Sixteen calls

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

Start the clock on the Hall of Fame candidacy of Andy Pettitte.

The smooth-as-silk lefty, one of the most consistent starting pitchers of the last decade and a postseason workhorse, ended months of speculation on Friday by announcing his retirement. Unless he has a change of heart and returns to the big league diamond, Pettitte will become Hall of Fame-eligible with the Class of 2016.

02-04-11-Muder_Pettitte.jpgHis final regular-season numbers: a record of 240-138, with a 3.88 earned-run average and 2,251 strikeouts in 16 seasons. Only 12 left-handers in history have won more big league games: Seven are Hall of Famers, and two – Randy Johnson and Tom Glavine – are not yet Hall of Fame-eligible.

In the postseason, Pettitte was 19-10 – no pitcher ever won more playoff games – and a 3.83 ERA. His teams advanced to the postseason in 81 percent of Pettitte’s seasons (13 of 16), and Pettitte won at least one postseason game in nine of his 13 tries.

He walks away from the game with five World Series rings.

Pettitte’s Hall of Fame credentials will be debated for years, but this much is certain: Of all the Hall of Fame pitchers with at least 240 victories, only seven have a regular-season winning percentage better than Pettitte’s .635. And of those seven, only one – Jim Palmer – began his career after World War II.

Whether it was April or October, all Andy Pettitte did was win.

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

2 Comments

Oh come on. Everytime a Yankee retires, there’s a knee-jerk HOF story. AP was a good pitcher, but not a great pitcher and the HOF is supposed to be for greatness.
You could make a better case for Mike Mussina or Jaime Moyer than for AP.
And don’t insult our intelligence with the fact he’s won more post-season games than anyone else. He pitched in the era of the wild card. What’s his record in league championship and World Series games???
Put him in the Texas HOF.

CALM DOWN !!! the next candidate you will endorsing will be Roger Maris on the feat of 61 home runs. it was done in 1 year !! 1 fantastic year does not qualify you for Cooperstown, if that is the case than Johnny Vander Meer should go in on the strength of 2 consecutive no hitters or Bobby Thompsoms SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD !! Andy Pettitte had a very good career but his ERA was 3.88 which would be the highest of any one elected to the Hall of Fame ! You could argue the case of Red Ruffing & his high ERA but let us remember he started his career with a POOR Red Sox team whose won lost record was something like 37 & 94 when he joined New York & won 270 games total vaulting him to the Hall of Fame , going from a poor team to a great team . Pettitte played all
of his career except for the 4 years with Houston with New York & was dominant for 3 years , he was consistent & is it a surprise his best ERA years were in the NL with no DH ? The reason he has won the most postseason games ? He was in more than anyone else ! I have nothing against Andy, a good big time pitcher but not Hall of Fame material .

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