After putting a cap to a wonderful 18-year career with a complete game victory, it is apparent that Andy Pettitte should be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in five years. Throughout his 19 year career with the New York Yankees and Houston Astros Pettitte has become one of the best pitchers of his generation by performing at an exceptionally consistent level during the regular season and stepping up when it counted most to become the best postseason pitcher of all time.
During the regular season, Pettitte was a model of consistency, posting a 256-153 record, 3316 innings pitched, 2448 strikeouts and a 3.85 ERA. In each and every season of Pettitte’s career, he finished with a .500 record or better. No matter what type of stuff he was working with, his teammates could feel secure in knowing that Pettitte would grind out six or seven innings and keep them in the game. His ability to keep the team in games led him to winning 32 more games than anyone else in baseball during his career. This in turn shows that he was near the top of the totem pole in terms of best pitchers from 1995 to 2013.
While Pettitte was an exceptional pitcher during the regular season, he truly made his name during the postseason. During 44 playoff games, he recorded an MLB record 19 wins, and 276 2/3 innings while winning five World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009 with the New York Yankees. Each of these statistics show that Pettitte was not only a successful pitcher throughout a long regular season, but that he could take down the best lineups in the game with remarkable consistency.
Throughout this period of excellence, it seemed as if Pettitte came through every time the Yankees or Astros were in need of a big win. With his classic pulling down of the cap down his face it was always evident that Pettitte cared as much about what was going on in each game as anyone else, a trait which endeared him to fans, the media, his teammates and opponents. While that is not the automatic sign of a Hall of Fame pitcher, he recorded more wins than any other pitcher during his career and became the best playoff pitcher of all time along the way.