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Roy Halladay (May 14, 1977 – November 7, 2017) was an American top notch pitcher in the Major League Baseball. Nicknamed the Doctor, Roy has pitched amazingly for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies. He is 8-4, a incredible 84 strikeouts and a ERA of 1.96
Born in Denver, Colorado, Halladay grew up in the suburb of Arvada; his father flew planes for a food processing company while his mother was a homemaker. From an early age, Halladay loved baseball; he sampled every position on the field until, by age 14, his success on the pitcher’s mound attracted the attention of major league scouts. In 1995, after graduating from Arvada West High School, he was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays in the amateur draft. Four seasons in the minors later, the strapping right-hander made the team and immediately proved his worth.
During the 2000 season, Halladay sported a 10.64 ERA in 19 games, 13 of which he started. At the beginning of the 2001 season, Halladay was optioned to Class A Dunedin Blue Jays to rebuild his delivery.
Halladay's fastball was clocked up to 95mph but it had little movement and his pitches were up in the strike zone, which was ultimately the reason why his 2000 season was so unsuccessful. He worked with former Jays pitching coach Mel Queen. The problem, Queen realized, was Halladay’s total reliance on his strength—his attempt to overpower batters with straight-ahead pitches. Within two weeks, Halladay remade himself, altering his arm angle for a more deceptive delivery and adding pitches that sank and careened. Instead of throwing over the top, he went to more of a three-quarters sidearm delivery (the middle point between throwing overhand and sidearm). He went from a being a pitcher who relied on his fastball to one who delivers everything down, regardless of the type of pitch he throws. The adjustments were proven to be successful. After a month and a half, he was promoted to class AA Tennessee, and then, a month later, to class AAA Syracuse. By mid-season, he was back in the Jays’ rotation. He posted a 5–3 record with a 3.19 ERA for the Jays in 16 starts in 2001.
Halladay had one of his best seasons in 2002, as he posted career highs in wins, ERA, strikeouts, and innings pitched. Halladay made the All-Star team, and finished with a 19–7 record with 168 strikeouts and a 2.93 earned run average. His 19 wins were the most by a Blue Jay since David Wells won 20 in 2000. He established himself as one of the better starting pitchers in baseball.
Halladay's 2003 season was even better. He posted a 22–7 record, 204 strikeouts and a 3.25 earned run average, which won him the American League Cy Young Award. In 2003, he also led the American League in innings pitched with 266.0 and tied for the American League lead in complete games with nine. He helped the Blue Jays reach a surprising 86 victories.
In 2004, Halladay was placed on the DL twice due to right shoulder problems. In just 133.0 innings, he went 8–8 with a 4.20 ERA. He walked 39 batters, seven more than he had walked in 2003, when he pitched twice as many innings.
The 2005 season began successfully for Halladay, as he proved to be one of the best pitchers in the American League by going 12–4 with a 2.41 ERA in 19 starts. A favorite to win his second Cy Young award, he was selected to his third All-Star team and was slated to be the starting pitcher for the American League at the All-Star Game in Detroit. However, on July 8, Halladay's leg was broken by a line drive off the bat of Texas Rangers left fielder Kevin Mench (now a Blue Jay). As a result, he was replaced in the All-Star Game by Matt Clement of the Boston Red Sox, while Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox was named as the starting pitcher for the American League. Despite rehabilitation of his leg, Halladay would sit out the remainder of the season.
During 2006, Halladay finished near the top of the MLB in wins with 16. He was named to the American League All-Star Team as a reserve on July 3, 2006, along with four of his Jays teammates. It marked the second-most appearances in club history, and Halladay's fourth as an All-Star. Although Halladay's strikeout total was lower in 2006 than in previous seasons, his groundball-to-flyball ratio, complete games, and innings pitched were all among the American League leaders.
Halladay was the American league pitcher of the month in April, going 4–0, highlighted by a 10-inning complete game win over the Detroit Tigers. However, he pitched poorly in his two starts in May, and on May 11 was placed on the disabled list and underwent an appendectomy. He returned to the rotation in his usual form on May 31 against the Chicago White Sox. Halladay went 7 innings, giving up just six hits and allowing no runs on his way to his 100th career win. 2007 also saw Halladay drive in his first career RBI. Against the LA Dodgers on June 10th, his ground ball single to center field allowed John McDonald to score. He shut out the Seattle Mariners on July 22, allowing only three hits.
For the sixth consecutive year, Halladay was Toronto's opening day starter, beating his own previous club record of five. He lost 3–2 in a pitcher's duel with New York's Chien-Ming Wang. His first win of the season came in his next start against Boston, when he outpitched Josh Beckett in his season debut. In his third start of the season, Halladay pitched a complete game against the Texas Rangers, in a 4–1 win. He has six complete games so far but has lost 3 of them. On June 20 against the NL Pittsburgh Pirates, Halladay got hit by a Nyjer Morgan line-drive to the temple, with two outs which was caught by Scott Rolen. Halladay was able to walk back to the dugout but was taken out of the game for safety concerns. Although he was given a clean bill of health for his next start, it was later commented by baseball television commentators that Halladay may have in fact lost temporary awareness; with a temporary lapse in recognition of what happened on that play. Halladay pitched his 10th career shutout against the Seattle Mariners on June 30. He limited them to four hits in his sixth complete game of the season. The shutout ties him with the Cardinals' Mark Mulder for 10th among active pitchers. On July 11, 2008, Halladay pitched his 7th CG and 2nd shutout of the season against the New York Yankees allowing 0 runs on 2 hits for his 38th career CG. Halladay was named to the American League All-Star Team as a reserve. He pitched in the fourth inning, yielding only one hit and striking out Lance Berkman.
Over the past several seasons, Roy Halladay has adjusted his approach to that of a ground ball pitcher with a good strikeout-to-walk ratio. This approach helps to keep his pitch count down (he regularly features among the league leaders in this category) so as to avoid fatigue later in the season. Halladay's arsenal includes a four-seam fastball which he can throw in the mid 90s, a two-seam (sinking) fastball which he throws at 92-94 MPH, a curveball which he throws around 77 MPH, a cutter which he throws at 90-92 MPH, and a changeup, which he added in 2006. He generally can use any of these pitches in any count, which serves to make him even more effective, and keeps hitters off pace.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Halladay noted that overusing his cutter in 2006 caused some discomfort towards the end of the season, and that he planned to throw more sinkers in 2007 to avoid further pain or stiffness. In 2007, Halladay has regained confidence in his cutter, crediting his catcher Sal Fasano for suggesting a grip change. On the Fox telecast of the 2008 MLB All Star Game, Halladay was seen, along with Scott Kazmir, observing the grip of the cutter of New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and, perhaps, figuring out another way of further improving his cutter.
In addition, Roy Halladay pitches at an efficient pace in order to make his pitches more effective in keeping hitters guessing. Halladay also credits his quick, work-like pace as his best way to keep himself focused, as well as to reduce swelling/stiffness throughout the course of the two plus hour game.
On November 7, 2017, Halladay died when the ICON A5 aircraft he was flying crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. plane was reported to be Halladay's, and he had tweeted in the past about his excitement about acquiring the plane. It was reportedly registered in the name of Halladay's father.
- Against the Detroit Tigers on September 27, 1998, Halladay had what would have been the third no-hitter ever pitched on the final day of a regular season broken up with two out in the ninth. The feat would have joined the combined no-hitter by four Oakland Athletics pitchers (Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad and Rollie Fingers) in 1975 and Mike Witt's perfect game in 1984. The bid was broken up by a Bobby Higginson solo home run, the only hit Halladay would allow in a 2–1 Blue Jay victory, his first in the majors in this, his second career start (Ironically, the home run ball by Higginson was caught by Dave Stieb in the bullpen, a man who had lost 3 no-hitters with 2 outs in the 9th over his career). The game was also a near perfect game if not for an error by the Blue Jays backup second baseman, Felipe Crespo, as Halladay struck out eight and walked none.
- Halladay also pitched the first extra-inning shutout in the major leagues since Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, leading the Jays over the Tigers on September 6, 2003. He pitched 10 innings and hadn't allowed a hit until Kevin Witt doubled with two outs in the top of the 8th. Halladay pitched another 10 inning game against the Detroit Tigers on April 14, 2007 in a 2–1 Blue Jays win. Detroit reliever Fernando Rodney took the loss in both games.
- In an interview with Politico.com, President George W. Bush claimed that, if given the choice, Roy Halladay would be the pitcher he would build a team around, stating, "He's a great pitcher, a steady guy that burns through innings."
- On October 6th the first playoff game in the 2010 postseason he became only the second pitcher ever to throw an no-hitter in the playoffs.
- 8-time MLB All-Star: 2002, 2003, 2005 (was supposed to start but was sidelined with a season-ending injury), 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
- American League Cy Young Award: 2003
- The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year: 2003
- Players Choice Awards (Most Outstanding Pitcher): 2003
- 2-time AL player of the week:
- 3-time AL pitcher of the month: May 2003, September 2003, April 2007.
- Toronto Blue Jays Career Leader in Win–Loss percentage (.670)
- Only Blue Jays pitcher to earn two base hits in one regular season game (vs. Los Angeles Dodgers on June 10, 2007)
- Perfect game against Marlins (May 30, 2010)
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|American League Wins Champion|
|American League Cy Young Award|