Toronto Blue Jays: A tribute to the late Roy Halladay

DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Roy Halladay
DUNEDIN, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Roy Halladay /

The baseball suffered a major loss as former Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay died in a plane crash on Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico.

If there was a pitcher who defined an era of Toronto Blue Jays, it was the pitcher they called Doc. For 16 seasons (12 in Toronto), Roy Halladay was a player that had the expectation of being the best pitcher on the mound every start, and majority of the time he delivered.

In 287 starts as a member of the Blue Jays, Halladay had a 148-76 record and a 3.43 ERA. One of the stats that defined his dominance as a pitcher was the number of complete games that he threw in his career. He pitched the 67 complete games which according to Jon Morosi of the MLB Network is the most since 1998.

Early reports came out around mid-afternoon, that a plane owned by the 40-year old had crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. It was later confirmed by the the Pasco Sheriff office that a body recovered from the wreckage belonged to Halladay.

The two-time CY Young award winner had been taking flight training in 2016 and was never shy to share his adventures on his twitter account.

If there was a reason to follow the Blue Jays in the early 2000’s despite their inability to make the playoffs was to watch Halladay take the mound. The toughest moment for Blue Jays was seeing their beloved ace traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009.

However, it was hard to not want Halladay to succeed in his pursuit of a World Series title. The closest that he would get would be a a trip to the NLCS with the Phillies, and it was fitting that in his first postseason start he would throw a no-hitter.

He is one of six pitchers to win a Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues just shows that he was not like most pitcher to take the mound.

He did not have overpowering stuff and had to make adjustments to his delivery when he struggled early in his career with a lengthy time spent in the minors. However, that did not stop Halladay from working hard to get back to the majors and once he was back, those issues were long behind him.

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It is tough to imagine a world without Halladay, while he may have taken a step out of the spotlight, knowing that he is no longer with us is tough to comprehend.

In terms of sports figures in Toronto; he will always have a place in the hearts of Blue Jays fans and even those who were not diehard fans appreciate what he accomplished in Toronto.

The Blue Jays could have easily fallen out of relevance but Halladay took them on his back and would be hard on himself if the team was struggling.

His connection with fans and people in the baseball world is something no one will easily forget and if there is a player that should get his place in Cooperstown, it is Doc.

Next: Reactions from the sports world to Roy Halladay’s death

How will you remember Halladay? Do you have a favourite story or a time where you met him in person? Let us know in the comments below.