PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay considered his Hall of Fame moment a couple springs ago, standing in the sun just outside Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Fla."It would obviously be a tremendous honor," Halladay said in March 2017. "I don't know what to think about it, honestly. You see guys get in
PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay considered his Hall of Fame moment a couple springs ago, standing in the sun just outside Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Fla.
"It would obviously be a tremendous honor," Halladay said in March 2017. "I don't know what to think about it, honestly. You see guys get in that are deserving, and you see guys that are possibly deserving that don't get in. Boy, it's a tough thing to figure out. But, absolutely, I would love to be there. I think every player who ever played the game would love to be there. It would be a tremendous honor."
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Baseball fans learned Tuesday evening that Halladay was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, joining Mariano Rivera, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Harold Baines and Lee Smith in the 2019 class. Halladay appeared on 85.4 percent of ballots cast by eligible voters in the Baseball Writers' Association of America, easily eclipsing the 75 percent needed to earn enshrinement in his first year on the ballot. It was a bittersweet moment as Halladay will be inducted posthumously. He died on Nov. 7, 2017, when his personal aircraft crashed in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the shores of Holiday, Fla.
Halladay is the sixth player elected by the BBWAA posthumously and the second to be elected in his first time on the ballot. Christy Mathewson died in 1925 before being honored in the first Hall of Fame class of 1936.
"Being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame is every boy's dream," Halladay's widow, Brandy Halladay, said in a statement. "To stand on that stage in Cooperstown and deliver your acceptance speech in front of baseball's most enthusiastic fans is something that every baseball player aspires to achieve, and Roy was no exception. But that was not Roy's goal. It was not his goal to have those three letters after his signature. His goal was to be successful every single day of his 16-year career. Tonight's announcement is the end result of that effort.
"If only Roy were here to personally express his gratitude for this honor, what an even more amazing day this would be. I would like to extend special thanks to the baseball writers for the overwhelming percentage of votes that Roy received in his first year on the ballot. It means so much to me, Braden and Ryan."
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Nobody can question that Halladay was one of the greatest pitchers of his era, much less baseball history. He finished 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA in his career. He won the 2003 American League Cy Young Award and the '10 National League Cy Young Award. He finished in the top five in Cy Young Award voting five more times. He made eight All-Star teams.
Halladay threw a perfect game with the Phillies on May 29, 2010, against the Marlins in Miami. He threw a no-hitter in Game 1 of the '10 NL Division Series against the Reds, becoming the second pitcher in baseball history to throw a postseason no-hitter.
Talk about rising to the occasion: It was Halladay's first career postseason start.
Halladay captured the hearts and minds of Phillies fans long before he threw that October no-hitter. He joined the organization already as a legend, waiving a no-trade clause to sign a four-year, $80 million contract extension in December 2009. Halladay could have pitched one more season with the Blue Jays before signing a monster contract, but he wanted his shot at a World Series sooner rather than later, so he left money on the table to come to Philadelphia.
Halladay fell short in his World Series championship pursuit, but he cemented his status as one of the game's greats. He reinvented himself early in his career after being demoted to Class A. He embraced the mental side of sports, long before teams hired multiple mental-skills coaches to help their big leaguers and Minor Leaguers. He had a tireless work ethic because he wanted to be one of the best. He was.
He threw 67 complete games in his career. To put that in perspective, the D-backs, Rockies, Mets, Phillies, Padres, Orioles, Marlins, Brewers and Rays have thrown a combined 63 complete games from 2014-18.
There aren't many pitchers like Halladay anymore. Baseball is changing, but Halladay's place in baseball history is secure. It is secure in Phillies lore, too. Halladay spent the first 12 years of his 16-year career with the Blue Jays, but Phillies fans treated Halladay like he spent his entire career in South Philly.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.