Roy Halladay 1977-2017

Baseball fans everywhere were stunned and saddened by the tragic passing of Roy Halladay, unquestionably one the greatest pitchers of the recent past. Author of a perfect game and post-season no-hitter, Halladay logged over 2500 IP in a sixteen year career with the Blue Jays and Phillies. Eight times an All-Star and twice a Cy Young Award winner, Halladay recorded a 203-105 career record with a 3.38 ERA, striking out more than 2000 while walking less than two batters per 9 innings.

More after the jump on the career of Roy Halladay.

Halladay was drafted by the Blue Jays as the 17th pick of the first round of the 1995 amateur draft, making his professional debut that same year as an 18 year-old in the Gulf Coast rookie league. Halladay turned in a stellar campaign in A+ ball the next year and worked his way through the AA and AAA ranks in 1997 and 1998, before earning a September call-up in the latter season. Halladay served notice of what lay ahead in his career in collecting his first major league win in his second start, a complete game one-hitter against the Tigers, that one hit coming with two out in the 9th.

Halladay made the Blue Jays out of spring training in the 1999 season and collected the only save of his career in his first appearance of the season. He worked his way into the rotation by the middle of April and collected his first shutout in May. Halladay made three more starts in June but was mainly used in middle and long relief through the summer until rejoining the rotation in mid-August, in time to record 5 quality starts over his last 7 outings. In total, an 8-7 record and a respectable 3.92 ERA in 149.1 IP. Not bad for a 22 year-old rookie.

After that promising rookie season, expectations were high for the 2000 campaign. Halladay started with a W in a strong 7-inning performance, but it was all downhill after that. Getting shelled for six straight starts earned Halladay a tune-up in the minors, but he wasn’t any better when he returned near the end of June and was sent down again a month later. After a September call-up, Halladay was hardly used and got pounded again in his one start that month.  For the season, only 67.2 IP and a monstrous 10.64 ERA. His prospects could not have been more different from those of just one season prior.

Halladay started the 2001 campaign in the minors and didn’t make the big club until the beginning of July. The Red Sox pounded him (and the rest of the Toronto staff) in a 16-4 thrashing in Halladay’s first game but, aside from that outing, he posted a 3.57 ERA for the month, and followed that with 3.24 in August and a dominating 1.63 in September that culminated with a two-hit shutout over the Indians. For the year, 105.1 IP and a stellar 3.16 ERA. But, which Halladay would Toronto see next year?

The 2002 season started Halladay on his historic career, posting a 19-7 record with a 2.93 ERA in 239.1 IP that included two runs or less allowed in 21 of 34 starts, with 6+ IP in all but three of his outings. That would be Halladay’s basic season for the next decade. Aside from the 2004 and 2005 seasons in which he lost significant time to injury, Halladay pitched 220+ innings and collected 16 or more wins every year from 2002 to 2011, posting an ERA under 3.50 in all but one of those seasons, including 6 times under 3.00. For that 10 year peak, Halladay was the most dominating pitcher in the game, as shown by his ledger below.

Totals for 2002-2011 and MLB Rank among 33 pitchers with 1500 IP
Player IP WHIP SO9 BB9 SO/W G GS CG SHO W L W/L% BB SO ERA FIP K% BB% ERA+
Roy Halladay 2194.2 1.111 6.97 1.53 4.57 304 303 63 18 170 75 .694 372 1699 2.97 3.12 19.2% 4.2% 148
MLB Rank 2 2 16 1 1 12 8 1 1 1 4 1 2 4 2 1 12 1 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/7/2017.

To the above can be added firsts in WAR and WAA (both over 20% higher than Johan Santana in second place), another first in lowest percent of “hard” contact, second in percent of pitches thrown for strikes and highest percent of swings at pitches outside the strike zone, and third in pitches per start and quality starts.

Halladay’s two Cy Young awards were separated by 7 years and featured his top two season marks in IP, Wins, CG, BB/9 and SO/BB ratio. Halladay has the distinction of winning the CYA in both leagues, joining Gaylord PerryPedro MartinezRandy Johnson, Max Scherzer and Roger Clemens.

Toronto was basically a .500 club during Halladay’s tenure, with that result largely due to Doc’s efforts. With Halladay starting, the Blue Jays posted a .662 winning percentage, but only .483 without him. For his peak seasons starting in 2002, that gap widened to a .688 mark with Halladay on the hill and .463 otherwise. With those trends seeming likely to continue as the 32 year-old Halladay finished the 2009 season, Toronto gave Doc the opportunity to finish his career on a winning team with a trade to the defending NL champion Phillies.

Halladay didn’t disappoint his new club, turning in his second CYA season with league-leading totals in IP, Wins, CG, SHO, BB/9 and SO/BB. After his almost no-hitter in his second career game, Halladay had added another one-hitter and four two-hitters, but was still searching for his first no-no. The Doc remedied that omission by recording just the 6th NL perfect game of the live ball era with a 1-0 victory over the Marlins at the end of May. That set the stage for Halladay’s first post-season appearance, an almost perfect performance against the Reds, facing one batter over the minimum for his second no-hit game of 2010, and only the second ever recorded in the post-season.

At age 35 in 2012, Halladay started to experience soreness and pain in his arm that reduced his velocity and hurt his control, resulting in a month and a half on the DL and an inflated 4.49 ERA, It got much worse the next year with velocity on his four-seamer in the low 80s, a BB/9 over 5 and an ERA of almost 7. After becoming a free agent following the 2013 season, Halladay signed a one day contract with Toronto so that he could retire as a Blue Jay.

Despite his dominance over his career peak, Halladay’s black and grey ink are “only” at the level of an average HOFer. Regardless, his black ink is still noteworthy, including:

  • 7 times – CG
  • 5 times – SO/BB ratio
  • 4 times – IP, Shutouts
  • 3 times – BF, BB/9
  • 2 times – Wins
  • 1 time – W-L%, GS, ERA+, FIP, WHIP, HR/9

At the top of the list are his CG totals which none of his contemporaries have come close to matching. Over his 10 year peak, Halladay completed better than 20% of his starts, five times higher than the major league average. The change in complete games over the decades is shown in the chart below.

So how do Halladay’s credentials stand up against other HOF pitchers? Having a career of less than 3000 IP, while not a disqualifier for Hall consideration, certainly limits those chances. Almost 40% of retired pitchers with 3000 IP (52 of 132) are in the HOF compared to just 7% of pitchers (8 of 110) with careers of 2500-3000 IP. That said, Halladay stands second in WAR and WAA in that group, trailing (distantly) only Pedro. In wins (which, for this group, seems to have the strongest correlation to HOF selection), Halladay ranks 5th of those 110 pitchers; the three modern era pitchers ranking slightly ahead of him are all in Cooperstown, as are three of the five following Doc.

Top 25 and ties in Wins by Retired Pitchers with Careers of 2500-3000 IP (HOF members highlighted)
Rk Player WAR IP WAA BB9 SO9 WHIP From To GS CG SHO W L W/L% ERA FIP K% BB% ERA+
1 Pedro Martinez 86.0 2827.1 61.4 2.42 10.04 1.054 1992 2009 409 46 17 219 100 .687 2.93 2.91 27.7% 6.7% 154
2 Bob Caruthers 43.8 2828.2 27.8 1.90 2.86 1.158 1884 1892 310 298 24 218 99 .688 2.83 3.27 7.6% 5.0% 122
3 Hal Newhouser 60.4 2993.0 37.5 3.76 5.40 1.311 1939 1955 374 212 33 207 150 .580 3.06 3.19 14.2% 9.9% 130
4 Bob Lemon 37.5 2850.0 15.1 3.95 4.03 1.337 1946 1958 350 188 31 207 128 .618 3.23 3.79 10.6% 10.3% 119
5 Roy Halladay 65.6 2749.1 40.7 1.94 6.93 1.178 1998 2013 390 67 20 203 105 .659 3.38 3.39 18.8% 5.2% 131
6 Jack Stivetts 41.1 2887.2 19.5 3.60 3.81 1.406 1889 1899 333 278 14 203 132 .606 3.74 4.10 9.7% 9.1% 120
7 Jack Chesbro 41.2 2896.2 16.0 2.14 3.93 1.152 1899 1909 332 260 35 198 132 .600 2.68 2.67 10.9% 5.9% 111
8 Dazzy Vance 62.5 2966.2 39.1 2.55 6.20 1.230 1915 1935 349 217 29 197 140 .585 3.24 3.18 16.5% 6.8% 125
9 Jesse Tannehill 41.1 2759.1 17.3 1.56 3.08 1.186 1894 1911 321 264 34 197 117 .627 2.80 2.86 8.4% 4.3% 114
10 Ed Walsh 63.2 2964.1 36.3 1.87 5.27 1.000 1904 1917 315 250 57 195 126 .607 1.82 2.02 15.2% 5.4% 145
11 Bob Shawkey 46.2 2937.0 18.1 3.12 4.17 1.273 1913 1927 333 197 33 195 150 .565 3.09 3.37 11.3% 8.5% 114
12 David Cone 61.7 2898.2 35.6 3.53 8.28 1.256 1986 2003 419 56 22 194 126 .606 3.46 3.57 21.9% 9.3% 121
13 Tommy Bridges 52.5 2826.1 27.0 3.80 5.33 1.368 1930 1946 362 200 33 194 138 .584 3.57 3.88 13.8% 9.8% 126
14 Babe Adams 49.5 2995.1 26.6 1.29 3.11 1.092 1906 1926 354 205 44 194 140 .581 2.76 2.72 8.7% 3.6% 118
15 Dwight Gooden 48.2 2800.2 24.1 3.07 7.37 1.256 1984 2000 410 68 24 194 112 .634 3.51 3.33 19.6% 8.2% 111
16 Sam Leever 41.8 2660.2 20.1 1.99 2.87 1.141 1898 1910 299 241 39 194 100 .660 2.47 2.84 7.9% 5.5% 123
17 Rube Waddell 61.0 2961.1 34.9 2.44 7.04 1.102 1897 1910 340 261 50 193 143 .574 2.16 2.03 19.8% 6.9% 135
18 Tommy Bond 49.7 2779.2 29.7 0.58 2.78 1.092 1876 1884 314 294 35 193 115 .627 2.25 2.38 7.6% 1.6% 113
19 Wes Ferrell 48.8 2623.0 23.8 3.57 3.38 1.481 1927 1941 323 227 17 193 128 .601 4.04 4.23 8.5% 9.0% 116
20 Lon Warneke 41.9 2782.1 19.2 2.39 3.69 1.245 1930 1945 343 192 30 192 121 .613 3.18 3.74 9.8% 6.4% 119
21 Lefty Gomez 43.1 2503.0 19.7 3.94 5.28 1.352 1930 1943 320 173 28 189 102 .649 3.34 3.88 13.7% 10.2% 125
22 Deacon Phillippe 34.4 2607.0 13.4 1.25 3.21 1.105 1899 1911 289 242 27 189 109 .634 2.59 2.60 9.0% 3.5% 120
23 Urban Shocker 54.9 2681.2 29.0 2.20 3.30 1.255 1916 1928 317 200 28 187 117 .615 3.17 3.54 8.8% 5.9% 124
24 Jimmy Key 49.4 2591.2 26.2 2.32 5.34 1.229 1984 1998 389 34 13 186 117 .614 3.51 3.80 14.4% 6.2% 122
25 Bill Donovan 41.9 2964.2 16.2 3.21 4.71 1.245 1898 1918 327 289 35 185 139 .571 2.69 2.77 12.8% 8.7% 106
26 Mike Cuellar 29.3 2808.0 4.1 2.63 5.23 1.197 1959 1977 379 172 36 185 130 .587 3.14 3.29 14.2% 7.1% 109
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/8/2017.

 

Here are Halladay’s ranks among that group of 110.

Ranks Among 110 Retired Pitchers with Careers of 2500-3000 IP
METRIC Overall (since 1876) MODERN ERA (SINCE 1901) LIVE BALL ERA (SINCE 1920)
WAR 2 2 2
WAA 2 2 2
Wins 5 4 4
W-L% 4 2 2
ERA+ 4 4 2
SO/9 9 9 8
SO% 8 7 7
BB/9 14 9 4
BB% 13 7 3
SO/BB 4 3 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/8/2017.

 

Halladay’s Wins and W-L% are especially impressive considering he played most of his career on mediocre teams, and in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Intangibles also bode well for Halladay; there seems little doubt that he was both well-liked and well-respected, on and off the field.

To me, everything points to Doc passing muster come Hall voting time. That could be right around the corner, assuming that Halladay’s 5 year waiting requirement is waived as a deceased player (otherwise, he will become eligible in 2019) . Hall of Stats has Halladay comfortably included with a 139 score, the 25th ranked pitcher by its evaluation method.

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52 Comments on "Roy Halladay 1977-2017"

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CursedClevelander
Guest
Obviously, my first thoughts are on how awful this is – doesn’t it feel like baseball has more of these tragic early deaths than other sports? I’m sure part of it is confirmation bias, but you’ve got Halladay, Cory Lidle, Ken Hubbs, Jose Fernandez, Steve Olin and Tim Crews, Lyman Bostock, Thurman Munson, Nick Adenhart, Yordano Ventura…it’s a sad thing to contemplate. But to the purely statistical – I think most of us would agree that Halladay is a Hall of Fame caliber pitcher. If he makes it, was his 2000 season the worst ever for a Hall of Famer?… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
What I don’t like about Halladay’s death is how it happened. It is not just my imagination, nor is it an anecdotal mirage: flying in small planes is the most dangerous pastime you can get involved in. The number of high profile sports, politics, and entertainment deaths since 1950 in small plane crashes far exceeds those in automobile accidents, gunshot accidents, dangerous sporting (mountain climbing, sky diving, etc) accidents, even motorcycle accidents. True enough, whole teams have gone down in commercial and chartered flights, but there the onus is on someone else, and far fewer high profile figures had died… Read more »
Doug
Guest
I thought of Red Ruffing and Tom Glavine and their struggles early in their careers. But, nothing close to the -2.8 WAR of Halladay’s 2000 campaign. Leaving aside HOFers, the closest comp to Halladay’s season might be one of these: Closest parallel I can find for a HOFer early in his career is Eppa Rixey’s -1.4 WAR in only 103 IP (2-11, 67 ERA+) in 1914, his third season. That followed an excellent rookie season and an okay sophomore year. Early Wynn had -1.3 WAR in 1942 (10-16, 72 ERA+), but in almost twice as many innings as Rixey. It… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
Thank you, Doug. A very nice review of Halladay’s fine career with some terrific historical context that makes this a useful reference post. Like CC, I think it’s very sad that this tribute was called for; it could have waited another forty years. CC, I’ve gone through the HoF pitcher records and I think you’re right to anticipate that Halladay’s 2000 season could set a new level of wonderfully awful if he ultimately gets into the Hall – wonderful because it’s in the context of the dawn of such a fine career. One interesting tidbit about Halladay’s unearned run total… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest
Some other Halladay tidbits: **Players with 8+ complete games since 2005: 1. James Shields, 2011 (11) 2. CC Sabathia, 2008 (10) 3. Roy Halladay, 2008 (9) 4. Roy Halladay, 2009 (9) 5. Roy Halladay, 2010 (9) 6. Roy Halladay, 2011 (8) **Halladay led his league in Strikeout to Walk Ratio for four straight years. Only Curt Schilling has done that since baseball was integrated. **Halladay led his league in complete games 5 consecutive seasons (2007-2011). All five of those years, Halladay had 7 or more complete games. In the entire history of MLB, only Robin Roberts (1952-1956) and Warren Spahn… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

Dr. Doom:

Glad to see you back. On the previous thread I emulated you in a way by trying to get an advance vote on the 2017 NL MVP. I invite you to weigh in.

Bluejaysstatsgeek
Guest
I haven’t been around here that much lately, but then again, neither has this place been doing that much lately either. Thank you Doug for a really nice summary of Roy’s career. Yesterday, The Fan590 replayed Bob McCown’s interview with Roy the day he signed a 1-day contract to be able to retire a BlueJay. the audio is here: http://www.sportsnet.ca/590/prime-time-sports/remembering-roy-halladay-1977-2017/ My favorite Halladay game was the “Return of Burnett and the Evil Empire” game, May 12, 2009. I was in the upper deck, behind home plate with my son and in filed a bunch of my university students filling the… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

Nice memories, Bluejay. Come back more often. I’d like to see a rebuild of critical mass of postings and readers/commenters.

Paul E
Guest
Doug, Thanks for all the research. On October 13th, Halladay tweeted, “I have dreamed about owning an A5 since I retired. Real life is better than my dreams”. When he came to Philadelphia, his humility seemed larger than even his talent. He just seemed like a regular guy, quiet at times, always humble. As far as pitching style, he reminded me a lot of Greg Maddux – 3 or 4 pitches that he threw with pinpoint control and never down the heart of the plate. Charlie Manuel let him remain in games when he often had large leads and, subsequently,… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
On the surface Roy Halladay is a far different sort of pitcher from another who had similar success in terms of W-L %, ERA+, length of career, and reason for retiring. But given the differing eras in which they pitched, I wonder how different they really were? Halladay’s productive starting career lasted ten years vs thirteen for his rival X, and that is a difference that explains a few things in the following comparison (although X lost two productive years in the military): Halladay finished in the top ten in wins 8 times vs 11 for X Halladay finished in… Read more »
Mike L
Guest

NSB, you are taking me back to the COG arguments about Ford–and very nice work you have done. I agree, there are real similarities in results.

Dr. Doom
Guest
Similar, yes, but without one of the biggest differences. When you’re talking W%, Ford played for teams that won the pennant. Halladay generally played for teams that won about half their games. The other mitigating factor is that finishing in the top 10 for Ford was different in a 8-team league than it was for Halladay in a 14- or 16-team league. I don’t think they’re really that different, and have a LOT of similarities. I’ve actually always thought of them in a group with Pedro, Curt Schilling, and Tim Hudson – right handers with around 200 wins and absurdly… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest
One pitcher that I was surprised to see his career totals line up so closely with Halladay on career wins chart above is Dazzy Vance. Not only are things like WAR & WAA pretty close but also stuff like KO% & ERA. The Dazzler walked a few more batters & his W-L% wasn’t nearly as good but overall you’d be hard pressed to say who’s numbers were who’s if someone were to mix them up. Which of course is all totally misleading. Vance was THE strike out pitcher between The Big Train & Rapid Robert whereas Halladay only had 3… Read more »
MikeD
Guest

His ten-year peak from 2002-2011 places him among the elite of pitchers. He’s an easy first-ballot HOFer. There are other pitchers who accumulated more WAR, but many of them were not greater pitchers. When it comes to the HOF, I’m about the peak and the elite.

MikeD
Guest
Doug, isn’t it too late to waive Halladay’s 5 year waiting requirement? Isn’t voting for the 2018 inductions going on right now? If I have my years correctly, he would have been on the ballots mailed out late next year, announced in early 2019. I don’t believe there would be enough time to add him to the ballots due at the end of December this year. As I noted in my other post, I see Halladay as an easy HOF election, yet I suspect there was going to be great debate among some members of the voting community when his… Read more »
Dr. Doom
Guest

Gehrig and Clemente were both elected via special erection following their deaths. I would think that would be the path for Halladay, too.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Seriously ya gotta spell check before clicking ‘post’ DD.
…Though a dollop of humor on this solemn thread is probably a good thing.

Dr. Doom
Guest

Bahahahaha! That is why I almost never post on my phone. Dang. Well, glad to provide a chuckle when I can, unintentional though it was.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Nice to have you posting again, Doom.

Paul E
Guest

Geeze….first Weinstein, then Spacey, then Louis C.K., …..and now Dr. Doom. Let’s hope there are no aspiring actresses on this site

Mike L
Guest

Doom, I thought we were going to try to keep politics off this site.

oneblankspace
Guest

It’s a six month waiting period for players who die while active, and I assume it would be the same for those retired less than five years.

Doug
Guest

Thanks for clarifying, obs. I didn’t know if there was a rule. Although, as note for Clemente and Gehrig, sometimes the rules are waived.

Since Doc will be eligible in 2019 regardless, perhaps that’s as it should be, as the emotional response due to his passing will have subsided somewhat by then.

Richard Chester
Guest

Here are the 15 highest ratios of a pitcher’s CG/league CG (both leagues combined). Halladay makes the list 4 times.

Year ….. CG ….. Ratio….. Player
2017 ….. 5 ….. 0.085 ….. Corey Kluber
2017 ….. 5 ….. 0.085 ….. Ervin Santana
2008 ….. 10 ….. 0.074 ….. CC Sabathia
2016 ….. 6 ….. 0.072 ….. Chris Sale
2008 ….. 9 ….. 0.066 ….. Roy Halladay
2011 ….. 11 ….. 0.064 ….. James Shields
2007 ….. 7 ….. 0.063 ….. Roy Halladay
2016 ….. 5 ….. 0.060 ….. Johnny Cueto
2004 ….. 9 ….. 0.060 ….. Livan Hernandez
2009 ….. 9 ….. 0.059 ….. Roy Halladay
2010 ….. 9 ….. 0.055 ….. Roy Halladay
2014 ….. 6 ….. 0.051 ….. Clayton Kershaw
1999 ….. 12 ….. 0.051 ….. Randy Johnson
1998 ….. 15 ….. 0.050 ….. Curt Schilling
1997 ….. 13 ….. 0.049 ….. Pedro Martinez

no statistician but
Guest

Some other facts about CGs:

Last season in which the tenth place finisher in CGs had

30 or more: 1906
25 or more: 1921
20 or more: 1950
15 or more: 1979
10 or more: 1988
5 or more: 2000.

First season in which the tenth place finisher had one complete game: 2017.

First season in which the tenth place finisher has no complete games: coming soon.

Through 1999 the first place finisher had double digit CGs. Since then only twice has this happened and not since 2011.

Kahuna Tuna
Guest

Through 1999 the first place finisher had double digit CGs. Since then only twice has this happened and not since 2011.

Change Shields’ nickname to “Complete Game James.”

Mike L
Guest

If the waiting period is waived for Halladay for the 2018 HOF class, here are the locks or “serious discussion” eligibles (exclusive of PEDS) 1st Time: Chipper, Thome, and Rolen (all with 70+BWAR). Prominent Holdovers: Hoffman and Vlad (each with over 70% voting this year), Mussina (83WAR) and that blowhard (sorry, muscle memory) Schilling (79.9 WAR). That’s a lot of competition.
He might have more luck in 2019–the only standout is Mariano (Todd Helton and Pettitte are also first-timers)

Hartvig
Guest
My thinking is that the closer the voting is to the sad event, the more likely it would be that Halladay get in on the first round. My reasoning goes thusly: Voters who are big on advanced metrics are probably going to vote for him regardless. Based on the kind of support that Mussina & Schilling (minus a penalty for dislikability) have received that puts him at about 50%. For more traditional voters- who I also think are more likely to be swayed by his untimely death- it gets a little more complicated but I think it works in his… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
I don’t think we are very much apart on this one. I think he’ll eventually get in, and deservedly so. To your point above, the First Ballot thing has been rendered absurd–it’s clearly no longer an inner-circle indicator. But I also don’t think Halladay is an inner-circle guy, rather the relative shortness of his career places him in a subset of candidates with high peaks who have (and should) have gone in. On the Big Hall-Small Hall debate, I’m a “Medium” Hall, but that’s only in the abstract, because we have the Hall we already have. Schilling and Mussina are… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
There seems to be some anticipatory handwringing about Halladay’s chances for immediate enshrinement in the HOF. I can’t see it. He’s a first ballot sure thing and would have been one if he were still among us, unless the voters are totally brainless, or don’t bother to examine the most basic statistics, or have profound memory loss. CYA: 2 firsts, 2 seconds, one third pWAR: 4 firsts, 1 second, 2 thirds ERA: top five seven times etc. In retrospect he looks as good as he did during his career: a dominating pitcher for a ten year stretch with a minor… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I’m surprised by talk of Halladay as a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer. I really don’t see it. I thought he was a terrific pitcher and a nice half-throwback to the days when aces went the distance, and I certainly think he deserves to be in the Hall. But “first ballot” usually means someone who should be, by consensus, among the all-time greats, unarguably superior to the normally outstanding records of Hall candidates: I just don’t see Halladay as meeting that standard. For example, a voter choosing Halladay in preference to Mussina, who is now hoping to be a “fifth-ballot”… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
EPM: when the peak is ten years long and constitutes dominance, that’s HOF first ballot to me. Mussina deserves better, too, but anyone taking a close look at his year to year performance and his advanced stats compared to Halladay’s would have to conclude that he wasn’t the pitcher over time that Halladay was, or short term that Schilling was. He’s more like Glavine and Maddox, and I think that’s why he’s been downplayed. Maddox was . . . Maddox, and Glavine’s success went on longer with the result that his raw cumulative stats are more impressive. Halladay is a… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
A very reasonable response, nsb, except for your suggestion that my memory on Koufax is faulty. There is nothing about Koufax and his career I don’t remember, including my own incredulity that anyone could fail to vote for Koufax — I thought 87% was an outrageous insult. From ’62 through ’66, the only times I could not recite Koufax’s current stats by heart was before I’d had a chance to get hold of the morning’s sports section report on last night’s game. But perspectives can change. Koufax was, in fact, not dominant for his last six seasons. He was dominant… Read more »
Mike L
Guest
I see Halladay as a lot like Scherzer. Talent wedded to a seriously tough-minded personality. If HOF first ballot were truly limited to the inner circle/elite, I agree with EPM, and I wouldn’t put him there. I mentioned the log-jam of eligibles this year (if they move him up) because I think it’s going to be an overloaded ballot, and, while I think Halladay will (and should) be in HOF, I wouldn’t leapfrog him over Chipper, Thome, and either Mussina or Schilling. Hoffman is a different argument. Rolen I could go either way on. Edgar, I think belongs.
Hartvig
Guest
I’ve never really understood the whole “first ballot” thinking anyways. Cy Young wasn’t first ballot- largely because the original voting structure and the rules regarding them were poorly so poorly laid out- but neither was Eddie Collins or Rogers Hornsby or Pete Alexander or Joe DiMaggio or Eddie Matthews or Yogi Berra; yet somehow Lou Brock, Tony Gwynn and Nolan Ryan were. I’m not saying that Brock or Gwynn or Ryan don’t belong in the Hall of Fame- I think that they all do- but I don’t think that many people would place them among the elite of the elite… Read more »
e pluribus munu
Guest
I think you’ve highlighted the central aspect of the argument in your last sentence, Hartvig. The games some voters play with their HoF ballots aren’t understandable — unless you allow that many voters tend to act like emotionally complex, game-playing human beings, rather than people who feel responsible to pursue their privileged task with detached objectivity. When I was first working, I used to find it strange and irritating that colleagues seemed to do various aspects of their jobs in Byzantine ways, and I tended to show my frustration. Later, I calmed down a little as I came to understand… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
On the subject of Hall of Fame voting, Bobby Doerr has just passed away 145 days short of his 100th birthday. An idiosyncratic Veterans’ Committee choice for the HOF, in my estimation. Good, of course, but not even super good much of the time, never received more than a 25% share in HOF regular voting. Three of his best seasons were during WWII when the competition wasn’t the greatest, and his RBI totals batting in the heart of the Red Sox lineup were genuinely inflated by playing in Fenway and having guys like Williams, Pesky, and Stephens crowding the bases… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Ted Williams was instrumental in persuading the Veteran’s committee to vote Doerr into the HOF. Doerr’s 125 tOPS+ at home is the highest for all players with at least 3000 PA. So he benefited greatly by playing in Fenway Park as shown in his career splits. His home OPS was .929 versus .716 on the road. At the original cavernous Yankee Stadium his slash was .200/.272/.257/.528 with 3 HR in 499 AB.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Richard, Let me suggest a little fine tuning of your good observations about Doerr’s homefield record. I don’t think it’s any knock on him that his tOPS+ was so high per se. A player who is far more successful in his home park than in any other can be valuable: in Doerr’s day, he played 250% more games in that park than in any other one. The problem in Doerr’s case, it seems to me, is that just about everyone hit better in Fenway, meaning that a large portion of his Fenway productivity was just due to Fenway, and not… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

epm: Those were some good points you made about Doerr. However I did a PI search for opposing RH batters at Yankee Stadium during Doerr’s career. There were 41 players with at least 200 PA versus the Yankees at YS. Doerr had a higher OPS there than only one other player. Highest was Hank Greenberg at 1.092, followed by Joe Cronin with .871 and Harlond Clift with .808.

e pluribus munu
Guest
No question his Stadium record was terrible, Richard, and thanks to you we now know it was bottom-of-the-barrel poor. But my point is that if the spaciousness of the grounds were the cause, it should have pertained to Griffith Stadium too. RHB Doerr hit 3 HR in each park. It was 301′ down the left field line at the Stadium, 402′ at Griffith. With some variations, the dimensions in Griffith during Doerr’s career were: 402/ 391/421/378/328; at the Stadium: 301/402/461/367/296. In Griffith, Doerr used the open field to get 34 other XBH; in the Stadium, the number was 14 (in… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest

epm:

Kinda hafta protest a little about the Yankee pitching being Doerr’s problem in the Stadium. Against that same pitching in Fenway he was 157/ 467 for a .336 BA with 84 runs 23 HRs and 104 RBIs in basically 8/10 of a season’s worth of PAs, faring better than his average performance at Fenway against all teams. On the surface the huge difference doesn’t make sense no matter how you try to work it out—just a combination of factors, maybe.

e pluribus munu
Guest

Fair enough, nsb — I thought of checking on his Fenway record against the Yankees, got lazy, and you caught it. I’m content to leave the anomaly Richard’s sharp eye spotted as an enigma, unless you or he comes up with a solution.

Mike L
Guest

Griffith was built in 1911 for $100K. That’s just a tiny fraction of the cost of political contributions to get a stadium project going now.

Paul E
Guest
FWIW, I thought James or somebody indicated Doerr seriously injured his back and that was the end of it at age 33? I have to believe his success at Fenway is no different than some of the many Rockies players in Colorado. Regarding another darling of this community, Sweet Lou Whitaker, here with please find some data from age 20-32 on each: PA’s Games WAR oWAR dWAR 7395 1704 49.0 43.7 13.1 DOERR 7166 1695 51.5 45.0 12.5 LOU Upon retirement, Doerr was 9th all-time in WAR among ML since 1876 with 75% of G played at 2b. Doerr in… Read more »
no statistician but
Guest
It seems Jungle Jim Rivera, the flamboyant 1950s ChiSox outfielder, died the same day as Bobby Doerr at age 96+ to Doerr’s 99+. What a contrast! Doerr’s career ended in 1951 when he was 33. Rivera made the Bigs in 1952 when he was 30. Doerr seems to have been a model citizen his whole life, whereas Rivera was court marshaled in the service and spent five years in military custody for attempted rape, although his post-baseball life appears to have been more regular. Doerr was a steady sort of guy on the field; Rivera made or missed spectacular outfield… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Rivera is one of two players with exactly 10 years in the ML, all from ages 30-39.

e pluribus munu
Guest
Thanks to nsb for keeping HHS readers like me current on players who have hung up the last pair of spikes, while adding a quick portrait of their essential baseball features. Rivera was a little like Jimmy Piersall, Gates Brown, or Ron LaFlore: good players with checkered pasts of various kinds whom it was hard not to root for. I knew about Rivera’s pre-MLB past when I was a kid (though not the specifics of his crime, which at that age and in that age I might not have understood), but only now, reading his SABR bio, did I find… Read more »
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