By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
In this spotlight story, we’ll spotlight the baseball career of Harry Leroy Halladay III. He was commonly known as “Roy” Halladay.
He was born on May 14, 1977 in Denver, Colorado. He grew up in Arvada, where his father Roy II was a pilot for a food processing company. His mother Linda was a homemaker.
He fell in love with baseball at a young age. Up until age 14, he played the field, before transitioning to be a pitcher.
Halladay also worked with Bus Campbell, who is a Colorado baseball guru, beginning at age 13.
He then attended Arvada West High School. While playing on the baseball team, he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays with the 17th overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft.
The young Halladay elected to pick a deal with the Blue Jays instead of playing college baseball with the Arizona Wildcats.
He was a September call-up by the Blue Jays in 1998. He made two starts for Toronto with one win in 14 innings pitched.
Halladay was in the Majors from 1999 through 2013. He spent 12 seasons with the Blue Jays and four seasons with the Phillies.
He was nicknamed “Doc” by Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek, who got the nickname from Doc Holliday, who was a Wild West gunslinger.
He was acquired with the Phillies with cash on Dec. 16, 2009. The Blue Jays acquired Travis D’Arnaud, Kyle Drabek, and Michael Taylor.
With the Blue Jays, he went 148-76 in 313 appearances, including 287 starts. He also had six games finished, 49 complete games, 15 shutouts, and one save.
He had a 3.43 ERA and allowed 870 runs (780 earned runs), including 172 home runs, on 1,997 hits on 2,046 2/3 innings.
Halladay also had 1,495 strikeouts and 455 walks.
As a member of the Phillies, he went 55-29 in 103 starts with 18 complete games and five shutouts. He had a 3.25 ERA and had 265 runs (254 earned runs), including 64 home runs, on 649 hits on 702 2/3 innings.
He had 622 strikeouts and 137 walks.
Halladay had the 20th perfect game in MLB history on May 29, 2010 against the Florida Marlins. The Phillies won the game 1-0 over the Marlins.
Several months later in his first postseason start, “Doc” threw the second no-hitter in postseason history against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS. It was the first no-hitter since Don Larsen threw a perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
He also made history with two no-hitters in a season. Halladay became the fifth pitcher in a season to do this feat. He was the first since Nolan Ryan in 1973.
In addition, he also won a Cy Young in the American and National League. He is one of six pitchers to do this.
He retired from baseball on Dec. 9, 2013. He signed a one-day contract with the Blue Jays and retired from the game.
When he retired, he was dealing with persistent back pain from an injury. He stepped away to focus more time with his family.
During his retirement, he worked as an instructor for both the Blue Jays and the Phillies. In addition, the Phillies also hired him as their “mental skills coach” in March 2017.
He also volunteered his time to serve as a coach at Calvary Christian High School in Clearwater, Florida, when his son was a baseball player there.
His life was tragically cut short on Nov. 7, 2017 when he was killed in an aircraft accident in the Gulf of Mexico. He was the only person aboard the ICON A5 Founders Edition aircraft when it crashed off of the coast of New Port Richey, Florida.
He crashed into water that was six feet deep.
The Pasco County, Florida authorities were dispatched to the scene at approx. 12 noon. They received reports that the plane crashed in shallow water. He died at the scene.
“All of us at Baseball are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic passing of former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement on the day he died. “A well-respected figure throughout the game, Roy was a fierce competitor during his 16-year career, which included eight All-Star selections, two Cy Young Awards, a perfect game and a postseason no-hitter.
“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, including his wife, Brandy, and two sons, Ryan and Braden, his friends and countless fans, as well as the Blue Jays and Phillies organizations.”
The authorities said the accident was due to pilot error.
In January 2019, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He became the first posthumously-elected player since 1973 when Roberto Clemente was inducted. He received 85.4% of the vote.
In addition, Halladay is part of the Phillies Wall of Fame. He is also in the Blue Jays Level of Excellence.
He has his No. 32 retired by the Blue Jays.
During a press conference on March 2nd, 2019, Phillies free agent acquistion Bryce Harper said that Halladay should be the final player to wear No. 34 with the team. Instead of picking No. 34, which he had wore from 2012-2018 with the Washington Nationals, he picked No. 3.
“Roy Halladay should be the last one to wear it,” he said.