Roy Halladay may have chosen to retire with the Toronto Blue Jays today, but that didn’t stop his former Phillies teammates from discussing the impact that he left on them in his four-year stint in The City of Brotherly Love.
First and foremost, many of the starting pitchers that Halladay worked with, couldn’t say enough about what they learned from “Doc”.
Cole Hamels, who was the only other pitcher to be in the starting rotation all four years that Halladay spent in Philly, talked about how “Doc” helped his maturation process.
“[Halladay] was one of the best competitors who ever played this game and taught everyone around him to prepare the right way in order to be the best,” Said Cole Hamels. “For me, personally, he helped me understand the game more and gave me insight on how to become a top of the line starting pitcher.”
Once, not all that long ago, Halladay and Hamels fronted the Phillies rotation, that also saw perennial All-Star Roy Oswalt at the number three spot. The three went on to be nicknamed “H20″. Oswalt reflected on the greatness of Halladay’s career as a whole today, as well.
“Roy was one of the best pitchers and students of the game I’ve ever had the honor of playing with,” Oswalt said on the news of his former teammate’s retirement.
“Hands down, he was the best pitcher of this era and a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”
Kyle Kendrick, who pitched in both the bullpen in starting rotation while Halladay was a Phillie, couldn’t say enough about Halladay’s importance to his career.
“Roy was probably the best influence in my career,”Kendrick told reporters of Halladay.
“Being able to spend the last four years with him taught me what work ethic and commitment are all about. In my eyes, the game just lost the best pitcher of the last 10 years.”
Even Chase Utley, who we rarely hear from in the off-season, gave an extended quote on Halladay’s retirement.
“Roy Halladay is the ultimate competitor,” Utley began. “He is by far the hardest worker that I’ve ever seen and treated every game as if it were his last. It was no coincidence why he was the best pitcher of his era. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to watch him pitch for four years. I’ll miss his presence and passion but, most of all, I will miss his intensity.”
Of all the players, both former teammates and competitors, that took to Twitter to react to Halladay’s retirement, these two tweets stood out the most,
I want to congratulate Roy Halladay on a great career! Blessed to have played with such a fierce competitor and one of the best teammates.
— Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino) December 9, 2013
— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) December 9, 2013
Certainly a great career ended today, and it was a career that wasn’t just appreciated by fans and analysts–but the same players who Hallday was dominating.