Sunday, December 15, 2013


"You’re the best there is, kid. The worthy opponent." 
~ Kevin Costner as Billy Chapel in "For Love of the Game"

Not enough noise has been made about the loss of Roy Halladay from baseball. He truly was one of the game’s great players. He demonstrated artistic ability, determination and dedication, and class and dignity beyond compare.

He should have been a Yankee.

It didn’t take him long to establish he would be great. On his very second career start in 1998, he almost had a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. It was broken up with two outs left in the final frame.

In 2000, he got shelled. It’s no secret that year, Roy held the dubious distinction of a 10.64 ERA. That is still the worst in MLB history for someone with at least 50 innings pitched. He was optioned to the minor leagues in Dunedin. That would have been the end of an ordinary man’s career.

Roy Halladay is not an ordinary man. He tucked into his work, made adjustments to his delivery, and fought his way back to the majors. In 2002, he went 19-7 with a 2.93 ERA. in 2003 he went 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA.

All of this was terrible news for me. I arrived in Toronto in 2002. I saw a lot of the Blue Jays, and quite a bit of Roy Halladay. As previously documented, I never attended a game Doc started that he lost. When I was there for my New York Yankees, that was bad news.

When you come up against an opponent like Halladay, it is impossible not to respect him. You see the standards he holds himself to. You see what he gives back to his community. The man is a bastion of integrity. He is honest, classy, and true.

He should have been a Yankee.

He has struggled with injuries of late. He wasn’t supposed to return last season after his shoulder surgery, but did so anyway. It wasn’t the same. Doc didn’t like what he was seeing from his arm over the last few months and decided to retire. Toronto signed him to a one day contract so that he may retire as a Blue Jay.

Roy “Doc” Halladay has a perfect game to his credit. He threw a no-hitter in the playoffs. He never quite had a team around him good enough to get him that World Series ring.

In the movie “For Love of the Game,” the main character looks after an opponent as he leaves the battlefield saying “I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow.” That sums up how I felt watching Roy bow out.

Worthy opponents are rare. They deserve a tip of the hat when they hang them up. At the very very least.

Goodbye Roy Halladay. Thank you for your clinics.

Oh, how I wish you were a Yankee.

Chad R. MacDonald
BYB Features Writer
Facebook: New York Yankees the Home of Champions
My Blog: ChadRants

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