Roy Halladay Was Always Money In The Bank

Roy Halladays unfortunate and unexpected death in a plane crash at age 40 has rocked the baseball world. Just four seasons removed from retirement, the future Hall of Famer passed away doing what seemed all too familiar to him during his 16-year MLB career. 

As one of the premier pitchers in the game, Halladay soared in his stints with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. He was on another stratosphere, another level. His talent was above the clouds and he was better than 99 percent of the pitchers in the league. 

The Shadow League on Twitter

Here is an October 13th video from Roy Halladay with him on his plane. He seemed to have been very excited about it. https://t.co/azxA8O1vYp

At a time when baseball was rife with PEDs and home runs and power numbers were abundant, Halladay, the last of the true workhorse aces, was feared. And no task was too formidable.

Toronto Blue Jays on Twitter

Statement from the Blue Jays organization on the tragic passing of Roy Halladay:

He was first for almost everything he did. ESPN baseball guru Tim Kurkjian says he was the hardest working ballplayer he’s ever encountered. That’s saying something. He was first to the ballpark, first in line to grab the ball and make magic happen for his team. 

“As a teammate, you hear that he’s a hard worker. But holy smokes,” former Phillies closer Brad Lidge told ESPN. “I would get to the clubhouse early on certain days and feel like I was going to be the first guy there. And sure enough, I would pop into the training room, and he would already be icing from his two-hour workout.

“I think people really feel good when somebody who works that hard gets rewarded. To see the success he had, it makes you feel like everything was right with the baseball world. A guy works that hard, cares that much, puts that much effort out there and does well. That feels right, to me, and I think it resonates with a lot of people.”

The baseball community had an outpouring of fond reflections, emotions and prayers for Halladay’s family.

Alex Rodriguez on Twitter

Sad to hear about the passing of Roy Halladay today. Tremendous competitor. Prayers go out to his family.

 

Albert Pujols on Twitter

My prayers go out the family of Roy Halladay. He was a fierce competitor between the lines and a considerate friend, husband, and father off the field. His wife Brandy and sons are in our hearts and prayers tonight. #RIPDoc

The tiny sport plane Halladay was flying Tuesday when he fatally crashed into the Gulf of Mexico was also the first of its kind. A plane made for entry-level pilots like him. He owned his ICON A5 for less than a month before the tragedy and was among the first to fly it, with only about 20 in existence, according the website for ICON Aviation.

Halladay’s legacy didn’t die in the crash. It will live on and his story will be told with even greater reverence and magnificence as is the case when legends pass on too soon. Halladay was the pitcher for a subpar Toronto Blue Jays squad that got bullied in the tough American League East for years. Except when Doc was on the mound for the showdown. 

He got the nickname Doc early in his career in reference to the legendary villainous Western gunslinger, when it was evident that Halladay was an intimidating and accurate pea-hurler on the mound, throwing 67 complete games and 20 shutouts over a career that stayed rock solid consistent as baseball began to move away from starting pitchers going more than six or seven innings.

He was as advanced as calculus and as old-school as Honey Comb cereal commercials.  

Tyler Kepner on Twitter

Spoke at length with Roy Halladay this spring. His words on the essence of competition should never be forgotten. https://t.co/Qdr5oJXA26

As a starting pitcher, he was the ultimate closer and from 2002-2012, he stood alone with Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson as the elite arms in the game, winning two Cy Young Awards in two different leagues during that span.

 At 6-foot-6, he was a menacing force on the mound, but his repertoire was vast and he wasnt your prototypical fireball pitcher. Halladay knew how to mix in his other pitches and place them wherever he wanted too. Over his career, he developed a command and control that was uncanny and frustrating to the best hitters in the game. 

During a time when the Yankees and Red Sox dominated the American League East landscape, when Toronto came through and Halladay was pitching, you almost chalked that up as a loss for any opposing team. He didnt fear juggernaut squads with big names. He sent those dudes down just the same and never took the less heralded teams for granted. 

Derek Jeter often recalls how Halladay gave him fits throughout his career. Most batters to ever face Doc, who finished his career with a .659 winning percentage and 203 wins, say the same thing. 

Fanatics View on Twitter

Derek Jeter never wanted to see Roy Halladay on the mound #RIPDoc

The irony in Halladay giving the Yankees fits lies in the fact that it was legendary closer Mariano Rivera who taught Halladay how to throw his infamous cutter during the All-Star game in 2008. Halladay was already a terror, having won a Cy Young award and multiple All-Star appearances before Rivera turned him into an impenetrable machine by offering him advice on how to throw baseballs most  un-hittable pitch. The one that elevated Mariano to iconic status and helped Halladay do the same.  

Somewhat lost in the obscurity of Canadian baseball for most of his career,  Halladay finally put his lit talents on display for the world during the 2010 season with Philadelphia. After pitching a perfect game during the season, Halladay became the only pitcher other than Don Larsen to throw a no-hitter in the playoffs. 

Roy Halladay ‘Locked Away’ Tribute

RIP Roy Halladay Locked Away- R City ft Adam Levine Thanks for watching hope you enjoyed Like,Comment, Subscribe, and Share No copyright intended Entertainment Purposes only

His playoff performance was a fitting end to a career that was so phenomenal, yet somewhat underappreciated, but never belittled. Halladay fulfilled the dreams of every big leaguer by rising to the top of his profession and being remembered as an awesome player, even better teammate and one of the honorable soldiers in MLB history. 

His death came too soon, but the memories he leaves behind and the relationships and reputation he built will ensure that he lives on forever in the distinguished annals of baseball lore. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.