Not many baseball fans thought that Roy Halladay would return to his Cy Young Award-winning self after he battled shoulder issues for the past two seasons, but not many thought his career was over, either. It turns out that Roy Halladay is retiring after a wonderful sixteen-year career that he spent with the Blue Jays and Phillies. Jon Heyman reports that Halladay will soon sign a one-day contract with Toronto so that he can wrap things up as a member of his original club.
The first thing that comes to mind when a player of Halladay's caliber retires is whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame. The Cooperstown situation is so cloudy these days that no one is a lock to get in, but it would be a shame if Halladay was ignored. He only has 203 career wins, but his 67.7 career fWAR is greater than that of Don Drysdale or Tom Glavine. Halladay's career 3.58 strikeout-to-walk ratio is better than Greg Maddux's 3.37 mark.
What makes the announcement of Halladay's retirement so surprising is that he was so great so recently. Before the 2010 season, he was traded to the Phillies and he took the National League by storm with a 167 ERA+ in 250.2 innings to go with 7.9 strikeouts and just 1.1 walks per nine innings. It wasn't a tough decision to give him the Cy Young Award. In 2011, Halladay was nearly as brilliant in every category, but he missed out on a second straight Cy Young because of the excellence of Clayton Kershaw.
Of course, Halladay didn't start being awesome when he moved to the National League. With the Blue Jays, he led the American League in strikeout-to-walk ratio three times and won the Cy Young in 2003. When healthy, Halladay was a dominant pitcher for 220 innings per season.
Although he hasn't been his old self lately, baseball fans were hoping this season that Halladay could regain some of his former brilliance. That won't be the case, but his consistent greatness over the course of the 2000s has left a mark on baseball forever.
I, for one, hope it was enough to get Halladay into the Hall of Fame. That no-hitter he threw in the 2010 NLDS certainly won't hurt his case.