By Danny Gallagher
Canadian Baseball Network
Roy Halladay going in on the first ballot in Cooperstown in 2019?
Yes, even before his premature death last week, Doc had the Manila envelope file needed for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Montreal Expos' pitching icon Pedro Martinez made it into Cooperstown on the first try and Halladay's statistics are fairly similar or better in many categories. Look them up.
There are other pitchers, who would be similar to Martinez, but we'll go with Martinez to compare with Halladay.
Martinez's lifetime record was 219-100, Halladay's was 203-105. Martinez tossed 46 complete games, 21 less than Halladay's 67. Martinez posted 17 shutouts, Halladay 20. Interesting. Martinez pitched 2,827 1/3 innings, Halladay 2,749 1/3. Martinez's ERA was 2.93, Halladay came in at 3.38.
Martinez fared better than Halladay in one major category: he struck out 3,154 while Halladay fanned 2,117. But you can see where Doc doesn't take much of a back seat to Pedro. Doc, too, fired a perfect game during the 2010 season and a no-hitter in the post-season, also in 2010. Cy Young awards: Pedro won three, Doc, two.
What if Halladay had not stumbled during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons before being sent to the minors to transform his career? He probably would have won 225 games. He won 20 games or more three times and got close numerous other times with records of 19-7, 19-6, 17-10, 16-7 and 16-5.
If you added intangibles such as steely-eyed determination and preparation for games, they would be more ammunition for Cooperstown.
What we witnessed in the Celebration of Life for Halladay Nov. 14 was heart-wrenching emotions. Who didn't shed tears, especially when Brandy Halladay spoke? When you heard her say that she told her mother years ago, "I just met the guy I'm going to marry,'' you couldn't help but wipe your eyes.
"I've literally been standing next to a man for 21 years that people could not take their eyes off of,'' Brandy told the audience of her husband. "He was beautiful inside and out.''
Roy Halladay's father spoke ad-lib without a piece of paper. So did Cole Hamels. Powerful renditions of memories.
To see Halladay's father speak was to see a grief-stricken man. It is awfully difficult for Mr. Halladay or any parent to see a child die before he/she departs.
George Poulis, the Blue Jays trainer through much of Halladay's tenure, talked about how he would say "Have a good one, Doc" to Halladay before each of his starts. And that's how Poulis ended his speech, 'Have a good one, Doc.'
Former teammate and close friend, Chris Carpenter, wearing sunglasses, talked about him and Halladay going on a trip to the Amazon River. Not wanting to jump with Halladay into the coffee-coloured, fabled river, one of the longest bodies of water in the world, Carpenter relented, if only for a few seconds, despite the thought of animals and insects roaming in the water.
"Are you freakin' nuts?" Carpenter asked Halladay before they entered the river. "He said, 'C,mon, Carp. It's wicked hot. We're sweating like crazy and we can say that we swam in the Amazon River.' ''
The Amazon was just another challenge for Halladay, just like the many challenges he overcame on the mound to earn a berth earlier this year in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys. Next induction will be in Cooperstown. With a Blue Jays' logo on his plaque.