Roy Halladay, an ace with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies, will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Mariano Rivera, baseball’s first unanimous Hall of Fame selection, was also elected Tuesday along with Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina. Rivera received all 425 votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced. The quartet will be enshrined in Cooperstown along with Today’s Game Era Committee selections Harold Baines and Lee Smith on July 21.
Halladay will be the first posthumous inductee since Deacon White in 2013 and Ron Santo in 2012. Halladay died in November 2017 at 40 years old when an airplane he was flying crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
Halladay won two Cy Young Awards, one each with Toronto and Philadelphia, before ending his career in 2013 at 36 due to back injuries. His steadfast work ethic and stellar delivery on the mound endeared him to Philadelphia fans.
The right-hander was a first-round draft pick by Toronto in 1995, debuted in the majors in 1998 and struggled terribly until being demoted to the minor leagues in 2001. With the help of sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman, Halladay reinvented himself and became an All-Star in 2002, then won 22 games and an AL Cy Young in 2003.
Halladay’s best season came in 2010, his first following a blockbuster trade to Philadelphia. Halladay pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins in May, then delivered a no-hitter against Cincinnati in the opener of the NL Division Series. It was just the second no-hitter in postseason history after the Yankees’ Don Larsen pitched a perfect game against Brooklyn in the 1956 World Series.
In an era marked by pitch counts and early hooks, Halladay was a workhorse. Since 2000, Halladay’s 65 complete games are by far the most in the majors — Livan Hernandez is second at 39.
The only other player elected on the first ballot posthumously was Christy Mathewson in 1936. Roberto Clemente was elected by a special election in 1973 after dying in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972.
Rivera is baseball’s career saves leader with 652. With a steady demeanor and a fearsome cut fastball, he won five World Series over 19 seasons with the New York Yankees. He was always at his best in October, getting 42 saves with a 0.70 ERA over 16 postseasons, including 11 saves in the World Series.
Martinez was a .312 hitter over 18 seasons with Seattle. He got 85.4 percent in his 10th and final try on the writers’ ballot. He and Baines will join 2014 inductee Frank Thomas as the only Hall of Famers to play the majority of their games at designated hitter. David Ortiz will be eligible in 2022.
Mussina was a steady right-hander for the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles who went 270-153 with 2,813 strikeouts over 18 seasons. He received 76.7 percent, getting seven more votes than the 319 required for election.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens made gains but again fell short in their seventh times on the ballot. Bonds got 59.1 percent and Clemens 59.5.