For the first time in 17 years Andy Pettitte won't be putting on pinstripes (he even wore pinstripes during his Houston stint).
Pettitte suited up for the Bronx Bombers in 13 of his 16 seasons in the big leagues. In his career he amassed 240 wins and 138 losses (Yankee record: 203-112). Pettitte is third all time in career wins in the Yankees organization.
Think about that for a minute. Andy Pettitte is third all time in wins for an organization that's done nothing but win since they won their first World Series way back in 1923.
So is he get the call to Cooperstown? It's not an easy question to answer.
Why he is a Hall a Famer:
Andy Pettitte joined the Yankees back in '95. In '96 he went 21-8 and the Yankees won their first World Series since 1978. He played 11 more seasons in New York after that, and was the one constant in the Yankees rotation during their five championships.
Pettitte is one of four Yankees (Jeter, Posada, Rivera) that has been apart of all five championship teams since '96. I believe the other three guys will all be in the Hall one day.
His 240 career wins are more than the likes of Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and John Smoltz. Pettitte won over 20 games twice in his career, and won 15 or more games eight different times. He finished in the top five of the Cy Young in four different seasons.
Pettitte's Hall of Fame case will come down to more than what the back of his baseball card reads. His role in the Yankees championship runs should carry a lot of weight on whether or not he gets in the Hall of Fame. Try and name another starting pitcher who has won five World Series championships over the last 20 years.
That's what I thought.
Why he won't get the call the Cooperstown
Pettitte wasn't always the Yankees ace when they were winning championships (though he definitely was in '96). The Yankees had Mike Mussina, David Wells, Roger Clemens, and David Cone during their championship runs. In many of those years Pettitte was the third guy in the rotation (behind Clemens and Mussina). I personally don't think that should be knock on him, but there will be voters that will hold that against him.
Pettitte's numbers are good, they're really good, but they aren't great. In this day and age a pitcher needs to win 300 games or have been the most dominant pitcher in the game for a part of his career if he's going to get in the Hall of Fame (see Pedro Martinez http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/martipe02.shtml). Pettitte doesn't have either on his resume.
The biggest mark against Pettitte is his admission of HGH use. He was one of the first players to come out and actually admit to using performance enhancing substances. Pettitte was sincere in his apology and actually earned a lot of respect for coming clean. But that doesn't change the fact that he used PED's.
The Hall of Fame hasn't been kind to players who've used PED's; Mark McGwire only recieved 19.8 percent of the votes on last years ballot. So Pettitte's odds don't look very good in that respect.
However, over time the steroid issue will begin to die down, and some of the players from that particular era will eventually get in. There will be new baseball writers that get a Hall of Fame vote in the future; many of them will have grown up during the height of the steroid era. Will these new voters keep out all of their childhood heroes? Only time will tell.
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