Hall of Fame Pitcher. Hall of Fame Dad.
That’s how former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel described the late, great Roy Halladay on SportsRadio 94WIP this week.
Hard to believe Doc needs to be identified as “late.” If anything, Halladay was always early based on his extraordinary work ethic.
Even though the cause behind Halladay’s small plane crash is still being investigated, his death at the age of 40, survived by a wife and teenage boys, is a very real reminder that life is precious, short and can end when least expected.
There’s no fancy way to write this, so I’ll just type away.
Halladay was a masterful tactician on the mound and obviously a tremendously humble, genuine, loving and down to earth person when not surgically picking a part opposing hitters.
All you had to do was hear Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco talk about how well they knew Roy from his involvement with their department. All you need to do is listen to former players rave about his love for his kids. Just take a look at his Twitter account, which includes countless photos of the baseball teams he coached baseball. Playing back old sound bites of Halladay this week, you’re reminded strong admiration for Philadelphia and its fans, which is remarkable considering he spent three-fourths of his career in Toronto.
For a man who seemed so stoic, serious and intimidating in regards to baseball, he was just a regular Joe otherwise. His Twitter account spoke volumes of his infectious personality that he so amazingly hid under a surgeon’s mask while playing baseball.
And yes, my goodness, that man was brilliant on the hill.
Doc finished with a career record of 203-105 over parts of 16 major league seasons. That is a winning percentage of .659. To give you perspective, he was 20-11 with Toronto in 2008, which is a winning percentage of .645.
Halladay finished in double digit wins 11 times, three reaching 20 and twice 19. Minus 1998, his ERA finished below 3.00 six times, four in a row from 2008-2011. He made eight All-Star games and won two Cy Young awards.
His 2010 Cy Young season with the Phillies was a 21-10 record with a 2.44 ERA, with nine complete games and outings that went less than seven innings only five of his 33 starts, one of which was less than six. Doc finished 5-0 in five September starts that season.
Halladay was 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA in 2011, a career-best earned run average minus the two starts he made in 1998. The righty was 34 years old at this point in his career and pulled off eight complete games in that 102-win season.
Of course, his tenure in Philadelphia included a perfect game and postseason no hitter. Not to mention, he went the distance in the 2010 NL East clincher in the rain and pitched on an injured groin in Game 5 of the 2010 NLCS to force a sixth contest in Philadelphia.
These days managers will consider pitchers who make 30 plus starts, many of them quality of at least six innings, “work horses.” If they’re “work horses,” than Doc was a pack of Clydesdales carrying 100 tons of Budweiser from City Hall to Citizens Bank Park.
The numbers don’t say it all. As Cole Hamels pretty much summed up when speaking to the media Tuesday, Halladay was must-watch television, must-listen to radio and a ticket worth every cent of the price of admission.
There’s no question in my mind that between his talent, work ethic and personality off the field, Harry Leroy Halladay III was flawless, a well proportioned combination of dominance and decency.
In short, Doc was the definition of perfection.