladay, former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, starting pitcher Mike Mussina and Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez were also elected to the Hall of Fame. Like Halladay, Rivera, arguably the greatest closer ever, was elected in his first year of eligibility.
Halladay, Rivera, Mussina and Martinez will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame during induction ceremonies July 21 in Cooperstown, New York.
Halladay is the second player with Phillies ties to be elected to the Hall of Fame in as many years. Jim Thome was a first-ballot selection last year.
Like Thome, Halladay spent the majority of his career in the American League but added to his Hall of Fame résumé during his time in Philadelphia.
Halladay won a Cy Young Award (in 2003) and made six AL All-Star teams during 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays from 1998 to 2009. He was traded to the Phillies before the 2010 season and quickly made his mark on the team by tossing just the second perfect game in franchise history. It came on May 29, 2010, against the Miami Marlins in his 11th start with the Phillies.
Later in the 2010 season, Halladay threw a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Division Series. Halladay went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA in 33 starts during that regular season. He led the majors in innings (250 2/3), complete games (9) and shutouts (4) that season and won the NL Cy Young Award.
Halladay continued his dominance for the Phillies in 2011, going 19-6 with a 2.39 ERA in 32 starts and finishing second in the Cy Young voting. The Phillies won a club record 102 games that season but were eliminated from the postseason in a painful, 1-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Halladay pitched brilliantly in that game, allowing just one run over eight innings, but his good friend and former Toronto teammate Chris Carpenter was even better in holding the Phillies scoreless over nine innings to lead the Cardinals to the victory.
Halladay was known for his cerebral preparation before games and a legendary work ethic that included pre-dawn workouts in spring training. Despite these intangibles, he struggled with back and shoulder injuries during his final two seasons in Philadelphia and retired after the 2013 season. He finished his career with a record of 203-105. In addition to two Cy Young Awards, he finished in the top five of the voting five other times. He was posthumously awarded a place on the Phillies’ Wall of Fame last summer. He is also recognized with a spot on the Toronto Blue Jays’ Level of Excellence. Next stop: Cooperstown.
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