Among the greats that have made this list, former pitcher James Shields certainly stands out as one of the lesser lights entering the Hall of Fame balloting. After all, he posted solid numbers as a starting pitcher throughout his 13-year MLB career, but nothing that would jump out as elite at the same time. Nevertheless, he did have one exceptional All-Star season in 2011 when he compiled a 16-12 record with a 2.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, with 11 complete games including 4 shutouts, as he finished third in AL Cy Young voting that very same year.
But when it came to facing the Jays, he rose to another level that was unmatched by most others. With regards to any starting pitcher against the Jays in their career, Shields ranked seventh all-time with a .667 winning percentage against the team. In addition, his WHIP of 1.05 and BB/9 ratio of 1.78 was second all-time only to Dennis Eckersley, and his K/BB ratio of 4.25 ranked him third behind Eckersley and Masahiro Tanaka. So he may not have had such a storied career as many of the other prominent pitchers on the Hall of Fame ballot, but he sure felt like one of the best whenever the Jays had to face him.
As a first-time ballot entry in 2024, Shields will be in tough to garner enough votes to remain on the ballot in the proceeding years. That is because with a career winning percentage hovering close to .500 with only 145 wins in total, a career ERA close to 4, along with a severe lack of performance accolades, he will certainly have his work cut out for him to get the voters to consider him on the ballot.