Thanks For the Memories Roy "Doc" Halladay
Ironically, the man known as "Doc" is retiring due to injury.
Roy "Doc " Halladay retired from Major League Baseball on Monday, after 16 years with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies.
Halladay,36, signed a one day contract with Toronto so that he could retire with
the Blue Jays. Toronto drafted Doc in 1995 and he spent the first 12 years of
his career with the team. Halladay spent the last four years of his career in
Philadelphia, after he asked the rebuilding Blue Jays to trade him to a
contender where he could possibly win a World Series. The Blue Jays had never
made the playoffs during Halladay's tenure with the team.
Unfortunately, Halladay was more injured than anyone even imagined. Everyone knew about his shoulder woes the last two seasons, but Doc revealed that he also has some rather extensive issues with his back as well.
"There's been stuff written about my shoulders, but my back really became an issue for me. I have two pars fractures, an eroded disc between the L4, L5, there's a significant step back there where the nerves are being pinched. It's made it hard to pitch with the mechanics I've pitched with," Halladay said on Monday
Yeah, we noticed.
Halladay was, without question, the best pitcher in baseball over the last decade, but his last two seasons were a struggle due to his injuries. Considering his age, Halladay decided to retire instead of undergoing back surgery and a possibly long rehab process.
Who was the best pitcher of the last 15 years?
Halladay finishes his career with a 203-105 record in 380 games, a 3.38 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings pitched, 67 complete games, 20 shutouts, a perfect game and another no-hitter. He was an eight-time all-star, won the Cy Young award in the American League (2003), plus a second in the National League (2010) and was in the top five in the voting an additional five times, including runner-up in 2011.
Unfortunately, after that 2011 season with the Phillies, all those innings apparently caught up to Halladay. Injuries limited him to 156 1/3 innings and a 4.49 ERA in 2012 and only 62 innings in an awful 2013 season where he posted an inexplicable 6.82 ERA. Of course, it's now obvious that Doc was pitching through something most other pitchers wouldn't have even attempted to try.
Halladay was really two different pitchers in Philadelphia. There was the dominator of the first two years (2010 -2011) and the injury-plagued player who was stubbornly trying to convince himself he could pitch through the pain (2012-2013) at the end.
Halladay was 40-16 in his first two years with the Phillies, with an ERA of 2.40, while striking out 439 batters and walking only 65. His second two seasons in Philly were a completely different story. Halladay went 15-13 with an ERA over 5 in his last two seasons and was a shell of his former self.
Halladay's Perfect Game
The highlight of Haladay's time in Philly was, of course, his perfect game against the Miami Marlins on May 29, 2010 and his no-hitter in his first ever playoff game against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS on October 6, 2010. He became only the fifth pitcher in MLB history to have two no-hitters in the same season and only the second pitcher to have a no-hitter in the postseason.
His time in Philadelphia wasn't perfect, but I'll choose to remember Roy Halladay as the best pitcher in baseball over the decade of the 2000s. He wasn't just great though, he was dominant. For a ten season stretch from 2002 to 2011, Halladay went 170-75 with a 2.97 ERA, made seven all-star appearances and won those two Cy Young awards, with that runner-up finish in 2011 to boot.
His pinpoint control and sinker / splitter combination allowed him to dominate lefties and righties alike. His work-ethic was said to be second to none by those who considered themselves lucky enough to have played with him. And he was genuinely one of the nicest athletes in sports.
Halladay almost felt bad asking Toronto for a trade to a contender when it was
obvious that they were in full rebuilding mode. It tells you everything you
need to know about his character and the respect he earned throughout baseball
that the Blue Jays traded him to his first choice of teams, the Phillies, when
they certainly could have gotten more by putting him on the open trade market
and creating a bidding war. But that wasn't Halladay's style. He just wanted
to win more than anything else and everyone agreed that he deserved the chance.
Halladay didn't end up winning a World Series and that is just about the only thing missing from his first-ballot Hall of Fame career. But even the most cynical Philly sports fans, like me, won't hold that against Doc. He'll go into the Hall as a Blue Jay, but that doesn't mean he didn't love his time in Philly or appreciate some of the best fans in baseball.
"I'd love to retire with two teams, but I don't think that's possible," Halladay said at his retirement newsconference. "I want the Phillies organization, I want the fans to know how much I enjoyed my time there."
And I want Doc to know how much Phillies fans enjoyed watching him pitch for our team. He'll know for sure when he's inducted into Cooperstown and he looks out at a sea of red Phillies caps, celebrating one of the game's all-time greats.
Thank you Roy "Doc" Halladay. You truly were one of the greatest of all time and I appreciated the chance to cheer for you as a member of my team.