Phillies' Roy Halladay a unanimous winner of NL Cy Young
Tuesday, November 16, 2010; 6:35 PM
Even in the so-called Year of the Pitcher, when everyone was throwing no-hitters and a sub-3.00 ERA was the new sub-4.00, Roy Halladay stood out. It wasn't just the perfect game he threw in May, or the no-hitter in October, or the league-leading 21 wins, or the unique combination of power and command. It was the way people talked about him.
His new Philadelphia Phillies teammates marveled at Halladay's grueling workout regimen, imported from his days in Toronto. His coaches raved about his influence on the Phillies' other pitchers. National League hitters cursed his infernal sinker, just as AL hitters had.
On Tuesday, the writers had their say, and it was unanimous: Halladay was awarded the NL Cy Young Award, earning all 32 first-place votes. He became just the fifth pitcher to win the award in both leagues, having previously won with the Blue Jays in 2003; the other two-league winners were Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Gaylord Perry.
"The whole season was a dream come true for me," Halladay, 33, said in a conference call with reporters from Mexico, where he was vacationing and in the middle of a round of golf, "and to be able to finish it this way is a tremendous thrill."
St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright was a distant runner-up, earning 28 second-place votes, while Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez finished third in the balloting.
Unlike many of this year's awards, this one was easy. Halladay's brilliant season - which included league-leading totals for wins, innings pitched (2502/3), complete games (nine) and shutouts (four) - was good enough to satisfy both the old-school voters and the sabermetric community that is often at odds with the former.
It was also easy to see coming. After 11 seasons of toiling in the brutal AL East division - where nearly one-quarter of his starts during that time were made against the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox - Halladay was traded from Toronto to Philadelphia last December, signing a three-year $60 million contract extension with the Phillies and taking quickly to the more pitcher-friendly NL.
"Coming in, I was definitely worried about coming to a new team: What are the guys going to be like? How different are the leagues going to be?" Halladay said.
His season was an unqualified success, beginning with a win at Washington on Opening Day. He won his first four starts for the Phillies, and six of his first seven, then, on May 29 at Florida, threw just the 20th perfect game in major league history.
Despite the presence of co-aces Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels as rotation-mates, Halladay was an easy choice to start the Phillies' opening game of the playoffs against Cincinnati, and he responded by throwing just the second no-hitter in postseason history.
"It's by far the most fun I've ever had playing this game," Halladay said. "It was tremendous from day one to the very end. It was everything I ever hoped it would be."