The news broke at approximately 4pm that Roy Halladay died when his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. His death comes as a huge shock not only to the
Phillies organization but to the Major Leagues, as Roy was highly respected throughout his career. As a Phillie fan, I will always remember Roy towards the end of his career when wearing the red pinstripes. He only played four seasons for the Phillies and his last was marred with injuries but he still managed to etch his name into Phillies folklore forever.
The first vivid memory I have of Roy Halladay pitching was when he pitched the 20th perfect game in Major League history. Roy knew his career was slowly creeping towards the back end and he was traded to the Phillies in December of 2009. The Phillies came in as the leading candidate to represent the National League in the World Series and the addition of Roy Halladay seemed to be the last missing piece of the puzzle. His career with the Phillies in 2010 started off strong as he was the first pitcher that year to earn four victories. By May 1st, he already had two shutouts under his belt but his May 29th start against the Marlins was one for the ages. Roy, with the help of his defense, became a member of one of the most elite clubs in Major League. Roy pitched a perfect game cementing his legacy as one of the greatest but his performance in the 2010 Wild Card playoffs a few months later completely changed the course of baseball history.
It was October 6th, Roy Halladay was making his postseason debut at home in front of the sold out crowd at Citizens Bank Park. Any baseball fan could tell you exactly where they watched this game as Roy completed one of the best pitching performances ever. He became only the second pitcher in history to pitch a no hitter in the post season joining only Don Larsen, who famously pitched a perfect game in the 1956 World Series. A postseason debut like that will never be matched, as Halladay engineered his way through nine brutal innings against one of the toughest lineups in 2010. Looking back though, the Cincinnati Reds stood no chance that day as Halladay had his best stuff hitter after hitter. His only mistake was letting up a walk in the fifth inning against Jay Bruce. Once again, Roy put himself in one of the most elite clubs in baseball history.
Though the 2010 season ended in heartbreak for Phillies fans, they went on and lost to the Giants in the NLCS, the Roy Halladay masterpieces will forever be remembered as two of the greatest games in Phillies history. Two more playoff appearances would follow for Halladay and the Phillies but he was never able to capture that elusive World Series title. Roy Halladay will be forever remembered as a great pitcher for this franchise but as an even greater person off the field. He was a great man who surely will be missed.
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