After the sudden passing of Roy Halladay we want to join the Philadelphia, Toronto, and baseball communities in extending our deepest condolences to his wife and two sons. Few players fully embody the qualities that made Doc the consummate teammate and professional, but for as great an athlete he was by all accounts he was an even better person. The legacy he leaves behind as a Father, Husband, friend, coach, teammate, and community leader is admirable; and for each person that looked up to him for his baseball talents there was a peer or a father looking up to him for his decency as a human being. Words are unable capture the indelible impact this man had on his sport and the communities that surrounded him. I hope these thoughts from my fellow FSP contributors and his former teammate Chase Utley can come close.
Brian Cass :
I was never a huge baseball fan growing up, my dad always had me watching Eagles football or Allen Iverson. But I remember once the Eagles and Sixers started to go down hill I paid more attention to the Phillies. I started watching in 2008 when they won the World Series and I kept up with it for the next couple of years. I didn’t really know much about Baseball or the MLB, I only knew some of the best players on the Phillies like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins. Then I remember coming home from school one day and my dad coming up to me all excited and said, “the Phillies just got the best pitcher in baseball, Roy Halladay!” I had no idea who this guy was, all I knew was that apparently he was the best pitcher in baseball. So I started really paying attention to the Phillies after the back to back world series appearances. In 2010 I was all in, I thought for sure we were heading back to our third straight Fall Classic, especially with Halladay as our ace. I watched Halladay with the same kind of joy that I watch Carson Wentz with now, I always knew we had a chance to win with him on the mound. He pitched his ass off game in and game out, a true competitor in every sense of the word. His postseason no – hitter will go down as one of my all -time favorite sports memories. He stepped away from the game in 2013 on his own terms, which not many players do anymore. He wanted to spend time with his wife and kids since he had dedicated so much time of his life to baseball. Unfortunately, Halladay passed away today in the Gulf of Mexico doing something he loved, flying his own personal plane. Some things in this world just aren’t explainable — this being one of them. He was a better person than he was an athlete, and he truly cared for those around him. I’ll always remember the story of how he gave a replica of his Cy-Young award to Chooch, how many Cy-Young winners give that kind of credit to their catcher? Halladay will go down as not only one of the best MLB pitchers of all time, but one of the best people to ever grace the mound at Citizen’s Bank Park. It was a privilege to watch you play Doc, rest in paradise.
When the Phillies acquired Roy Halladay the city was full of elation. We were competing but acquiring a pitcher like him changed everything. The seasons we saw with “Doc” were nothing short of breathtaking. The Phillies were one of the best teams in the league, and so many believed in us because of the experience and hard working mentality Roy brought to the clubhouse. Growing up in the Philadelphia area at my age, the Phillies were a pivotal part of my childhood, and he made so many special memories for not only me but our region as a whole. He threw 67 complete games in his 16 year career, something that is now unheard of. One of those guys you knew always wanted to stay on the mound, and a guy that the team could always rally around. He constantly strived to be the best at his position and never pointed fingers in the locker room. Watching him as a kid you could see why he was such a role model to many. Doc did everything in baseball the “right” way; not only was a unparalleled figure in our city, but an unparalleled person period. Roy embodied what Philadelphia loves in an athlete and person all around. Our city loved him, and we always will. I will never forget what he did here in pinstripes and in the community, Rest Easy Doc, we know your looking down.
Via Instagram: “My heart hurts writing this. I can still remember the first day we met. It was 5:45am on the first day of spring training when I arrived. He was finishing breakfast but his clothes were soaking wet. I asked if it was raining when he got in. He laughed and said “No I just finished my workout” I knew right then- he was the real deal. Thank you Roy for allowing us to witness what it takes to be the best. We will all miss you.”