The baseball world is in mourning as the news came in today that Roy Halladay had passed away when his plan crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. Roy Halladay will be remembered as one of the greatest pitchers in the 2000’s. He played 16 seasons in the MLB with two teams, the Phillies and the Blue Jays. He had a stellar career and he may be bound for the Hall of Fame, but he was more than just a baseball player.
Halladay was drafted in the first round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Boy, did they strike gold. In his 12 years with the Blue Jays, Halladay compiled a 148-76 record in 2,406.2 IP. In those years Halladay had a 3.43 ERA to go along with 1,495 strikeouts and a 48.5 WAR. An amazing 12 years for Halladay, but the story does not end there in Toronto.
While listening to the radio today (The Michael Kay Show), a man called in to tell a story about Roy Halladay. The man said when his son was 16 years old he was diagnosed with cancer. The Blue Jays called him up and gave the family tickets to one of their home games. Little did they know they were being placed in Roy Halladay’s suite. Halladay had a suite in Toronto specifically for the family’s of children who were diagnosed with some type of sickness. Halladay would not let any media in the room and no photographs were to be taken besides the ones that the families were to take. Why was this such a hush-hush thing until now? Because that was the type of man he was. He did things like this because of the goodness in his heart. He did not look for any type of attention for it. He just wanted, for a couple of hours, to make a kid and their family forget about all of the commotion going on in their lives.
On December 15, 2009, Roy Halladay was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. In four years with the Phillies, Halladay amassed a 55-29 record, 3.25 ERA, 622 strikeouts, and a 17.1 WAR in 702.2 innings pitched. He was also named the 2010 NL Cy Young winner and finished as the runner up for the award in 2011. When he won it in 2010, he became one of just six pitchers in MLB history to win the Cy Young Award in both the National League and American League. The other five to do so were Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Gaylord Perry, and Randy Johnson. Quite the group to be a part of. In his four year with the Phillies he was a two time All-Star and finished Top-10 in the MVP voting twice.
Halladay also pitched one of the most memorable postseason games in MLB history. On October 6 in 2010, Roy Halladay became the second pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter in a postseason game. The only thing that separated him from a perfect game was a 5th inning walk that he surrendered. Earlier that year on May 29th, Halladay recorded the 20th perfect game in MLB history when he faced 27 Marlins and retired each and every one of them.
Halladay’s final season in the MLB was not one to remember as he struggled for the entire year. After his second start of the season, in which he was roughed up once again, Halladay’s oldest son texted him saying, “You’re my hero.” Halladay was loved by his teammates, by the league, and most importantly, by his family. He was one of the most dominant pitchers of his time. Will he be a Hall of Famer? Time will tell as he is eligible for the Hall in 2019. Whether he gets in or he does not, he will always be remembered as a great pitcher, a great man, and most of all, a loving father.