Between 2003 and 2009, Johan Santana won two American League Cy Young Awards, posted a top-three finish in voting for the award in the National League and finished second to only Hall of Famer Roy Halladay in terms of fWAR.
Santana -- who starred for the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets -- appeared to very much be on a Hall of Fame trajectory himself when you consider that he was only 30 in 2009.
Unfortunately for Santana, injuries derailed his career, with his last major league action coming just a few years later in 2012. The 45.0 WAR 7 -- the combination of a player's top seven single-season bWAR totals -- that Santana posted, is higher than Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Mike Mussina and Don Drysdale, among others. But outside of his peak, there just wasn't enough of a resume to convince voters, and Santana was one-and-done on the Hall of Fame ballot.
It should be noted, Santana drew consideration for this list, because there's something to be said for being arguably the best pitcher in the game at the height of your powers.
Ultimately, Santana fell short, like contemporaries CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte and Cole Hamels. Among the others who came up just short were Madison Bumgarner, Carl Hubbell, Vida Blue, Chris Sale, Tommy John and Hal Newhouser.
With such a tremendous list of names not on our list, if gives you an idea of how exclusive our countdown of the nine greatest left-handed pitchers of all-time is.