Friday, November 24, 2017
Roy 'Doc' Holladay (1977 - 2017)
The baseball world is in mourning, as Roy Halladay perished in a plane crash at age 40.
Halladay was a bit old school compared to the other pitchers in the game during his time, pitching 67 complete games during his career... to put it in perspective, the leading active pitcher in complete games is CC Sabathia with 38, while pitchers like Felix Hernandez (25 CG), Clayton Kershaw (25) & Justin Verlander (23) all further behind.
Many of these above pitchers have a legit argument for their place at Cooperstown, much can be said in the case for Halladay.
He won two Cy Young Awards, one with the Toronto Blue Jays (2003) and later on the National League side with the Philadelphia Phillies (2011). He finished with 203 wins, while winning 20+ games in a single-season, three times... plus a career 64.7 WAR.
To put his 64.7 career WAR in perspective, it's higher than Bob Feller (63.6, granted he had some years serving our country), Vic Willis (63.5), Juan Marichal (63.1), Mickey Welch (63.1), Hal Newhouser (63.0), Clark Griffith (61.8), Early Wynn (61.3), Stan Coveleski (60.2), Dazzy Vance (59.9), Jim Bunning (59.4), Al Spalding (59.0) & Rube Waddell (58.6) who are all Hall of Famers to go along with a small handful of other Hall of Fame pitchers not named ranking below this bunch.
He had a 3.38 career ERA with a very respectable 1.178 WHIP, finishing with 2,117 strikeouts... his strikeout rates was much higher in the later part of his career, as he recorded 200+ strikeouts for four consecutive seasons (2008-2011).
He may have been the best pitcher in all of baseball during his 2008-2011 stretch, which he went 77-37 (.675 winning pct), 2.59 ERA, with 853 K's in 969.1 innings (7.9 K / 1.3 BB per 9 innings). During this stretch, he logged 35 complete games with a 1.065 WHIP, while his ERA+ stood at 160.
In the history of Major League Baseball, there are not much better four-year periods than this, add this to his already impressive accomplishments, we should see him in Cooperstown someday... the sad part is that he won't be able to enjoy this accomplishment down here with the rest of us.
Just recently, my friend Rich Zawadzki won the 2017 Fall/Winter edition of the Chicagoland APBA Baseball Tournament with the 2011 Philadelphia Phillies, a strong 102-win team that in reality probably should have won the World Series (knocked out by St. Louis in LDS), in which Halladay would have gotten his first & only World Series ring.... but a Chicagoland Championship will have to do for the Doc.
It's great when APBA Baseball imitates life, as Halladay went 3-1, with a 2.05 ERA in regular bracket, while he had 0.50 ERA in 2 playoff games.