When Roy Halladay retired from major league baseball, there was no doubt he would get the “call to the hall.”
But no one would have expected him not to be there to give his speech at his induction ceremony at Cooperstown, N.Y. Roy Halladay died after a small plane he was flying off the coast of Florida crashed in November of 2017.
On the day where Roy Halladay would join baseball’s best, his widow spoke on his behalf.
“This is not my speech to give,” said Brandy Halladay.
“I’ve been asked over and over, how do you think Roy would feel if he were here? I’m pretty sure we all know the answer. Of course he would be honoured and humbled, but I also know that in true Roy form, that he would have quickly given any accolades or props to all of his coaches and teammates.”
Among the crowd at Sunday’s ceremony were many fans wearing Roy Halladay’s number 32 Jays’ jersey. One person was waving a sign that read, “RIP Roy.”
And before and after her speech, Brandy Halladay was given a standing ovation.
Despite pitching for Blue Jays teams that never made the playoffs, fans still remembered him with pride.
He always played hard on the field. And that’s something I respected as a fan,” DJ Matthews told CTV News Toronto as he was leaving the Jays Shop. “And he always wanted to win. He was a winner.”
And as Jeff and his girlfriend walked their dog past Rogers Centre, he called Roy Halladay “one of the greatest Jays’ pitchers in the history of our organization.”
“In terms of overall blue jays pitching, (Roy Halladay was) the greatest ever,” said TSN Radio’s Matt Cauz. “Better than Dave Stieb. Absolutely Roy Halladay is number one. In terms of all-time Blue Jays he has to be on your top three list.”
Cauz has been digging deep into Roy Halladay’s career numbers with the Blue Jays, and says his record is even more remarkable considering the teams the Jays were playing against.
“It’s not just about the numbers. It’s the degree of difficulty. He only won one Cy Young. He should have won so many more.”
Halladay won his second Cy Young award, an honour presented to the best pitchers in Major League Baseball, as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
His family has decided that Roy Halladay will enter the hall of fame as an unaffiliated player. It’s a decision they believe Roy would have agreed with, and is something that both his former teams endorsed.