One of the best pitchers of this generation, and essentially the best Blue Jays player of the last 15 years or so, Roy Halladay is set too announce his retirement. Halladay will be signing a one day contract with the Jays so that he can retire with the team that drafted him and where he dominated the AL East for many years.
While many fans had hoped he would return to Toronto for a swan song after his deal with the Phillies expired, a one day contract is likely not what they had in mind.
Halladay won two Cy Young awards and really should have won more the way he pitched throughout his career. He was a workhorse from a bygone era, taking the ball deep into ballgames like no one else in this day in age. Looking at his inning totals like ESPN’s Buster Onley did really puts it into persepective.
Re: Halladay retiring: His annual innings counts are like something from the stone age — 239.1, 266, 220, 225.1, 246, 239, 250.2, 233.2.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 9, 2013
Over the next little while I’m sure there will be plenty of time for complete career retrospectives of the man who was essentially the greatest Blue Jay of my life time. Sure some of the guys on the World Series teams could be argued for that as well, but I was too young to realize what made them special, whereas I could truly appreciate the beauty that was Halladay’s dominance.
I’m sure any true Jays fan can understand the sheer frustration of seeing Halladay take a 1-0 complete game loss far too many times as the middling teams assembled around him were no match for the tough AL East opponents he set down with such ease.
While the no-hitter eluded him during his time in Toronto, often coming tantalizingly close, when he moved to the Phillies he was able to add both a perfect game and a post-season no hitter too add to his most likely hall of fame worthy career.
I remember reading an article by Fangraphs’ Eno Sarris earlier in the season, which prophetically foretold how unlikely it was that Halladay would be able return from the shoulder injuries that had plagued him for 2012 and 2013. At the time I read that I thought to myself well “thats all well and good but we are talking about Roy Halladay.. he will be back and pitching for years to come.” Sadly I couldn’t have been more wrong.
As baseball fans we should all be sad that we will no longer get to witness such a dominant player performing on the big stage, but it is heartwarming that he is able to go out somewhat on his own terms and with the Blue Jays. Now it’s only a matter of time before he will find himself enshrined on the Blue Jays Level of Excellence, so long Roy and thanks for everything
Feel free to post some of your favourite memories of a great Blue Jay in the comments below. And lets all be thankful that no one on Jays talk will be pining for the return of “Holiday” anymore.