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The Mass Media

Remembering Roy Halladay

Roy+Halladay+during+his+time+with+the+Philadelphia+Phillies.+Halladay+is+survived+by+his+wife+and+two+children.

Roy Halladay during his time with the Philadelphia Phillies. Halladay is survived by his wife and two children.

The baseball world mourned the loss of a great this past week.

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies ace, Roy Halladay, died tragically in a plane crash. Halladay, often referred to as “Doc,” was retired at the time of his death, but in his untimely demise, the sport of baseball has lost a true legend and one of the most transcendent pitchers of the 21st century.

Halladay called it quits on his baseball career four years ago after an illustrious 16-year run as one of the game’s top pitchers. Halladay was flying his ICON A5, a small, single engine aircraft, off the coast of Florida. Halladay had recently received his pilot’s license and had even become a spokesperson of sorts for the ICON A5 aircraft. Getting his pilot license was a dream of his since he was a child, but he was unable to get one during his playing days due to contractual restrictions. He was able to get his license the year of his retirement and only owned his plane for about a month prior to the crash. His plane went down off the coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico. Halladay was the only passenger aboard the plane, as confirmed by officials working at the scene. He is survived by his wife and two children.

To baseball fans, Roy Halladay is more than just a man who lost his life in a tragic plane accident. To baseball fans, Halladay is one, of a handful of pitchers, that defined a generation. In the early to mid 2000s, the game was known for offense due to the steroids use that was rampant in the sport. A small group of pitchers were able to thrive at the time: Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Roger Clemens are some of the names you’ll hear alongside Doc Halladay.

Halladay spent most of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, making him very familiar to Red Sox fans. In his 12 seasons with Toronto, Halladay went 148-76 with a 3.43 earned run average, and nearly 1,500 strikeouts. In 2003, Halladay would take home his first Cy Young award as a member of the Blue Jays, with a 22-7 record, and a 3.25 ERA. However, despite all of his individual success, Halladay’s career was missing something, and that was the chance to pitch in the postseason.

As he was beginning to enter the twilight of his career, Halladay decided it was time to move on from Toronto. In 2010, he switched leagues—moving from the American League to the National League—when he joined the Philadelphia Phillies. At the time of the acquisition, the Phillies were coming from back-to-back World Series appearances, making it the perfect opportunity for Halladay to compete for a spot in a World Series run.

Halladay continued with individual success, winning the second Cy Young award of his career in his first season with the Phillies. In that same season, Halladay pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history, and in the postseason of that year, he pitched the second no-hitter in MLB Postseason history. However, despite Halladay’s efforts in 2010, the Phillies were unable to win the World Series.

In 2011, the team added Cliff Lee to an already deep rotation, forming what many believe is one of the best rotations in baseball history. The Phillies looked to be a lock for the World Series, and the rotation was living up to the hype. The Phillies won over 100 games, but would once again fail to reach the Fall Classic.

After 2011, Halladay’s play started to deteriorate. In 2013, he retired with a 203-105 record, a 3.38 ERA, and over 2,000 strikeouts. Although Halladay never won a World Series, he came to impact early 21st Century baseball as one of the game’s best pitchers. He was a transformative talent that took pride in his craft and showed nothing but dedication to himself, his family, and the sport of baseball. It can be said, without a shadow of doubt, that the baseball world will miss Roy Halladay.