Roy Halladay's widow calls late pitcher 'true competitor' at Hall of Fame induction
Righty amassed 2,117 strikeouts in 416 regular-season games with Blue Jays, Phillies
The late Roy Halladay has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
"I knew I was going to cry at some point. It's overwhelming the amount of people here today," she said. "I'm so grateful you're here. I can't tell you how many hugs I've gotten. They have extended so much love and friendship. I'm so grateful.
"The thank yous should and could go on for days. There are not enough words to thank you. I say it a lot, but it takes a village."
WATCH | Brandy Halladay fights back tears to deliver emotional induction speech:
He spent his last four seasons with the Phils and 12 seasons with the Blue Jays from 1998-2009 and became just the second pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in the post-season, opening the 2010 National League Division Series with one against the Cincinnati Reds in the first playoff start of his career. He also pitched a perfect game that season.
No logo on plaque
"He was a true competitor ready to do whatever it took to give his team the best chance to win," Brandy said. "I think Roy would rather be remembered who he was, not how he performed on the field. I am so humbled to say thank you to all of you on Roy's behalf."
The class of 2019 also includes closer Mariano Rivera, starting pitcher Mike Mussina, designated hitter Edgar Martinez, closer Lee Smith and DH/outfielder Harold Baines.
Rivera, taking the podium last as he predicted, had to wait for the chants of his name to stop before he began a speech that included a brief thank you to his native Panama and the fans there.
"You're special for me," said Rivera, the all-time saves leader with 652. "Thank you for your help. Latin American fans, thank you. Thank you for loving me. I'm so humbled and blessed to receive this incredible honour. God bless you all."
Part of a core with shortstop Derek Jeter, left-hander Andy Pettitte and catcher Jorge Posada, all of whom were in the audience, Rivera helped lead the New York Yankees to five World Series titles from 1996-2009. He posted 42 saves and a 0.70 ERA over 16 post-seasons, including 11 saves in the World Series.
Mussina, a right-hander who starred in college for Stanford, pitched for 18 major league seasons and spent his entire career in the high-scoring American League East with the Baltimore Orioles and Yankees.
A five-time all-star and seven-time Gold Glove winner, he posted a record of 270-153, pitching 3,362 2/3 innings with 2,813 strikeouts, 785 walks and an ERA of 3.68. He also had 57 complete games in 536 starts and was the first AL pitcher to win at least 10 games 17 times.
Martinez, a seven-time all-star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner for Seattle, where he spent his entire 18-year career, Martinez delivered the first part of his speech in Spanish before congratulating the other five inductees.
"It is hard to believe that a dream that started when I was 10 years old [ended here]," said Martinez, who was born in New York and grew up in Puerto Rico. "The first time I saw Roberto Clemente all I wanted to do was play the game. What an honour to have my plaque in the Hall alongside his."
Martinez won two AL batting titles and led the league in on-base percentage three times and was named the outstanding designated hitter five times, an award that now bears his name. When he retired, Martinez was one of only six players in history with a .300 batting average, .400 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, 500 doubles and 300 home runs.
Smiling from beginning to end, Smith congratulated his new classmates before crediting his family and hometown of Castor, La., for much of his success.
Smith pitched 18 seasons for the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels, Boston, St. Louis, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Montreal and retired as MLB's all-time saves leader with 478, a title he held for 13 seasons. That total ranks third all-time, as do his 802 games finished.
A seven-time all-star, Smith led his league in saves four times and reached the 30-save mark in 10 seasons. And he was a workhorse — of Smith's 478 saves, 169 required at least four outs and 94 required two or more innings.
The soft -spoken Baines never displayed much emotion in his 22-year career, but his voice cracked throughout his speech.
"Somehow I acquired a reputation for not saying much. I'm not sure why," he deadpanned at the start. "From teachers to coaches who showed me kindness and discipline, I thank you all for what you've done for me. If I can leave you with one message, it's to give back to your community. I stand here very humbled. It has taken time to sink in."
Baines, the first overall pick in the 1977 draft by the White Sox, played 22 seasons for the White Sox, Texas, Oakland, Baltimore and Cleveland. He was a six-time all-star, and twice won the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.
An eight-time .300 hitter who reached the 20-homer mark in 11 seasons, Baines drove in at least 90 runs eight times and ranks 34th on the all-time list with 1,628 RBIs. He retired with 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBI, one of only 17 players in MLB history to have reached both 2,800 hits and 1,600 RBI.