Article by: Harrison Weaver
A career win-loss record of 203-105, 3.38 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 8-time All-Star, and a 2-time Cy Young Award winner. These are a few of the incredible career statistics of newly inducted Baseball Hall of Fame member Roy Halladay, or as many dubbed him, Doc Halladay, named after Wild West gunslinger himself. As of this past Sunday night, the late Roy Halladay would join the ranks of the elite in Cooperstown in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He had an incredible 16-year career with both the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. Drafted by the Blue Jays in 1998, it was in the 2001 season that he really stepped into the spotlight with an impressive season boasting a 3.16 ERA, and then it was in 2002, when he was selected to his first All-Star game. After 5 more All-Star game appearences in the next 7 years, along with a Cy Young, Roy signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010 where he joined the elite pitching staff of Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Roy Oswalt.
As a Phillies fan myself, I can speak to the excitement that everyone in Philly had with this all-time great roster. Headlined by the addition of Roy Halladay, we looked to be nearly impossible for opposing teams to score a lot of runs on. The Phillies unfortunately could not make the World Series with this team that struggled mightily on offense, but that doesn’t mean that Doc was anything elite. In his first three seasons with Philly, he made the All-Star game each year, and won his second Cy Young in 2010. Despite not making it deep in the postseason, he delivered on everything the fans and organization could have asked for and won over the hearts of Philadelphia well beyond his retirement in 2013.
Tragically, Doc passed away on November 7th, 2017 after crashing his plane in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving his family, friends, and the entire baseball world mourning. However, his legacy is carried on by his wife Brandy, and two sons Braden and Ryan whom he loved deeply. It was Brandy who gave Roy’s Hall of Fame speech on Sunday. She began by humbly thanking everyone, including teammates, coaches, team executives, team staff, and fans. She praised both the Blue Jays and Phillies for being so patient, faithful, and loyal to Halladay and his family as he went through the different stages of his career. The decision was made that Roy would be inducted without a logo on his cap, showing that he favored nor one city over the other, a true class act on the part of the Halladay family.
She then went on to speak about what kind of man he was off the baseball diamond. Roy was a true family man. According to Brandy, he was "the kind of brother who left cash in his pockets when he asked his sister to help with laundry, telling her she could keep whatever she found." As a father and husband, "He was a great coach, a nervous husband and father, only because he wanted to be as great and successful at home as he was in baseball." She continued to speak through tears throughout the course of the speech, and so elegantly and passionately praising family, friends, the organizations, and fans, all while doing such a great job of painting a beautiful picture of the kind of man Roy Halladay was.
In the end, Brandy did a perfect job of stepping up to the mound and delivering a commemorative Hall of Fame speech matching the beauty of a Perfect Game by her late husband. The Blue Jays have retired the #32, and the Phillies put the #34 on their Wall of Fame, while superstar Bryce Harper (who formerly wore #34 for the Nationals) elected to wear #3 because, quote, “He's somebody in this game that, you know, is greater than a lot of guys who have ever played it. A Hall of Famer. Somebody who played the game the right way. Was a great person and was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, being able to play across from him in 2012. So, for me, it’s Roy Halladay. He’s No. 34 and he’s what represents that number in Philly. And when you go in there and see his name on that flagpole in center field. It’s something that he should be remembered for.”
It’s clear that the respect and appreciation for Roy Halladay is endless, as love has poured in from everywhere upon his Hall of Fame induction. In addition, the Blue Jays drafted Roy’s son Braden with their 32nd round pick, the same number that Braden’s late father wore. Despite the last rounds of the MLB draft typically being irrelevant, this was a truly special moment that Braden and the Halladay family got to share together, and a really touching move by the Toronto Blue Jays organization. It’s amazing that in the face of such tragedy and devastation, the sports world always seems to find a way to support, care for, celebrate, respect, and remember delicate situations such as this.
You can find Brandy Halladay's full speech from Sunday below.
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