Remembering Roy Halladay: The Ace of the Greatest Era in Phillies History
With all the joy that has been surrounding Philly Sports lately, this is the most gut wrenching news any of us have received in along time. Roy Halladay may only have pitched for 4 seasons in Philadelphia, but he became a legend quicker than most in this city ever could.
In 2009, after a tough World Series loss to the New York Yankees the Phillies traded for Roy Halladay, bolstering the Phillies pitching staff into the greatest unit the city had seen since thee Brian Dawkins led Eagles secondary. The immense joy a lot of us had knowing Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels would be in the same pitching rotation, and often dealing in the same three game series, was a feeling of inferiority we had not felt as fans before and then after until the Eagles spectacular start.
Doc’s first game on Opening Day as a Phillie set the precedent for what almost all his starts would be about, a gem. 7 innings, 1 run, 9 strikeouts, and even an RBI lead to Doc’s first W as a Phillie. Soon after, Doc recorded his first shutout and first complete game as Phillie, all before the chilly April had ended. It was quickly we realized we traded for the Cy Young pitcher, and a player who could change the landscape of Philly sports.
In 2010, Doc had 21 wins and he became the first Phillies pitcher to record over 20 wins since Steve Carlton in 1982. His 21 wins became the cornerstone of one of the most memorable Phillies seasons in the history of the franchise. Doc was the guy who steadied the ship. He was the guy you watched with your dad every fifth day.
There was no one who could dominate a game like Doc, when you sat down to watch a Phillies game that season it was a foregone conclusion the Phillies were going to win. Getting ahead in counts, painting corners, his sinker/cutter, and overall smooth controlled and calm rhythm on the mound is what will always be remembered.
The 2 things all of us will never forget about Doc was the perfect game and the NLDS no hitter.
Halladay’s two crowning moments will obviously be his perfect game and NLDS hitter. Doc’s perfect game, the 20th in MLB history, was something out of a dream. On a muggy Florida night, Doc was perfect. 27 up, 27 down while striking out 11. The final out called by Tom McCarthy is one of those plays you recite out loud every time it’s shown:
There is not much that can top a perfect game, especially in the same season, but Doc’s postseason no-hitter in game 1 of the NLDS against the Reds certainly did. Doc became the second pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the postseason. Giving up one walk to Jay Bruce in the fifth inning, and the that great play by Chooch to get the final out is something that will live in Philadelphia sports lure forever. The beauty of sports is the goosebumps feeling you get when you realize the impact a moment in a game will have on your team, and on your city. That was this play:
Roy Halladay was a great teammate more than anything, always attributing his success to other around him that helped him become great. After his perfect game Doc handed out watches to all the guys in the clubhouse that had inscripted: “We did it together. Thanks, Roy Halladay.”
That speaks volumes to the kind of man and not just baseball player Doc was.
As diehard Phillies fans, we will remember Roy Halladay the Cy Young winner. The pitcher who led us to a dynasty behind his impenetrable focus. To his sons and wife, he was a loving father and husband. To his community, he was a astounding pitching coach, helping guide the team his son played on to a 30-0 mark and a state championship. To baseball, he is a hero.
From all fans of not just the Phillies, but fans of baseball, Rest Easy Doc.