Philadelphia Phillies: Significance of Roy Halladay’s Hall of Fame selection

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06: Roy Halladay #34 and Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate Halladay's no-hitter and the win in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Reds 4-0. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06: Roy Halladay #34 and Carlos Ruiz #51 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate Halladay's no-hitter and the win in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on October 6, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Reds 4-0. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) /

Major league baseball announced the 2019 Hall of Fame class on Tuesday, and former Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay will be heading to Cooperstown.

On Tuesday night, major league baseball announced the 2019 Hall of Fame class. Included in that class was former Philadelphia Phillies ace, Roy Halladay. There was little doubt that Halladay was going to make his way into Cooperstown, and this adds the ribbon to a remarkable career.

Halladay spent 16-seasons in the majors, making his debut in 1998. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays 17th-overall in the 1995 draft and cemented his status as one of the league’s best pitchers in Toronto.

From Arvad, Colorado, Halladay has his struggles early on in his career, posting a 10.64 ERA in 2000. But, after that early setback, he established himself as a perennial Cy Young candidate, winning a career-high 22-games in 2003.

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Halladay also won the Cy Young in 2003 and made six All-Star games throughout his time in Toronto, finishing his time there with 148 wins. He continued to dominate towards the end of the decade, but the Blue Jays began to fall off and enter a rebuild.

Rumors began to swirl in the summer of 2009, connecting Halladay to the Phillies. Ultimately, Philadelphia did not complete a deal for Halladay that July and opted for Cliff Lee instead. The following December though, the Phillies brought their top choice to town.

In December of 2009, the Phillies completed a three-team trade with the Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners to land Halladay. Lee was dealt to Seattle, but the Phillies had their ace heading into the 2010 season.

Halladay’s time in Philly was only a fraction of what he spent in Toronto, but many of his most significant accomplishments came while donning red pinstripes. He will understandably sport a Blue Jays cap on his plaque, but no one will ever forget his Phillies tenure.

In his first season in South Philly, Halladay had arguably one of the best years of his career. He went 21-10 and brought the city their first Cy Young in over two decades. But it was what he did on a warm night in Miami amidst the middle of a team-wide slump will go down as one of his best outings.

On May 29, 2010, Halladay was perfect. On a night where the eyes of Philadelphia were turned to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Phillies quickly grabbed their attention with the astonishing performance of their ace.

It was a performance for the ages and the Phillies’ first perfect game in nearly 50 years.

Later that season, the Phillies acquired Roy Oswalt, and he joined forces with Halladay and Cole Hamels to form a big three that was known as “H2O.” The Phillies were favorites to win the World Series in 2010 and rightfully so, and it appeared they were well on their way following Halladay’s first-ever postseason start.

October 6, 2010, Halladay finally got his long-deserved opportunity of starting a playoff game. He certainly did not do anything to waste that start, being nearly-perfect. Everyone remembers where they were when Carlos Ruiz made the throw from his knees to send Citizens Bank Park into elation.

The 2010 season did not end the way many expected, with the Phillies falling to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS. Philadelphia would then bring back Lee to join Halladay to form the best starting rotation in baseball.

2011 saw Halladay continue his dominance of baseball. He went 19-6 on the year and helped lead the Phillies to 102 wins. But, he will forever be remembered for how he fought to keep the Phillies in Game five of that year’s NLDS, a game in which the Phillies lost 1-0.

Halladay surrendered one first-inning run and was nearly-perfect the rest of the way, but the Phillies offense could not scratch anything across that night. His final postseason start ended with Halladay going down the only way he knew how with a fight.

The following two seasons saw Halladay take a step back as he dealt with injuries. That game five loss in 2011 was nearly the last time baseball got to see vintage Halladay. There were flashes in 2012 and 2013, but it was clear his career was winding down.

2012 saw Halladay go 11-8, but his ERA dropped all the way to 4.49. In 2013, he was only able to start 13 games, and that would be the final time Halladay would see the field. Following that season, the Blue Jays and Phillies great announced he was retiring from baseball.

Following his retirement, there was little doubt that Halladay would be in the Hall of Fame, with a first-ballot selection being the expectation. But, unfortunately, Halladay will not be around to see his extremely deserved honor this summer.

Halladay died on November 7, 2017, after his plane crashed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Flordia. It was a sad and stunning day not just in the Delaware Valley, but around all of baseball. Baseball mourned not just a great player, but an outstanding person.

While people will remember Halladay for the All-Star games, Cy Youngs, and no-hitters, what he will be most remembered for is his tremendous work ethic, outstanding leadership, and tremendous character.

Halladay, the player, was great, but Halladay the person was legendary.

On Tuesday, the late Halladay got what he deserved. In his first year on the ballot, Halladay has been given baseball’s highest honor. An honor that is extremely well deserved. His late wife took time to thank everyone for their support after the announcement:

Halladay may have never won a World Series, but that will not take anything away from his legacy. He will always be remembered with enshrinement in Cooperstown and a legacy that will be carried on forever.

He is survived by his wife Brandy and his two sons Braden and Ryan. Braden, a senior in high school, is committed to Penn State to play baseball next year. The Halladay legacy will certainly live on.

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Today and moving forward Halladay will always be remembered, and when his family speaks in Cooperstown this summer, it will surely be an emotional day. Halladay may not be there physically, but his presence will be immortal.