An All-time Great

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It is with great sadness that the late, great Roy Halladay has passed away at the young age of 40. Halladay is survived by his loving wife Brandy, and two sons Ryan and Braden.

Halladay was involved in a crash of his own plane off the Gulf of Mexico. The statement was released at 4:15 on November 7th by Pasco Country Sheriff Chris Nocco. Halladay was an amateur pilot who was simply enjoying his second passion and was the only one involved in the crash. 

His first passion? Playing baseball.

Roy “Doc” Halladay was a legend. Plain and simple. Doc won 2- Cy Youngs, and was an 8-time all-star, and over a decade was arguably the most dominate pitcher in baseball. 

He is solely responsible for keeping the Blue Jays relevant throughout 2000’s. The Jays were not remotely important in the division, as it was dominated by great Yankee and Red Sox squads.

Never did it bother Halladay.

He went into every game with the mindset he was going to finish it. That is remarkable, he hated feeling like he couldn’t do it all. The man was a work horse to the likes few have seen. The 6’6 right hander was always reported that he worked harder than anyone else. People just couldn’t keep up with his workout routine. It was just too difficult. If you beat him to the diamond one day, he would show up an hour earlier the next day just to beat you. That’s the kinda guy Roy was. 

Halladay is the reason Jays fan got excited every fifth day. Every time Roy took to mound, there was always a chance to see something that had never been done before. 

Doc was an all-time great Jay, and it is clear, even before this tragic passing, that he would one day be inducted into Cooperstown, and would without a doubt be put on the level of excellence at Rogers Centre, and have number 32 retired by the Toronto Blue Jays. When you go through the Jays all-time pitchers, two names come to mind. Roy Halladay and Dave Stieb. Depending on your generation, you can make the argument on who was better over their careers. For me it’s Doc.

I first got into baseball in the late 2000’s, right when Halladay was wrapping up his time with the Jays. My Uncle always told me how great he was, but at the time I was to young, and in general didn’t understand yet.

Sadly I can’t say I have these amazing Halladay memories from his Toronto days, but I do remember this.

I was young and just beginning to get into sports, and just so happened to watch the 2010 game one of the NLDS. I guess I can thank Jose Bautista, as his historical season is what helped me fall in love with the sport. This was his first ever playoff game pitching, as a member of the Philadelphia Philles.

God damn did I see how good he was. That no-hitter was truly legendary and I was in shock, and just dumbfounded on how dominant one man can be in a baseball game. I’ve watched highlights of that game at least ten times, and can guarantee you I did last night. Halladay was only the second player to throw a no-hitter in playoff history. What made this feat even more remarkable was the fact he threw a perfect game earlier that season. He is the only player in MLB history to throw perfect game and no-hitter in the same season.

Halladay’s final career numbers were 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA, 117 strikeouts and 67 complete games. Roy hung them up in 2013.

I know what his impact was on the game, and what he meant to the Blue Jay organization. He is a top five Jay of all time without question. I sadly never saw him pitch live, and of course never got to meet him. I do know however that he worked hard, and was a great baseball player, but an even better person.

Halladay was always held high by the media, and I know many people who have met him, and all they have is praise. They praise his kindness and how humble for he was for how amazing of a player he was throughout the course of his career.

He did so much for his community behind the scenes. He did more than a lot of athletes, the only thing was you never knew. Roy didn’t need the media to see what he was doing. He did it out of the kindness and generosity in his heart.

He was a true competitor and great friend. He loved the game and everything about it. There are so many amazing stories about the Doc, and over this sad time, they manage to bring a smile on my face.

I hope whatever Roy is doing now, he is looking down with a smile, and hoping for a Jays World Series down the road. I thank him for the memories, doing what he did for my team, the game of baseball, and everyone who ever got the privilege of meeting him.

 

RIP Doc.