Blue Jays: Kevin Gausman to wear #34 in honour of Doc

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 07: Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 07: Starting pitcher Kevin Gausman /

According to a tweet from Kevin Gausman, he’s changing his jersey number to #34 in order to honour Roy Halladay, one of his childhood heroes.

Roy Halladay is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Blue Jays uniform, and unfortunately he was tragically taken from us last month when his plane crashed over the Gulf of Mexico. Halladay was just 40 years old, and 2018 will bring a great deal of celebration of his career and his life. The Blue Jays have already announced plans to honour him during their home opener next season.

While the Blue Jays are expected to find several ways to show respect for their fallen legend, the respect isn’t limited to just those in Toronto. That has been evident since the tragedy with well wishes and tweets coming from all circles of baseball, and across several generations as well. It also came in another form on Thursday, which was announced with a tweet from Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher, Kevin Gausman.

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Gausman told his twitter followers that he is changing his jersey number next season to #34, which is a tribute to Halladay, who wore the number as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies (he wore #32 while in Toronto). Gausman has previously wore #39 throughout his career with the Orioles. Like Halladay, Gausman grew up in the Colorado area, and that made the former Blue Jay ace a natural idol for the eventual big league pitcher himself.

His tweet wasn’t just an announcement of the number change, but a tribute of sorts to Halladay as well. Here’s a excerpt from what Gausman had to say in the tweet, and make sure you take the time to check out the whole thing, as it’s a very classy statement and move by the Oriole pitcher.

“I became a huge fan of fellow Colorado native Roy Halladay. He instantly became my idol. For years I watched him dominate his competition. To me, Roy gave me the inspiration that I could fulfill even my biggest dreams – being a pitcher just like him. ” – Kevin Gausman

Gausman goes on to talk about life as a baseball player in Colorado, and how there are less than 100 MLB players born in the state, giving him and Halladay something else in common.

While I’m not one to cheer for the Baltimore Orioles on very many occasions, I’ll admit that this will endear me to Gausman more than I would have expected, and that it’s a classy move that should be appreciated by Blue Jays, and baseball fans everywhere. It’s also yet another testament to Roy Halladay’s character, as Gausman also referenced Halladay was a role model off the field as well.

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