Halladay was named the National League winner of the Players Choice Award for Oustanding Pitcher on Thursday in recognition for a tremendous regular season in which he threw a perfect game and led the league in wins.
Halladay, who was drafted and developed by the Blue Jays, was part of one of the sport's biggest stories last offseason when he was acquired by Philadelphia in exchange for a three-player haul, headlined by pitching prospect Kyle Drabek. Halladay signed an extension to stay with the Phillies, and the talk immediately became about how he might dominate the NL.
That prospect came to pass, as the right-hander wound up leading all Major League pitchers in victories (21), shutouts (four), complete games (nine) and innings pitched (250 2/3). Halladay, a seven-time All-Star, finished second in the NL with 219 strikeouts and third with a 2.44 ERA, and that latter mark stood as the second-best of his distinguished career.
Halladay's first season in the NL was made all the more special by two historic events. The former Cy Young Award winner threw the 20th perfect game in baseball history on May 29, casually dominating the Florida Marlins. And though voting was completed before the end of the regular season, he outdid that event in his first postseason start, when he no-hit the Cincinnati Reds for the second-ever postseason no-no and the first since Don Larsen in the 1956 World Series.
Halladay was also won The Major League Baseball Players Association honors in 2003 when he was voted the Players Choice Award for Outstanding AL Pitcher. He won the Cy Young Award that year, perhaps setting a precedent for this season. Halladay figures to be a prime candidate for the NL award in a race that will also feature St. Louis' Adam Wainwright, Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez and Atlanta's Tim Hudson.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less