Former Astros’ pitcher Andy Pettitte’s name appears on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. How well will he do the first time around?
The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced on Jan. 22. Andy Pettitte joins fellow Astros‘ teammates Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman as first-time ballot entries. He pitched for the Astros for three years, including the team that went to it’s first World Series in 2005. Will he get the required votes to remain on the ballot? If so, will he get inducted into the HOF some time down the road?
The Baseball Writer’s Association of America (BBWAA) are currently casting their ballots for their candidates to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. A player on the ballot must receive a minimum of 5% of the writers’ votes to remain on the ballot the following year. Players that are selected by 75% of the writers are the honored players to enter the Hall of Fame.
Pettitte was no doubt a workhorse of a pitcher throughout his 18-year career. He started 30 or more games in 12 seasons for a total of 3,316 innings. He led the league three of those years with 34+ starts. Pettitte ranked in the top ten for complete games and shutouts in four seasons.
He had a career record of 256-153, a .626 winning percentage. Half of the pitchers already in the HOF won fewer games than Pettitte, and only 17 of the 64 starting pitchers had a better winning percentage. Although he never earned a Cy Young Award, he was in the top six of the voting for five seasons.
Pettitte’s postseason numbers could be a big factor in the voting for some writers. No pitcher has won as many games in the postseason as the 19 wins chalked up by Pettitte. John Smoltz is the lone pitcher to top his 183 postseason strikeouts, and only five have won more World Series games than his five victories.
Unfortunately, Pettitte does have some controversy connected to him. In 2007 he admitted to using human growth hormones in 2002, to help overcome an elbow injury. Several players that many feel warrant Hall of Fame entry for their performance on the field have been shunned by many voters.
Only time will tell whether the performance enhancing drug use will be a curse, or his overwhelming postseason numbers will be enough of a boost. Pettitte has had an impressive career and was well liked and respected by many around the league. What would you do if you had a vote?